Monday, July 18, 2005
how to waste your time completely
1. carry a very small handbag to a wedding reception in dc, where you used to live. the handbag must be so small that you have to tuck your dc-issued driver's license into the plastic of a pack of cigarettes and hand all of your cash to your date.
2. get drunk.
3. smoke your last cigarette at the bar in the hotel.
4. discard empty (except for your license) pack at the bar.
5. keep drinking.
6. leave with your friends to go to the after-reception bar. your date has already gone home, but he didn't go to college with all of you and you still feel that burning need to hang out.
7. halfway down the block, realize what you have done.
8. have unfriendly hotel worker help you look in the bar for the discarded pack of cigarettes. apparently the trash has already been taken out for the night. tell him that you don't care if you have to dumpster dive, you need your license.
9. he shows you where the dumpster is and helpfully hands you some crates to stand on.
10. your dress is made out of silk and is the most expensive dress you have ever purchased. this is the first time you have worn it.
11. it rained earlier. you are elbow-deep in rotting food, wet paper and stink. it is not a well-lit alley, and you are wearing heels while balancing drunkenly on crates. you realize that this is totally fruitless.
12. you flew to dc for this wedding. your dc license is the only form of photo id you brought with you.
13. no one other than your nosy bossy elderly landlady has keys to your apartment but your roommate who is visiting iowa and your brother who is visiting denver. your passport is sitting in your room.
14. talk to united airlines twice the next day. they scare you with news that you had better get to the airport as quickly as possible and that you may not be able to fly home, depending on what secuirty decides to do with you. cancel dinner plans with friends that you haven't seen in months so you can attempt to board your flight home. think up as many worst-case scenarios as possible, including but not limited to having to go to the dc dmv when it opens monday, purchasing an amtrak ticket (they never give a fuck who you are), having someone overnight your passport to you . . .
15. check in at the united counter three hours before your flight.
16. approach security. they write "passenger lost id - no photo id" in red magic marker on boarding pass.
17. get patted down and your bag half-heartedly rifled through. this takes three minutes. you are free to get on your plane. in two hours and forty-five minutes. wish you were eating dinner with your friends. good thing you're a white girl; you care more than they do that you have no form of photo id.
18. arrive at the illinois dmv on washington at 11:oo am the next morning. they send you to the dmv on randolph.
19. stand in line for 20 minutes.
20. you are given a phone number for the dc dmv. you are to call them and request that your driving record be faxed to the illinois dmv. your cell does not work in the dmv dungeon so you go sit outside.
21. the number they gave you is wrong. you dial 411 and are connected to a recording that asks you to stay on the line due to heavy call volume.
22. stay on the line for 47 minutes. read a magazine while listening to the same voice recording loop. decide that this is retarded and hang up.
23. return to the dmv line. tell the guy that the number he gave you is wrong and ask if he has an alternate number.
24. dial the number he gave you, despite its suspicious area code. sit on hold for five minutes. decide to do some nancy drew investigative work and start punching in menu codes for other departments. realize that this is for washington state and not washington, dc.
25. say "fucking dumbass" aloud as you hang up and wonder whether it is directed at the illinois dmv man or at yourself.
26. eat some panda express.
27. 411 the number again, but this time write it down. stay on hold for a mere 15 minutes.
28. speak to an actual person. she transfers you.
29. this woman will not take dmv instructions from a civilian. the illinois dmv needs to make the request via fax. take down her direct number and fax.
30. get back in line.
31. explain the situation to the dmv counter man. he seems really put out that he has to fax someone for you. you ask if he has a form for you to fill out, but he just has you write down your name, social security number, date of birth, former address, etc on a piece of scrap paper.
32. he disappears for 8 minutes. everyone in line behind you hates you.
33. dmv man said that he spoke to his manager and that the dc dmv will need to fax your driving record before they can do anything else. he recommends you come back at 8 am tomorrow.
34. it is now 2:15 pm.
35. you are thankful that the dmv is not in charge of anything even remotely important, like food stamps or airport security, because otherwise a lot of people would be dead.