Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Could The Day Get Any Better?

I dragged my sorry rear to work around midnight only to be met by a flurry of fires, shootings, fatal car accidents and of course the general malaise of a city whose championship quality basketball team was spanked to the point the phones lines were lighting up at Child Protective Services.

It was non stop phone calls and writing and clarifying and explaining to people over the phone that I didn't know if it was their sister who was drunk and driving the wrong way on a freeway at 2 a.m. resulting in her death and an hours long traffic tie up...I have a personal policy not to confirm family member's deaths to people over the phone unless I can avoid it - sometimes I've done it inadvertently and believe me it is not a fun.

Anyway, had I not gone into work early I'd probably still be there, simply writing spot news. I've come to the conclusion that when the Spurs win a championship San Antonio behaves, but when the city expects them to and they don''s like a full moon night at the Rubber Ramada.

The highlight of the morning was finding a story...and audio...of our Governor referring to a reporter with a less than flattering term. People who think George W. Bush is clueless have no idea the choices Texas voters have when it comes to Governor....

I ran the heck out of that story.

I managed to struggle through the day, make it home and crash and then had to immediately get up and go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. My driver's license expires in less than a week, the same day we fly out of Texas, and I am certain had I not renewed it I'd be corralled by the T.S.A. and forced to undergo a body cavity search or something more demeaning - like being locked in a room and made to watch re-runs of game six of the NBA finals - until I confessed to something.

I have not been to the DMV in years. Texas has become very progressive, you can do a lot of stuff on line - including renew your license - but every once in a while they want to actually see you...this was my year to be "seen." I sort of thought something might have changed at the DMV in ten years or so, but I was wrong. Nothing has changed. Not the paint, not the people, not the grainy TV set on the Home Shopping Network with a sign reading, "Please don't change the channel" slapped on the front ...absolutely everything was exactly as I remembered it.

It was a dingy, crowded bureaucratic cattle barn.

I had all my paperwork, my check written, all I needed was to renew my license. I was given a number...number 2...and told to sit and wait as they called number 48.

The DMV is a place that is perfect for people watching. There are all types. I spent 30 or 40 minutes sitting with a mother and her 15 year old daughter both of whom appeared to be in competition for careers as Paris Hilton impersonators.

A State Trooper came in five times yelling for the owner of, "the little red BMW" who had parked illegally in a handicapped spot. He became more furious each time he marched into the room and no one responded. Finally he came back with a name - it's the DMV they can look up the driver's name in their only took about 30 minutes for the trooper to figure that out...there's Gubernatorial material waiting to be mined there - and upon hearing her name bellowed a woman whom I swear was intoxicated stood up thinking it was her turn to get in line.

She was number 38 and the owner of the BMW. She managed to escape arrest and left to go move her car as the crowd of folks let out a collective sigh of discontent realizing now the most entertaining thing in the room was once again some woman selling a 99 dollar sewing kit on the grainy TV channel no one was allowed to touch.

Finally....two hours after I arrived my number came up. In two hours they processed 54 people. It only took about 45 seconds to complete my renewal...I have no idea what the previous 54 people were doing there.

I left the charming DMV offices trying not to think of the contagions I had probably been exposed to during my stay and got in my car. As I pulled out I had to laugh. There was the lady in the little red BMW circling around the parking lot. As I pulled out, she whipped into my now empty parking spot but in my rear view mirror I could read her lips....

I might have inadvertently met the next Governor...who knows?