Last Saturday was one of the more frustrating days in recent memory. It was supposed to be a pleasant afternoon. My girlfriend and I were invited to my friend Kate's graduation party. We then planned to head to the mall so I could buy a birthday gift for my dad, and then we agreed to hang out with Body Burner, his girlfriend, my girlfriend's brother and his girlfriend at my house for a nightcap.
The graduation party was fun. I gobbled down a pair of sandwiches - pork and cheese, ham and cheese - as well as some stuffed shells. I also played ladder golf, which is always fun, though some handicapped kid teamed up with Body Burner to beat me and my girlfriend. To be fair, the handicapped kid was black, so he had more athleticism than all of us, combined, even though he could barely walk with a cast around his ankle. He may have had one bum leg, but being an old, fat man, I have two bum legs, so if anyone there was handicapped, it was me.
My girlfriend and I then went over to the mall with Body Burner, my cousin Polina, her husband, and our friend Wild Ginger. The girls wanted to look around for clothes, shoes, etc., so us guys waited outside the store. I basically sat down often: on the massage chair in front of one clothing store, on a wooden bench outside of another, and on a bed in Bloomingdales. Sitting down is my favorite part of the mall - that, as well as eating at the food court and finding jerks.
Unfortunately, I already ate, and I couldn't really spot any jerks, save for two women at a kitchen store. We went in there because my girlfriend wanted to buy a potato masher and a pepper corer for her dad for Father's Day. We brought the items to the register, and we looked at the woman behind the counter, who was wrapping something.
"One second," she said.
More like 10 minutes. We stood there like a**holes as she wrapped whatever the hell she was wrapping. I don't understand why she made us wait. Couldn't she have put down the wrapping paper for 30 seconds to ring us up? We were paying customers, after all. I wanted to grab the potato masher and bash this woman over the head with it. I didn't do this, however, because that would be illegal. American laws are stupid.
Instead, I'll declare that I'm never going back there again. Granted, I have nothing I want to buy in a kitchen store, but if I ever figure out where the eggery is, I'm not going there for a frying pan. Is there a Kitchen R Us? If so, I'm shopping there for my frying pans.
We went by the sports memorabilia store on our way out. I spotted a Philadelphia 76ers panorama there earlier - a giant picture of Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Julius Erving and Wilt Chamberlain - and I asked the guy at the store to hold it for us because it was too big to carry around everywhere. I fished into my pockets for my credit card when my heart sank. It wasn't there. Neither was my driver's license.
I had enough cash on hand to pay for the panorama, but I told everyone that I was missing my two key items. My girlfriend, Body Burner and I scoured the mall, while the others checked the car. We looked at the massage chair, the wooden bench and the bed at Bloomingdales. Nothing. The others had no luck either. Body Burner called his girlfriend, who was still at the graduation party. She said she'd look there, but there was so much drunken commotion there that we decided that we should look for ourselves, just in case.
We arrived back at the party 15 minutes later. It was already dark out, so Kate's dad gave us a flashlight. We found nothing around the deck or the two ladder golf posts, and then we checked the driveway - and we found a driver's license, and a credit card! They were both flipped upside down, but it was obvious that that's what they were.
"Yes, we found them!" my girlfriend exclaimed giddily, snatching both cards off the ground. We flipped them over, and my heart sank once again - both the license and the credit card belonged to my friend Marlana.
It was almost as if God was laughing at me. I imagined him in heaven, bellowing, "Bwahahaha that fat a**hole lost at ladder golf to a handicapped kid - even though he was highly athletic - and now I tricked him into thinking he found his license and credit card, bwahahahahaa!"
We went home and checked around my house. We found no sign of the two cards, so I called the credit card company and asked them to send out a new one. As for my driver's license, I'd have to journey over to the local DMV. I dreaded that trip, but the jerks I found there made it well worth it.
I had to wait until Tuesday to go to the DMV. Why? Because the DMV is closed on Monday. I have no idea why, but God forbid that state employees have to work on a Monday. Then again, if I had to sit in that horrible building for five days per week, I'd probably lose my mind, so maybe the state is on to something in this regard.
The DMV opened at 8:30 in the morning. I wanted to get there on time so I wouldn't have to wait in line. It was a 10-minute drive, but I left at 8:15 just in case. Unfortunately, I didn't get there until 8:40. The combination of rush-hour traffic and some a**hole truck that was going 10 mph on a one-lane road screwed me over. I entered the building 10 minutes late, and my heart sank - it's been doing that a lot lately - when I saw 50 or so people sitting and waiting. Ugh.
The woman at the front counter handed me a slip with a number on it: B408. I looked to the right, and saw "001," "002," "003" and "004" on the board. To my left, "801," "802," "803" and "804."
Uhh... what? Where was I supposed to go? Was there a third section I didn't see, or did I have to wait for "004" to eventually go to "408?" Was I going to have to spend eight hours there just to get a new license?
I went back to the woman at the counter.
Me: My number says 408. Is that a mistake? Where am I supposed to go?
Woman: The numbers jump around.
Me: Jump around? So which side do I go on?
Woman: Where the 800s are.
What? If they gave me a slip that said "B408," why would I have to sit near the 800s? And where did the "B" go? Was the "B" supposed to be an 8, but they screwed up?
The woman was right that the numbers jumped around. Here's the order in which the prompter read the numbers:
"Now serving, 402."
"Now serving, 403."
"Now serving, 805."
"Now serving, 806."
"Now serving, 404."
"Now serving, 405."
I'm now fully convinced the people running the DMV are complete morons. Maybe the DMV is closed on Monday because the person in charge thinks it's a Saturday. Hey, if their numbers can jump around, why can't the days of the week?
It took them about 25 minutes to reach 408, though I'm still not sure where the "B" went. It would have been 20 minutes, but the bald guy behind the "801" counter was playing Sudoku. I'm not joking. I passed by his desk on the way to the bathroom, and I saw him filling in the numbers in a Sudoku grid. He had his hand on his forehead the entire time, almost as if he was trying to prevent his brain from exploding because this puzzle was too difficult.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Walt, this guy was probably just on break, or something." A break at 8:45 a.m.? Who takes a break as soon as the workplace opens? And he was just doing this out in the open; an employee passed by this guy's desk minutes later...
Other Employee: Tough one today, Joe?
Sudoku Player: Yup! I'm racking my brain here!
What does this guy do at the DMV, figure out Sudoku puzzles all day? Why is our tax money going toward this nonsense? Like I said, complete morons.
Super Cool Dude
I noticed this girl walk in and sit down in the row in front of me. She was wearing short shorts, which revealed her very skinny legs. She also had this red mark on her lips that looked like herpes. However, the most notable thing about her was her boyfriend.
This guy was the epitome of cool. He was skinny as well and wore a tight polo shirt and checkered shorts. He had slicked-back blond hair and tiny, diamond studded earrings on both ears. He also wore sun glasses inside. This alone may not have qualified him to be a jerk, but luckily I was close enough to hear everything he said to his girlfriend. He said the same two words over and over again:
Every few minutes, he'd look over to her, coolly tilt his upward and ask, "Sup, babe?" Every few minutes, without fail. She wouldn't even be saying anything half the time, yet he'd ask, "Sup, babe?"
You know, I was going to make fun of him for being ridiculous enough to wear sunglasses inside, but this guy is so cool that I just can't do that.
Evil DMV Man
I was hoping that the chubby woman behind one of the counters would summon me. I thought I saw her wink at me, so I figured she could help me quickly. I've found that I get along extremely well with middle-aged and older women, so having her serve me would be painless.
Unfortunately, she called the number right before me - 809 - summoning a fat Mexican chick who sat behind me and droned on and on about her Facebook pictures. If there's one thing worse about someone ranting about their Facebook pictures, it's a fat Mexican chick ranting about her Facebook pictures.
I was summoned to the counter to the left of the chubby woman's minutes later. My view of the person behind this counter from my seat was obstructed because of the angle; otherwise, I would have noticed him much earlier. This person was the strangest-looking man I've ever seen. He was short - about 5-foot-1 - and had tiny eyes concealed by thick glasses, a small nose and frazzled gray hair. His most prominent feature, however was his mustache. It was gray and very thick, and the ends were curled up, almost as if he spent time twirling them like some sort of super villain.
"How can I help you?" he asked with an angry tone. I gave him a license renewal form I received in the mail. My license was set to expire in August, so I figured I'd see if I could renew it there rather than return to the DMV in two months.
Evil DMV Man: What is this? You're in the wrong place.
Me: I was just going to see if I could...
Evil DMV Man: You don't belong here.
Me: OK, but I also needed to...
Evil DMV Man: You're done. Move aside so someone else can be helped.
Me: I NEED A REPLACEMENT LICENSE TOO!
I had to yell out to prevent him from pressing the button to summon the next number, which probably would have been 9,304, or something. I showed him the other form I brought with me.
Evil DMV Man: You need a camera card?
Me: Camera card? I need a license with a picture on it.
Evil DMV Man: So, you need a camera card. Let me see that.
Evil DMV Man grabbed the form from my hands and pored over the page.
"You don't need a camera card!" he snapped. "It'll be $29.50 for the new license. And you have to give me a check or a money order; otherwise, you have to return later."
I don't understand why you can't just give the DMV cash, but again, they are run by morons. I asked for a pen to sign my check, and he begrudgingly gave it to me, almost as if he thought I'd steal it from him.
"Who do I make it out to, the Department of Motor Vehicles?" I asked.
He looked back at me like I was some kind of idiot.
"Can't you read the sign?" he asked, pointing to something written to his left that I hadn't noticed before: "Please may checks payable to Penn Dot."
What a douche. I didn't see it. It was off to the side, so I wasn't looking there. I don't know why he had to be a dick about it.
Once I signed the check and handed it to him, he got up and went to one of the computers. I waited a while. I looked to my right, and Skinny Legs Girl, who was now being helped by the chubby woman, was laughing and making jokes. "I lost my license twice in Washington, so that's the last time I'm going there!" she exclaimed to the delight of the chubby woman. Skinny Legs Girl then looked back at her boyfriend, who responded, "Sup babe?" I was so jealous. These people were having a great time at the ole DMV. Why couldn't I?
And what was taking so long? I felt like I had been standing there forever. In fact, Skinny Legs Girl and Super Cool Dude walked out of the DMV before I got my license, yet she went up after me and had the same issue. So what was going on?
I peered around the corner to look at what Evil DMV Man was doing. He was violently mashing the keys of a computer that looked like it was from 1995. I then saw the monitor and nearly burst out laughing: It displayed a blue screen of death. That was computer was fried. It figures that the DMV would have the oldest computer ever, and it would break on the day I happened to go there.
Evil DMV Man summoned over another employee. He violently mashed the keyboard as well, but he didn't have much luck. Evil DMV Man then went back to the counter.
"Sit down, it's going to be a while," he snarled.
Ugh. I waited for what seemed like 15 more minutes. Will this computer ever be fixed? I wondered. Why don't they just use another one?
Evil DMV Man eventually emerged from the back and called out, "Alex? Alex? Alex?" I didn't think anything of it at first, but he was looking directly at me when he was shouting that name. Did he mean me? That's what I figured, so I thought I'd check it out.
Me: Were you calling me?
Evil DMV Man: Is your name Alex?
Evil DMV Man: No, it's not. I wasn't calling you. I was calling Alex. Now go sit back down.
I wanted to curse this a**hole off, but he was the only man on this planet who could give me a driver's license, so calling him a "f***ing, mustache-twirling c**t" would certainly compromise that.
Minutes later, he summoned me over.
"Here's your license," he said coldly. "When you lose it again, remember that the check is made out to Penn Dot."
Is that what all of the malice was about? Because I didn't know whom to make the check out to? Whatever. I was out of there, and I was happy that this entire ordeal was over.
After my experience at the DMV, I'm going to try my hardest not to lose my license again. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that Evil DMV Man is sitting at home, twirling his mustache and trying to think of a ways he can make that happen.