All I can say is that it’s a good thing
we don’t have to use the old-fashioned hand signals
to show which direction we’re going to go in
because I lean so far to the left
I’d never be able to make a right turn…
I don’t think I could point to the right
for any reason at all.
So, I got to the DMV and joined the line that was all the way to the door. At least it was moving fast, since there were two guys at info desks handing out numbers and checking IDs. It was finally my turn. I got to the desk, gave him my papers and license and the guy said:
“You like to party. I can see it in your eyes.”
“I can always tell by looking into someone’s eyes. You like to party.”
“See how old I am?”
“You don’t look it.”
Okay. I finally got my number and I was walking away when he said, “Stop back on your way out and let me know where you are.” Keep in mind that he knew where I lived because he had just had my license in his hand. I didn’t turn around because I thought hissing at someone might have gotten ME into trouble. Guys don’t get into trouble but women do. So I was angry going in to this thing.
So, moving right along, I waited some more and then took the vision test. Then I stood in a short line to pay my $5 fee. Lucky me, I was chosen to take a road test. I haven’t had one since I got my driver’s license as a kid. So, I went and sat with all the other unfortunate people who also had to take the test. I was sitting there when a very tall man sat down right beside me (there were open seats available). He leaned against me and I was just getting ready to move when he said, “Sign here. I’m your driving instructor. I like to sneak up on people.” Really? How INSANE is that? He likes to sneak up on people? So, then he asked me where my car was, as if it might have been in my pocket, or in California, or maybe in my purse. I told him it was in the PARKING LOT. He told me to take him to it but he walked way behind me and no matter how slowly I went, he refused to catch up. We finally arrive at my car and he told me to get in and step on the brake, honk the horn, roll down the driver’s side window and put on the left, then right turn signals. He did the same thing while standing in front of my car, without the horn and honking was the only thing I really wanted to do while he was standing there. Then he got in, pushed the seat all the way back and leaned the top of the seat back. He talked SOOOOO SLLLOOOWWLLLYY that I wanted to scream but…I also wanted to be able to drive, so I just GRIPPED the steering wheel tightly and started grinding my teeth. I’m really bad at things like this. I kept wishing I had a baseball bat on the floor behind my seat. We always carried one when we were kids (my dad had a tire iron instead). I mean I wouldn’t have grabbed the bat, of course, but it would have made me happy to know it was there…but I digress.
I asked which way he wanted me to go and he pointed to his right. Three seconds later we were at the exit, which led to a very busy road. He told me to keep both hands on the wheel and that there was no time limit on the test. He repeated that many, many times, about there not being a time limit. So, there was a break in traffic and I pulled out and he started screaming!
“YOU CAN’T PULL INTO TRAFFIC WHEN CARS ARE COMING!!! YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO DO ANYTHING UNITL I TELL YOU TO DO IT.”
I said, “You didn’t tell me that and there are always cars coming,”
I thought I failed in the first two minutes.
After a while, he had me turn left onto a side street, “WHEN I FELT THAT IT WAS SAFE TO DO SO.” He repeated that constantly as well. I wanted to tell him that I only turned when it’s dangerous and a hundred cars were coming right at me, so that I could cut in front of them, but I didn’t, because as I said, I want to keep driving. He had me pull over and told me that I could stop wherever I liked, in front of any house I wanted to park in front of. I am not making this up. Then he said, “How do you park on a hill?”
I said, “Why? There aren’t any hills in Chicago or the suburbs.”
Seriously, we are a hill free zone. When we were kids we went EVERYWHERE looking for a hill down which we could skate. We found an incline and took a bus to that spot, just to roll downward. WE ARE A FLAT PLACE.
“He repeated the question. I said, “Going down forward or down backward?”
From then on we spoke with our hands. Apparently he meant facing the top of the hill, not going forward but backward. I told him both ways, just to be safe and he said, “Is that your final answer?”
I said, “Why? Is there another one?”
We did that for about three minutes and finally, I said “Yes, that’s my final answer. So what’s the answer?”
“I can’t tell you until we get back to the building,” he said.
“How truly crazy is that? He couldn’t tell me the answer until he got inside the DMV? He did say that very few got the answer right unless they were from LA. Chicago is not LA but I did not think it was wise to point that out. I wondered if they ask Chicago questions at the DMV in California? Like how do you park on a flat surface? As I said, we don’t have any hills in Chicago, or the surrounding area. NONE. Downstate has them but I don’t go there. I don’t know anyone who goes there, that’s why we don’t know the answer to the question.
Following his INCREDIBLY DETAILED instructions, I got us back to the parking lot. He told me that I could park in front of any of the white signs. Any of them. The choice was all mine. So, I pulled in perfectly and he started SCREAMING, again, “DON’T HIT THE SIGN, DON’T HIT THE SIGN.” We were stopped but I felt that it was unnecessary to point that out.
I’m a really good driver. He was, well, I’m not sure what he was. Anyway, I followed him in and he pointed to a chair. He mumbled that I had passed but that I should never pull out onto a street if I can see cars coming. In other words, he was saying that people should stay home, since they would never be able to get onto a busy street. Then he said that I answered the hill question correctly but failed to mention that one has to put the on the emergency brake after pointing the tires in the right direction. I said that I actually knew that but forgot about it since we don’t have any hills. He said that I did not signal when pulling away from the curb on the side street, after answering the question about the hill…but I didn’t mention the fact that I was daydreaming about dragging him behind my car and that kind of distracted me.
I had my picture taken and then went directly to Whole Foods, where I bought a HUGE piece of cherry pie and ate it in the car. I needed something to bring me down and that was all I could think of that didn’t involve a lot of blood and cops.
I don’t have to go back until 2021. If I’m alive in 2021, hopefully, I’ll be able to mail it in. If not, I’m going to the place I always go to, even thought the lines are a lot longer…this DMV was new and a mistake. The people are sane at the other one.
So, that’s my story. Just another day in paradise.