Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Overheard At the DMV

I had to go to my local DMV office this morning to renew my driver's license. It's the same office that I first went to almost 25 years ago to get an initial learner's permit as a teenager. Not much has changed at that office over the years. I even found myself among the same motley collection of fellow citizens waiting there with me for their turn in line. (I'm amazed by how many people apparently can't walk more than a few feet without the aid of a walker, or without an oxygen tank trailing behind them, but who can then go out to the parking lot and get behind the wheel of Ford F-150 pick-up truck with a camper in the bed and drive away with no problem.) I ended up having to wait in line there for just under 3 hours. Here's some of what I overheard.

When I first arrived, I was last in line. But very quickly a young Japanese woman in her mid-20s sidled up behind me. Within ten seconds she was on her cel phone, talking in Japanese. She talked in this really sultry voice the entire time, punctuated frequently when she would coo, "Mmmmmmmmmm..." every couple of minutes. This went on for maybe 20 minutes or so, non-stop. I don't speak Japanese, but was she on a phone sex chat line? If so, I guess I have to admire her industriousness, being able to make "productive" use of her time in line at the DMV to do some paid work. I felt more and more self-conscious as her "conversation" went on and on, as I stood there idly holding a magazine, trying (futilely) not to listen to something I didn't even understand.
About a half hour later, I found myself sitting bolt upright in a hard plastic chair waiting for my number to be called. Sitting uncomfortably close to me in the next chair over was a tough looking hispanic man in his mid-30s. He was dressed, maybe, 75% like a biker. His cel phone rang. He answered and said, "Hey, Evan! I can get your money today, no problem. I just have to go see Jeanie......If that's what you want....." The gruff, deep voice on the other end of the phone answered only, "Fine," and then hung up. I'm not sure what was going on there, either. But I am pretty sure that I wouldn't want to be "Jeanie" this afternoon.

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