Sunday, July 24, 2005

Not The Greatest, but The Longest Story Ever Told

And it doesn't star Charlton Heston. Seriously, if you've only got one beer left in the fridge, do yourself a favor, run out to the bodega now and get a fresh six pack. You'll be glad you did.

Way back in the year 2000, our cavalier adventurer was lured into the borough of Manhattan by her relationship with a boy...let's call him Billy. Brenda spent A LOT of time with Billy, who could never come to her lovely one-bedroom apartment in Astoria because he had a dog that would need to be walked. Never mind that he had a car and the apartment was dog-friendly...this is beside the point (still bitter, apparently). Since young Brenda seemed to be spending most of her nights at his place, she decided it would be best if she moved closer to his place (taking the train to Astoria to pick up clothes was getting to be a drag, never mind that her cat was well nigh on calling the ASPCA to report her for neglect). So our intrepid explorer took a 6 x 8 room in an apartment in Gramercy. For $1000/month. Actually, I think it was $1027, but you get the drift. And the full, true, one-bedroom that had been hers and hers alone in Astoria? $800/month. But I digress...

At the same time as our fearless wanderer was moving, her car, a 1984 Buick Riviera named Mabel, died. We pause and take a moment of silence to remember Mabel.


Since Mabel was indeed old, and not worth rescuing given the impossibility of parking her in the new Manhattan abode, Brenda called the junkyard fairies to take her away to heaven. Papers were signed, plates were removed, insurance was canceled, and Brenda was once more a vehicle-less denizen of New York.

Flash forward to 2001. Brenda's driver's license is due to expire in March, but she knows she has a grace period of one year after it's expiry to renew it. Since she isn't driving, she puts it off. Plus, she's just really talented at putting things off.

Flash forward to 2002. Brenda's friends Giff and Lisl are getting married in Hawaii. Yay! The want her to sing in the wedding. Yay! She needs a valid ID to board a plane. Boo! So Brenda finally goes to the DMV to renew her license.

*if there was dramatic something bad is going to happen music, it's cue would be NOW*

Apparently, little Miss Thang failed to realize that in New York State, one must return their license plates when no longer in possession of the car to which they were registered. In other words, according to the DMV, our heroine was still driving around a 1984 Buick Riviera without insurance. Which is a no-no in our fine society. Never mind that they only need look through their records to see the precipitous drop-off in parking tickets as of November 2000. In their eyes I was a law-breaking miscreant. Needless to say, you are not allowed to renew your license while under the cloud of suspicion of illegal car usage.

Panic ensues. Must go to Hawaii. Must sing at wedding. Giff & Lisl will KILL me for being such an idiot.

Realize that I must have left the plates in the old apartment in ASTORIA. Try to get in touch with the landlord there - he doesn't return my calls (just like he never returned my deposit by the way, but again, I digress (are you getting that sinking feeling that I have an innate disability to deal with reality...you should be)).

Now, if you're not from NY you may not know this, but NY State licenses have their expiry printed in red. I had a red marker pen. 2001, can easily convert to 2004 with a lovely red marker pen.

You're saying, "No, you didn't!"

Yes. Yes, I did. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Hawaii was calling and I wasn't backing down. But, oh, what a tense flight that was for me - there was a layover in San Francisco, so I knew I was going to have to show that ID three times. Once upon arriving at JFK. Once at the gate at JFK. And once at the gate at SFO. Hell, I didn't even go outside to smoke at SFO, because I knew that would add an additional chance of scrutiny of the ID. And as you all know, I was a pretty good smoker back then, and that meant that for about 10 hours I didn't have one at all. Yes, the shock on your face says it all.

Needless to say, with much trepidation and stress, I made it to Hawaii and the wedding...which was one of the best experiences I've ever had. But I won't digress here about that. "Were you worried about getting back?" you ask. Hells, no. What better excuse to be stuck in Hawaii!!! But, unfortunately (or fortunately, we'll never know for sure) I made it back with the same doctored ID.

Now, you may think this is the end of the story. Ha! You are SO wrong.

Flash forward again to 2003. Since the last time we visited our girl with the dubious judgment, she has fallen in love and become engaged. However, to get married, she has to have a valid ID to apply for a marriage license.

*remember that dark, bad things happen music from before? well the composer has made a variation on it, and it has begun playing NOW*

You ask, "Why not report the plates lost or stolen?" Brenda has an unjustifiable, pathological fear of all things cop. Actually, she is just terrified of any unfamiliar situation, place or thing. So she thinks, and who's to convince her otherwise, that since she doesn't really know all the laws that go into auto-owning-dom, there's a sincere chance that she could be arrested and thrown into jail. Or more likely, they'll just all look at her like she's a really, really stupid girl. And that is more than she can bear, thin-skinned as she is.

So, instead of doing what any normal person (you know, the ones who balance their checkbooks, pay their bills mostly on time, and see the dentist once a year) would do, Brenda decides (since all of her foreign friends have bugged her about it for years) to get a Passport.

Passport? Our card-carrying adventurer didn't ever have a passport?!?!? Yes, dear shocked reader, it is true. Little Miss B is not a world traveler. She has not left the country (except to go to the 51st and 52nd states, Puerto Rico and Canada). She has never seen Paris. Or the Taj Mahal. Or Amsterdam. Or even freakin' London, for that matter. But I digress...

So, using a connection she had at Turkish Airlines, Brenda obtains a "false" itinerary that makes it possible for her to obtain a last minute passport. Why, you ask? Oh, don't ask why. Let's leave it at rushing headlong into a marriage that hindsight now informs me wasn't meant to last. I'm sure I'll write of that topic another day.

Which leads me to today. I, the most brilliant and fairest in the land, have done perhaps the most stupid thing ever.

I laundered my passport.

1 What'd you say?

Blogger Gabe said...

I like the part when you turned all the bread into marzipan. That shit is delicious. Also, I learned something about you. And that is I can't really ever travel with you ever.

3:17 AM, July 25, 2005  

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