Yesterday, fate and possibly karma required that I take care of some business with the fine folks at the Department of Motor Vehicles. I opted to go to the Marin DMV because my car is registered in Marin and the lines are significantly shorter than the Ellis Island-esque San Francisco DMV. One would imagine that the Marin DMV line, short as it is, would be filled with the likes of trophy wives in tennis skirts and illegal immigrants. Turns out, not so much.
In front of me was a butch lesbian, in men’s clothing, with her keys attached to her belt loops and a necklace made out of wild animal teeth. Behind me was a young, black mother of three, with a gold tooth marked with $. Her youngest child, appearing no older than three had a diamond earring and a huge diamond encrusted medallion. All three children roamed wildly about the room, knocking over sign stands and accusing each other of “fronting.”
When you arrive at the Marin DMV, there appears to be some sort of concierge at the front door, screaming “Hello!!!” in her puffy paint sweatshirt with squirrels on it. I approached her desk, and noticed in small cursive at the bottom of her squirrel image, the appalling, “Branson, Missouri.” She inquired as to my DMV needs, and promptly sent me to the end of the line. She did this with everyone. I began to realize, as I watched her and waited in line, she’s simply some sort of very nosy woman who’s fascinated by the various reasons anyone would spend a glorious Friday afternoon in the bureaucratic hell that is The Department of Motor Vehicles. She is not employed by the state, and those that are find it too effortful to remove her.
Actual DMV employees remind me of a propaganda documentary I saw as a child, depicting Russian Communist workers as slackers with no sense of urgency, work ethic, or customer service. Those of us in line stare down the people at each window, desperate to predict which one will be done first. I smile at the fast people, people who understand that the most important thing is to get out with as much efficiency and speed as possible. I smile at the employees who appear to know what they’re doing, hoping my turn falls on one of them. And I glare at those that look upon their time at the window as a personal government class, asking every stupid question under the sun and then proceeding to be ill-prepared.
One man at the window left his insurance card in his car. “That’s okay,” said the wench behind the window, “I’ll wait.” Are you shitting me? You snooze, you loose, pal. I came prepared and I should be rewarded for doing so.
Finally, my turn came. I hiked over to Window 17, where “Lodovico” informed me I had a little unpaid parking ticket issue. No shit, Lodovico. Mind your business and give me my fucking tags. I’ve been in line over there in Calcutta and I’m ready to go home.
Finally free, and in possession of the fucking sticker “the man” requires I suffer for, I break free into the sunshine as affix the yellow tag to Rhonda the Honda, or as she’s become known of late, The Silver Bullet. With the knowledge that, at least for the next 30 days, I’m finally legally allowed to drive my car, I cut across the double lines and speed past the Corte Madera police station. Fuck you, coppers! I’ve played your game and now I’m free…