Easter Parade of Goodies

Better late than never, I guess, so, to all my friends, Happy Easter and Happy Passover! I hope the holiday, however you spend it, brought you peace and the love of good friends and family.  As for me, I think I’ve zoomed past the sugar rush and am headed for a candied crash. Let’s hope the marshmallow Peeps soften my fall.

Take a Number

Just this week, I found out that I owed a fortune for a missed EZ pass violation when I tried to renew my registration.  I paid it by phone and was told I had to go to the MVA right then because the lady who took my payment was sending over a “clear notice” for the flag and it could only be done that day.  OOOOOOkkkkkkk… I was in jammies since I was gonna stay home all day and work. Because, of course I was.

Off I go to the MVA.  About ten minutes in to the drive, I see a car parked to the side of the road.  It registered in my brain that it was a cop and I was going, well, warp-speed, just as his lights came on.  Why hello officer, hope you’re having a nice day. Why no, I don’t know why you’re stopping me… And I must’ve looked particularly pitiful, bonus points for not having time to do my make-up properly, or else he had bigger fish to fry, because all I got was a warning. Little did I know this was just the universe lulling me in to a false sense of security.

My Google maps tried to loop me in a circle to get to the MVA.  Luckily, I remembered it had done that the last time I went to the MVA, and I was able to keep from going too far down that rabbit hole again.

Get to the MVA and see that it’s national let’s all go to the MVA day.  Who knew?

MVA Hell started when I was instructed to wait in a line to find out what line I should wait in.  I had to pee when I went in but refused to go after being in line cause I didn’t want to start over.  After about 45 minutes I finally get to the front and the person in charge of the line pulled up my account to see that the lady who took my phone payment hadn’t sent anything over at all, even though she had told me I HAD to got to MVA that day or the world was going to implode.  Go over to the EZ Pass counter, they say.  It’ll be fun, they say.

Next stop for me had to be the restroom.  The disgustingly dirty restroom with no TP and no paper towels. Whatever. I’ve got kids. And dogs. I’ve handled worse.

I come out and head over to the EZ Pass counter line.  After twenty minutes I am told that I needed to go up to the bill payment collections counter with my confirmation number that the lady had given me over the phone (that I had taken with me despite the lady on the phone saying I wouldn’t need it, cause I’m obsessive prepared like that).  UUUUPPPP the escalator I go where I immediately found myself in another line.

After 15 minutes I realize this line was not an official line. I look around to see the “take ticket” sign and plod over to grab a number.  It was like 1006 or something, with the “now serving” number on 4.  After sitting for another 20 minutes, someone comes out and I ask (beg) her to tell me I was in the right place.  Not exactly; she hears what I need and sends me to the bill payment collections window… which is apparently different from the bill payment collections counter. I don’t know, people. It’s the freakin’ MVA.

I was in that line for about ten minutes.  The lady at the counter … there was no window, and trust me, the irony was not lost on me despite my ever-growing frustration … pulled my file up, saw the fines had been paid, gave me what I needed and instructed me to go back to the EZ Pass line. What I needed just happened to be the same confirmation number I already had in hand, just handwritten by the clerk on a piece of official MVA scrap paper.

Down I went, back to the EZ Pass line.  After waiting in that line for what seemed like an hour – though was likely just 15 minutes, I was told that I hadn’t needed to be in that line, I needed to be on the other side of the room waiting to pay my flag and administrative fines.  First, of course, I had to go back into the original line and get a number.

From there, it was the typical waiting around. As if I hadn’t been doing that enough already.  I don’t know how many of you frequent the MVA, but the waiting area is sort of like a twisted Survivor game.  Alliances are made and broken, betrayal (well it’s YOUR fault you went outside for a minute, back of the line, pal), bartering (yup, I’m number 7345.  I see you’re 8736, I may be able to help you out.  What’s it worth?).   Entire romances begin and end there (we didn’t know each other when we came here this morning, now we’re getting a divorce.  Meet Jim, our son, he’s graduating from college next year).  Tempers flare because there are no snacks (why don’t they allow a hotdog stand in there, is what I want to know), and online identities are stolen (well, duh, they name the Wi-Fi “use at your own risk”).

Finally, I get to see someone and thankfully she was very kind. I know, I know, I was just as shocked as you, but it’s true. Anyway, my paperwork (if it can even be called paperwork, since it’s all maintained in cyberspace) was straightened out with the simple press of a button and I was finally free to be on my way.

Next time I go to the MVA, it will be for my license renewal.  That’s simple enough though.  I snagged the instructional pamphlet on my way out of the MVA and I’m reading it as we speak.  Wait. What the Hell is a “Real ID” and why do I need my birth certificate, social security card, first born child, and the middle names of my great-great-great grand parents?

Screw this. I’m taking the bus.

Warning Signs, or “Danger, Will Robinson!”

In the “yeah, that happened” category this week, I introduce you to a group of parents who decided that the best way to dry out a baseball field for the big game was to set it on fire.

Well, they weren’t wrong. I am pretty sure that field was dry after that, at least until the fire department got it wet again. Needless to say, this group’s stupidity will result in a warning sign at the field, cautioning people not to set it on fire. Again.

It got me thinking about warning signs.

At an amusement park, as I am clipping my seatbelt on the roller coaster ride and praying that I don’t get flung into the next county, my eyes settle on that sign above the door. “Caution, remain seated during this ride.” Obviously, something happened that made this warning necessary. Was there a huge problem with rebellious amusement park-goers standing up on roller coasters in mid-flight during the seventies? If so, you would think “Murphy’s Law” or perhaps more appropriate, “Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection,” would have sorted them out from the smarter, more belted passengers. I personally wouldn’t stand up during the ride, unless, of course, I am being flung into to the next county. At that point, I think the choice to sit or stand is out of my hands.

On a fan belt of a car, there is a warning on the package to make sure the engine is off before installation. My good friend, Lefty the Fingerless mechanic, seemed to know something about this one. How would you even attempt to place a fan belt on a running fan? You’d have to be quick, I know that much. My mind is both awed and boggled that someone, somewhere, tried this and was rewarded with a warning on the package.

“No smoking around gas pumps.” Well, now. You would think “burning cigarette ash and flammable vapors” would speak a warning of their own to intelligent folks, but somebody somewhere was chewing on a Marlboro Red while gassing up the family station wagon. I only hope he blasted just himself into Christmas morning and didn’t take some poor innocent with him. That innocent bystander was probably trying to write a sign about smoking at the pumps when tragedy struck.

My hairdryer proudly sports a tag advising me not to use it in the tub. Thank God for that warning, because the best time for me to dry my hair used to be while I was still in the shower. Doesn’t everyone do this? Well, now we know better.

We are surrounded by so many “warnings” that we don’t even take the time to read them anymore. I understand it’s to protect everyone from injuries, if not lawsuits, when human beings do things to reminds us that, despite our better natures, we are still human beings. And as proven by the several adults in the aforementioned baseball field fiasco, we apparently need warnings. There are at least a few of us who simply cannot function in society unsupervised.

I wish some things in everyday life came with warnings.

“Warning: Dating me will make my wife mad.”

 “Warning: Babies vomit uncontrollably and without warning.”

 “Warning: Watching the news will piss you right the heck off”

“Warning: We are newly engaged and disgustingly sweet.”

“Warning: Giving the dog a treat will lead to sad-eyed begging that can’t be ignored.”

“Warning: Petting the cat will cause it to lay in your lap and be paralyzed for hours.”

What do you think of daily life warning signs? What would be yours?

My personal warning sign would read: “Proceed with caution, sarcasm may sting.”

Breakroom Philosophy

The end of last year was, well, let’s just say, less than pleasant. The beginning of this year is on the same track. I find myself wishing the year away because, in a word, I’m tired.

So. With that said, let me recount to you a conversation I had with a coworker this morning as we spoke briefly over a percolating coffee pot.

Me (sighing): Good grief, will this year ever end??

Co-worker (bright and cheerful):  It’s only Wednesday.

Me: …

Co-worker: …

Me: … Ummm, yeah, that about sums it up.

And so it does.