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Wednesday, May 27

i've been enhanced

Well, I bit the bullet and stopped into the DMV. Quincy is being neutered this morning, so I figured he shouldn't be the only family member to suffer today.

In my mind, I would get there when it opened, be first in line and outta there in a half hour. Oh, Lordy, I do crack myself up sometimes. 

I got there 10 minutes after it opened, not bad, and immediately saw a woman who gave me a clipboard with forms to fill out, a number, and then slammed me against the wall and took my picture. There is a reason Driver's license pictures look like they were taken by Dick Cheney. 

My reason for submitting to this torture is that I live on a border and if I want to shop at the nearest Ikea, Homeland Security has determined I must have either a passport or what they call an "enhanced driver's license", which does not mean my picture looks botoxed. It means I have been declared non-terrorist and I am free to travel willy nilly across the bridge to shop or get Chinese or just ride my bike along the Niagara Parkway. (I have been planning to do that for about 5 years.) I have known about this for several years. The law goes into effect in 2 weeks. No hurry. 

There is a new DMV, spiffy and clean with CNN playing silently at 4 foot intervals, a digital board showing number served, a sound system over which the announcements are actually crisp and spoken by a woman who must have taken elocution lessons. Swiss watch, I'm thinking, until I figured out the system. We have been coded according to the reason for our visit and those of us seeking enhancement are screwed. Only a Supervisor can do these super nifty new "EDL"'s and there is usually only one available at a time. And they have to stop what they are doing whenever someone has a beef. Beefs are very common at the DMV. I settled into my navy blue bench and read what CNN was saying about Sonia Sotomayor. The fact that I can spell that tells you more about how long I waited than anything I can think of.

And, of course, there is the one guy who came to the DMV with a bulging manilla envelope filled with every document he accumulated in his , I'm guessing, 89 years, none of which are required for the EDL. He would step up to the Supervisor every time someone stepped away, waving a yellowed scrap of a document, the Supervisor would shake his head "no" and the man would go back to the bench to rifle through the papers again.  I wanted to yell "He's too old to drive!" but I didn't.  I wanted to yell "By the time I get out of here I will be too old to drive!" But I didn't.

They called my number, I smugly slapped down every required document, in order, face up and waited for my Supervisor to smile with approval..  Nope. That's OK, I was almost outta there. I was sent to another navy blue bench to wait for the opportunity to pay and get the interim license that would prevent the mounties taking me to "the hut" for interrogation when we drive over for a picnic next month.  Unless they look at that picture they took this morning. Then they may detain me just on principle.

I was done in about an hour. Sweet Quincy will not be free until 5. One of us will be wearing a lampshade around our neck. The other will have taken a picture that would be improved by said lampshade. But both will be free of the places that torture you for your own good. 

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