austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

A smiling face will come that knows the right line

I mentioned I lost my driver's license, almost certainly in Singapore. It hasn't turned up, despite my sifting halfheartedly through boxes labelled ``documents''. I found many other things, including my old driver's license. This was getting to bother me, as Dad began asking several times a day if I had found the old or replaced the new. So I finally gave in and went to get a new license. He also nagged about how I should put on a better shirt for the new picture, since after all, employers will sometimes take a photocopy of your driver's license and you don't want to put off an employer by looking unkempt, which has cost so many people academic positions. The way my job search has been going my positions are all academic anyway.

New Jersey has this ``points'' system to guarantee that you can't get a license unless you bring in several forged documents, and it turns out they want the same number of points to issue a replacement license. My passport is good for four, and a bank statement good for another, and for another point ... well, they list the old driver's license as good for a point and that would get me in good. So I set off for the Motor Vehicles office I knew was ... just down this road ... around here ... somewhere ... maybe I went past it ... I know it was near the Parkway ... in this little office complex ... somewhere ... along the highway almost impossible to miss from home ... well, after half an hour of the same strip of road I pulled into a gas station for ten dollars' worth of Plus (dad insists on it) and directions. It turns out I was right about one office being right nearby on a highway, just that it was on another highway, intersecting the one I was on, although it's also a nice reasonably straight shot from back home because the roads here don't follow any plausible topology. There's also another Motor Vehicles office near it, down one highway over.

So I drove in to the office I thought I was going towards in the first place. Actually, I drove past it, because I knew there was an office and an inspection station one after the other, and I guessed wrong about which came first. Once there I learned, to my relief, they wouldn't issue me a different number. I had my original license number memorized, which impresses exactly nobody but did probably help me with that police officer last month, and I was hoping to keep it. But I also learned my old license no longer counts as anything except a picture of me, five years younger, looking the same as I do now, so it wasn't a point. The woman checking points explained several times over that I needed six points and only had five, which was less than six, which is what I needed. Of course. Back to home.

Trivia: Walla Walla, Washington, sent a train carload of potatoes as relief to victims of the Johnstown Flood. Source: The Johnstown Flood, David McCullough.

Currently Reading: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Gregory Maguire. Yes, this is a good read, my initial impressions notwithstanding.


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