Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DMV = Driven Mad, Verily!

I always tell people that what makes my blog (and others like it) successful is the human interest aspect. Storytelling. People like to hear and read stories, because it plays to the parts of us that are sympathetic and empathetic. I like telling stories about my experiences and life because I think it allows others (that's you guys, the ones reading this) to see something in me that you can relate to, or something that you can't relate to, and then, poof, you have a dialogue.

That being said, I spent my morning at the DMV, which I did just a few months ago back in Connecticut after Tuvia and I were hitched. I thought going to the DMV there would make the process all sorts of smoothness and light, but it didn't.

Exhibit A: Blago Hair
I went back and forth to a man with a gigantic Blago-style tupee about six times, one involving him yelling at this poor old woman (who was awesome, by the way) across the crowded DMV office regarding what exactly a "power of attorney" meant. The husband assured me that this DMV was low-key, uncrowded, and that it would go quickly and smoothly (this being his answer to me inquiring as to why exactly he chose a DMV that was a half-hour away from our apartment). Oy va voy. I arrived to a huge line, that branched into a half-dozen other lines going in all directions of registration and "express" registration (whatever the heck that means) and licensing and so on. I went to one table, spoke to the tupee'd fellow, filled out some forms, went back to the tupee'd fellow, went to the nice elderly woman to get a number and have her re-check the forms, filled out some more forms, went back to the elderly lady, then went to the tupee'd guy again, who yelled at the elderly woman, then went back to the elderly lady, then finally got called (No. 44!), stood up at the counter for a half-hour while the guy did something on his computer, sat down, got called up again to a nice Latina lady, sat down and filled out some forms over again because the tupee'd fellow got it wrong, then went back to the Latina lady, and then ... only then ... after my zig-zagging across the office a dozen times, did I have my plates and my new driver's license.

The perks of this experience: The guy who fuddled around with his computer for a half-hour simply said "Do you always wear glasses?" to which I replied "Yes," followed by "Do you always wear a head-covering and is it for religious reasons," to which I replied again "Yes." And that was it. No interrogation, no letter to write, no form to sign, zehu! (that's it!) Talk about miraculous. That was a breeze.

Oh, and then there was the hilarious guy working one of the licensing counters who I've decided would be the prime character for a sort of dark comedy. Picture it: Phillip Seymour-Hoffman as a lonely DMV worker, who jazzes up his counter duties by calling out people's numbers with a hilarious, yet obnoxious flare, driving his coworkers to loathe him uncontrollably. On his off-hours, Seymour-Hoffman's character is an OCD psycho killer in the vein of the great Steve Buscemi. That is, until a new girl shows up in the office, played likely by a Latina hottie like Jennifer Lopez. Seymour-Hoffman's character, in love, vows to stop his killing and woo the Latina who can't use the internet and doesn't know what "Firefox" is. Alas, she rejects him and he kills her and then ends up in jail, sharing with his fellow inmates all the woes of being a DMV counter guy. The inmates subsequently beat him down because of all the unfortunate hours they spent waiting in DMV lines. Fin!

That's what waiting in the DMV line will do to you, folks. It'll drive you to insanity and screenwriting. (By the way, if you know an agent, let me know ... wink!)