Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Day Forty two...They're not making this easy.

My biscuits are burning.

It's a phrase I learned in 'The Program' from my alphabetically determined classroom neighbor. It means, I'm pissed off. My neighbor would come downstairs, take her seat next to me, and invariably tell me 'My biscuits are burning, Fred'. I'd lend an ear and try to give advice on how to handle her problem. It didn't always work.

But right now my biscuits are burning and it's all my fault. And I'm having a hard time blaming anyone but me. Will that stop me? Not on your life.

I was handed a big bag of mail upon my arrival at my apartment. Lori gave it to me along with a big hug that I sorely needed.

Lori is my real life neighbor who lives one floor below and across the hall. She is a real peach. She's been living here a little longer than I have; about 8 years. We trust each other enough to take care of small but important details in our respective apartments when each of us goes away, which is often.

She saves my mail for me and waters my plants. As usual, a lot of my mail was junk. A lot of it was not.

For the first time in a long time I was happy to get the junk mail. I knew the real stuff wasn't going to be fun reading material upon my return. I received a 'household shopper survey' (can't wait to start filling that one out) something from 'Barely Legal Enterprises' (I think they focus on questionable fishing practices) and a bunch of music magazine renewal forms.

Then I got to the real stuff. The registry stuff. Oh boy.

The first one I opened told me what I already knew; that my license had been suspended as of 1/23 and I was not to operate any motor vehicle until said suspension was over.

The second one told me I had to go to the registry soon to renew my registration so I could keep driving my car.


So, I did what you would expect any sane person to do. I opened some more junk mail. And then I got on the phone.

Now, I haven't had to call the registry for as long as I can remember. I usually just show up and take care of whatever it is; license renewal, registration renewal et al. I forgot how much fun it was.

I stayed on hold with the cordless phone to my ear for 10 minutes or so. Then I put the other phone on speaker, and put the cordless on my bed. I got on the computer and kept one ear open.

"Thank you for your patience. Due to the high volume of calls all operators are busy. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received."

Fair enough.

...20 minutes...

...30 minutes...

...One hour...

Every minute and a half: "Thank you for your patience. Due to the high volume of calls..."

...One hour and a half...

One hour and forty five minutes and I'm cleaning my fridge trying not to make too much noise with my sponge-scrubber so I can hear when they pick up. Suddenly, from the next room I hear it. As if it were a last ditch effort to rescue a trapped miner because you still believe if you keep digging, you'll hear a voice. And then it came, only this time much louder...

"...Hello. Registry of Motor Vehicles..."

...Oh my god.

I ran to my bedroom. I looked at my bed. The cordless was there. I grabbed it. I turned it on. I hit the green button on the wall phone to turn off the speaker so I wouldn't get feedback. I've done this before and it always works. The little red light faded away slowly like it was supposed to. I forgot what I was calling about but it didn't really matter. I started walking toward the living room where the papers were. I quickly but effortlessly nestled the phone between my shoulder and ear with a wet sponge in my left hand.

"Hello?" I say.

"Hello?" "Hello?"


I look at my cordless; at the little gray screen that's supposed to be lit up.

Like I said, supposed to be.

I looked at my wall phone; the one that only seconds ago was reassuring me that my call would be answered in the order it was received.

I knew at that moment that I had hung it up too quick, and now I was shit out of luck. Pardon my French.

So I did what you would expect any sane person to do.

I said it again, only this time much louder.

"Hello? Registry of Motor Vehicles???"


So I hung it up and went back to cleaning my fridge.

The registry can wait.

Maybe, when I finally get on the bus and go there, and they call me up to the window and look at me with a tight grimace and say 'hello', maybe I'll just stand there for a while. And every minute and a half I'll say:

..."Thank you for your patience. Due to the high volume of calls all operators are busy..."

That'll burn their biscuits for sure.

Thanks for reading.



Anonymous said...

Welcome back, great, inspiring, powerful,funny-ass blog. Great luck to you. Also you have rekindled my love affair wth earl grey, I'd gone green for many years but after your posts I got myself some loose grey and it's been doing me well on these cold days. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Your blogs are absolutely great. I look forward to reading them everyday. Glad you are home from the "program" as you call it. I've never heard of such a program, is it like rehab or something? Are you locked in? Do they have guards--I mean is it sort of like jail or more like rehab. I went to a rehab about ten yrs ago, but it didn't sound like where you were.