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August 09, 2004 - 9:40 am


I’m not usually one to bitch about the system. It is the way it is. I’ve learned from being a parent to choose my battles wisely, so in an effort to work within the system rather than fight against it, I try to stay ahead of the paperwork whenever possible – to keep my ‘papers’ in order, so to speak. Consequently, I have no outstanding tickets. I haven’t even gotten a moving violation in seven years, and that was for running a red light due to brake failure, which I proved in court and had dismissed. My registration is current. My license is current. My auto insurance policy is in effect. My car passed emissions testing.

And yet, I got this in the mail last week:

What the fuck? Was my name picked out of a hat for random harassment?

The best I can figure it, what happened is this. When I got married, I didn't notify social security that I added an extra last name to my old one. What I did was update my driver's license (using my marriage certificate) to reflect my new last name, and I kept my old last name as my middle name, which, my 92 year old grandmother assures me, is a pretty traditional practice for women who get married in this country. This has never been a problem for the IRS, who managed to figure it out before April 15th – probably because I owed them money, but they figured it out nonetheless. The DMV, however, can't seem to put it together that Samantha Jetson with social security number 123-45-6789 and driver's license number 098765432 could possibly be the same person as Samantha Jetson Flintstone with the same social security number and driver's license number. Idiots.

Now I'll be spending the next month of my life tortured with muzak from the automated phone systems that don't offer the option I need, until finally I'll have to get all my 'papers' together as if I were a Jew in pre-WWII Germany and present them to the apathetic, incoherent representatives of the very reverend Department of Motor Vehicles for inspection, or else face possible gassing and repossession of my house and first born child for driving with a suspended license.

...breathing deeply...10, 9, 8,...

Here’s a thought. Why can’t they sick the Pre-Crime Division of the DMV on the uninsured jerk who’s going to hit my car and sue my insurance company with a bogus claim, causing my rates to increase? Or the asshole that’s going to weave through six lanes of traffic on the interstate at 90 miles per hour? Or the imbecile whose banged up car looks like the ‘winner’ of 1979’s Demolition Derby Championship and will, one day, billow cancerous black smoke at a suicidal 40 miles per hour on said interstate?

Alright. I’ve vented. Moving on to Round 1of futile phone calls…


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