28 May 2009

Announcement Ripples: New ID

As mentioned in a previous post my wallet was stolen while preaching in New Orleans (again I was not mugged or assaulted from the pulpit). Anyway, I needed to obtain a new driver's license upon arrival back in RI. Needless to say I put it off for a few days before trundling up to Woonsocket to obtain a new license. When I arrived at the DMV parking lot was nearly and several folk were milling around in the waiting area. I walked to the kiosk, pushed the ID button, and waited as the machine printed my ticket. I was #63 and my estimated wait time was 5 minutes. In less than two minutes my number was called, I walked up to the window, gave the woman some proper id, wrote a check, and she gave me my temporary id. It took all of 45 seconds! I told the woman I was calling the newspaper, she chortled and I departed.

I mention this story for what I am about to retell is my experience when I first obtained my license when I arrived in RI.

When I moved to RI I was in no hurry to get a new driver's license; I suppose I wasn't quite ready to have a Yankee id, so I did not obtain one. Needless to say my WV license expired and it slipped my mind. Fast forward a good bit of time to the moment when #1 was ready to graduate from the crib to a big kid's bed. One day the VOR, #1 and I went shopping and bought a solid maple bed at a local consignment shop. Later that day I was assigned the task of picking it up (along the way I was also going to get a haircut and go to the grocery store).

After getting a haircut, going to the grocery store (with a serendipitously placed cooler in the bed of the truck), and loading the bed I headed home. As I traveled due west up the crest of Cumberland Hill I stopped at the traffic light and proceeded to turn left. Reader, as the beaming rays of the sun glared my vision I mistakenly did not notice the subsequent left turn arrow, i.e. I ran a red light. Upon descending down Manville Hill (apparently direction determines the name of hills here in RI) I noticed the flashing lights and a waving hand of a public officer; I pulled over.

The officer asked for my license and registration. I gave him both. He went back into his vehicle, ran some checks, then came back and asked me to step out of the vehicle. While sitting in his vehicle the officer had called WV and discovered that my expired license plate had already been assigned to someone else. While sitting in his vehicle the officer had also called a tow truck to impound my truck. I asked the officer if I could just coast to the bottom of the hill then I would be in the town I reside in and we could act like nothing ever happened, un-nuh.

Being a kind and proper gentleman the officer allowed me to use his personal cellular phone to call the VOR(we had yet to enter the digital age) but she was not at the house so he phoned in a cab and arranged for a drop off point. A few minutes later a tow truck towed my truck and #1's new bed off to the impounding area while I with my new haircut and serendipitously placed cooler with groceries waited at the ubiquitous donut facility.

I hoped in the meantime the VOR would hear my message on the home phone's answering machine, come to Cumberland with all the necessary information, pick me up, and then we would head off to the DMV and all would be rosy.

Background information -- before the current governor of RI reformed the DMV, residents would go the DMV, located the kiosk, push the button, and receive a coupon stating their number and estimated wait time which averaged, no foolin' here, 2 hours and 45 minutes. At 8:00 a line of 4o people was formed a good half hour before the doors opened. We, the VOR and I knew, because we did just that a few days before only to discover we did not have the proper paper work to obtain a license. Oh yeah, you need to know this - doors for the DMV close at 3:30 and once you were in you did not go out to use the bathroom or anything.

The VOR never got my message. And a 25 minutes later at 3:00pm a cab arrived to pick me up. I told the woman cab driver where I lived and my story. She listened attentively and responded with a heavy Greek accent, no problem I will take you to your house, wait for you, then get you to the DMV in time. I said no way, she said no really. I then informed her that I only had $25 on me (the cab to the house was already $32), she said no problem again.

In no time at all I was at the parsonage. I ran inside retrieved all my paperwork, scribbled a note to the VOR, and ran back into the cab. Between the parsonage and DMV lays a series of roads with posted speed limits of 35mph. The Grecian cab driver did not heed their advising, she went at least 55 and at times 65 mph down residential and business lined streets, taking corners with the ease of Richard Petty all the while steering with her left arm, her right arm across the front seat, and head and torso turned towards me telling me her life story. I was scared silly. Somehow she parked me at the front of the DMV at 3:23.

I ran in, punched my number, and exhaled. While almost at the moment of relaxation I went over my documentation and realized I did not have a check on me. I ran back to the door, called the VOR got in touch with her and gave her directions to Woonsocket and asked - no pleaded - with her to bring the check book. She arrive shortly thereafter with the checkbook, the guard at the door even let her in. We went over the events of the day and waited for my number to be called. At 4:37 we both exited with RI driver's licenses! But what about the truck with #1's bed in the back of it - especially when the forecast called for showers that night.

We immediately proceeded to the nearest branch of our bank, withdrew the prescribed amount of money to "free" my truck, and made a beeline to impoundment. The facility where my truck was being held for ransom was a run down scrap yard of a place. I asked for the manager, told him my story, gave him my new license, showed him my money, and asked for my truck. He laughed at me, saying he could not give me my truck back till I had my ticket authorized from the police department (which was about 15 minutes roundtrip, plus another parameter of time till a detective decided to authorize my ticket). On top of that he said he was going home and to come back first thing tomorrow. I said come on man, I got my kids bed in my truck and it is about to start raining. He said alright, but you better be here first thing tomorrow, besides I know where you live...

1 comment:

carpcarol said...

oh my goodness! what a tale! apparently patty and selma do not work in rhode island's dmv anymore!!!