Jenny and I recently moved to Miami.
By the way, as I write this, I’m listening to David Cook’s version of Don’t You (Forget About Me). The original by Simple Minds is good and catchy, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy a song by Simple Minds.
But I digress.
No matter how well planned a move to another city is, there are still the horribly annoying mundane things that have to be dealt with. New Driver’s Licenses, new License Plates, etc.
This led to TWO VERY BAD DAYS.
First, new Driver’s Licenses. We were going to do this CORRECTLY! So we called in advance to found out what paperwork we need. We also looked up the address online for the nearest License Office. Arrived at the address (thanks to our wonderful Garmin GPS), and found that the office was shut-down. Not CLOSED, but completely shut down. It was an EX-OFFICE.
So we call the Department of Motor Vehicles, and they gave us a new address. Our GPS gets us there as it starts raining. Pouring actually. It’s a known fact that it only rains in Miami when you’re going to the DMV. So far, so good.
It turns out this is the office to get License Plates, not Driver’s Licenses. I’m sure on Mars and Pluto, they would put both offices in the same building. But not on Earth. And not in Miami. We explain to the woman who works there that we were told by an Official DMV Human Voice that this was the office for licenses. Human People Licenses. This nice Hispanic woman, who knows more English then we know Spanish, manages to succinctly tell us, “It’s the confused.”
With a look of sadness, knowing she is sending us to an uncertain future, she gives us the correct address for the HPLO (Human People License Office). Our overworked GPS gets us there. The office is in the Mall of America. If it was the Mall of Mars, things would have been fine. But it wasn’t the Mall of Mars, it was the Mall of America. We were told we didn’t have enough paperwork.
We decide to leave and go to IKEA to return some items and pick up some other stuff. As anyone who goes to IKEA knows, all the shopping at IKEA is just an excuse to get the $1.00 Yummy Delicious Frozen Yogurt Cone as you leave. The day is looking up.
Our poor GPS is starting to crack under the strain. On the way to IKEA it tells us to “TURN RIGHT THEN TURN LEFT. TURN LEFT THEN TURN RIGHT. TURN RIGHT THEN TAKE RAMP LEFT.
We should have listened.
On the way to IKEA, we realize we don’t have our receipt. But IKEA was started by Swedish people (or Austrian), who have won the NICEST PEOPLE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH award 73 years in a row! What could go wrong? We call ahead anyway, because it’s been ONE OF THOSE DAYS. The NII (Nasty IKEA Individual) tells us that without a receipt, the items would have to be inspected, and opened bedding items are NOT RETURNABLE. You may be wondering what we are going to try to return? That’s right, opened bedding.
At this point the GPS tries to grab the wheel and make an illegal u-turn. But I am much stronger. Forward we go.
Before we get on the highway, we decide to buy a SunPass. Miami is one of those cute cities that have tolls. They recently started a new system, where cash is not accepted. Either you buy a SunPass, a piece of rubber with a microchip in it that charges you when you drive by the toll-booth, or the camera takes a picture of your license plate. With the SunPass the toll costs .25 cents. Without it, the camera sends the picture of your license plate to the proper authorities, and you’re thrown into prison.
A friend tells us you can by SunPasses EVERYWHERE. The first store we go to doesn’t sell them (it’s the confused). They tell us to go to Walgreen’s. We do. They don’t. They tell us to go to Publix. We do. And they do sell them! But we read the label. It seems you have to have your Vehicle Tag # and Your Human People License #. Then you register online, and it will be ready to use THE NEXT DAY.
At this point we start randomly looking about us with our eyes. Our eyes seem to be searching for proof that all around us is reality.
We keep going. At the end of the dark black rainbow is the IKEA Frozen Yogurt Cone!
We arrive at IKEA. It’s still there. It is open. So far, so good. Also, it seems the NII was a liar. All our items are taken back with no problem. Take that, NII!
We finished our shopping, pay for our mercantile, and are now waiting in line for our Frozen Yogurt Cone. When we first walked in, Jenny asked the man in charge of the Frozen Yogurt Cones what time they stopped serving. He said they’re there until people leave, around 9:10 pm. It is now 8:55, one person in front of us, all is well. The woman in front of us buys a Frozen Yogurt Cone. It’s our turn. “Two Cones Please!”, we say, as Pachlebel’s Canon plays in the background. We are told the woman in front of us bought the last one. The Yummy Delicious Frozen Yogurt machine is . . . empty.
Our GPS has now broken out of her restraints and is crawling toward the woman with the Last Frozen Yogurt Cone, all the while saying “RECALCULATING” over and over again. We grab her and get back to the car before anyone notices.
End of Day One.
The next day, we go back to the Mall of America, where the DMV is located. We are told by the first person that our paperwork is in order. Is this Miami or Casablanca? No matter, we happily take a number. Number 1,278. They are presently calling number minus 14. No problem, we brought plenty to read.
As we settle down, one of the DMV employees tells everyone we have to all leave the building. It seems the entire mall is leaving the building. Why? Someone has made a bomb threat to the mall.
Most of the people after getting outside are waiting in front of the glass doors, which as anyone knows, is the PERFECT place to be in case a bomb explodes. We decide to go to another DMV Office.
Before the day is over, we have our Human People Licenses, and one of our new License Plates. Our marriage is stronger after the last two days, and our GPS is responding well to her medication. And what was the most important thing the last two days taught us? As we shut our eyes, and our memory floods backwards, what was the one statement we could hold onto for sanity? You guessed it: “It’s the confused”.