Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Department Of Motor Vehicles – Just the phrase brings chills down the backs of anyone who has had to endure the experience (any experience involving the DMV) in big cities. Not here. Our mission: change our address on our driver’s licenses. You know we’ve been putting this off for months because, well, it’s the DMV. We first dropped off my car at the mechanic and with proof of our new address in hand (thank God we remembered that), we headed over to the dreaded DMV. It was packed. At least the place was fully staffed and every station was filled. With the exception of only ONE chair, there was standing room only today. We chose to stand in the line and began to wait. I realized that I should have brought food (and water and a sleeping bag) which they probably don’t allow here. We stood and watched people leave as the line just kept getting longer behind us. The guy in front of us failed his eye exam and the clerk was turning him away. When it was my turn the clerk handed me some forms to fill out. I stepped aside to get out of the way of the next person in line. And this is how our DMV adventure began. Sounds like just another normal DMV day, right? wrong.

Before I go on, I want to explain to the people here in Northern Idaho that as I clarify the above to the folks back in Illinois, I want you to see the things that they will be shocked by. So, I’m going to put a little code by the things that will shock them, the code looks like this (!). YOU (locals here) won’t be shocked because to you, this is “normal” and you really don’t get the point. In Illinois, anything with more than one (!) is nothing short of a miracle akin to Jesus rising from the dead. Trust me.

We dropped my car off for an oil change knowing that we’d be back just as they finished(!). Yes, one of the TWO chairs(!) in the waiting room was taken and the line in front of us consisted of 2 people(!). The two clerks were working hard(!) at the only two stations(!) in the joint. One clerk was explaining(!) to a man how, although he failed her eye exam, if he gets a note from his eye doctor for at least one eye to be 20/40 he can get his license(!). He told her the name of his eye doctor and she called the doctor’s office(!)(!)(!) and took care of an appointment for the guy right there(!) and sent him on his merry(!)(!) way. Jenny and I just looked at each other in amazement. While we waited, the line behind us grew to a total of ONE person(!). Before we knew it(!), it was Jenny’s turn. Seeing that we were doing the same thing, the clerk was happy(!)(!)(!) to take both of us at the same time(!). Jenny brought proof of our new address and the clerk said, “As long as you already have an Idaho driver’s license, we believe whatever you tell us.”(!)(!)(!) She handed us each a form consisting of a 3 x 5 card(!) that requested our name, address, phone, etc. I stepped aside and she called me back and said it will just take a minute(!) and that we should fill them out right there(!). As we wrote, she typed the new info into the system(!). Changing the address in the system took a few minutes(!) but cost us nothing(!). She explained(!) that if we ever want licenses with the new address printed on them, “just stop in(!) and pay $11(!)”. We were in and out in about 15 minutes(!)(!)(!). Just in time for lunch.

If this doesn’t make you believe in God and that Northern Idaho is a preview of heaven, nothing will. For you of so little faith, hell would be a cake-walk, you are destined to spend eternity in a DMV run by Jesse White.

Personal note to the folks back in Illinois: Two years after moving here and I still feel the same way about Jesse White. Satan is the head of Hell as Jesse White is the head of the Illinois DMV.

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