Saturday, January 6, 2007

Catch 22

Trying to keep the car insured – in some of the states they will impound your car if caught without insurance – a drivers license must be current. Mine is near its expiration date. No sweat, up to the local Department of Motor Vehicles. Fill out a form, show your current license, sit and wait and study the variations of humanity, contemplate whether one’s worn body still has pickings enough to be an organ donor, do a perfunctory eye test. The number comes up, all goes well until they realize the file number on the current card is no social security number. There are explanations about inland security, post 9/11, the threat of terrorism, recent changes in policy: to get a drivers license you need that number, whatever other numbers you might be defined by. No singing the national anthem wont help. Thinking it over, ones best option seems to be the toll free number statewide of the social security service. One lady ‘manning’ the telephone suggested lying since they cannot give one a social security number unless you are working or intend to work in the country… Hmm. Let’s try a higher up person, lying not seeming a viable option. No, without working people can’t get a social security number anymore: inland security, too many people applying for a social security numbers. Makes undocumented aliens look legal and what would the minutemen say about that. Terrorists could slip through the maze. Without working, a citizen cannot get a social security number, thus no insurance? Well the intention to work might help… but only if an employer applies for you or vouches for your willingness to work. I have no intention at all to start gainful employment here. This here is my refuge, my getting away from society and hassle place, where – unfortunately - I do need a car. OK. Let’s try a different approach: the statewide Department of Motor Vehicles' toll free number. To the level one response person, the machine tells me, one should not divulge personal information, ask for a second level response person who has the authority to receive such information. Obvious in trying to explain the predicament I find myself in I have to divulge the sordid, salty details of my life and am transferred to an authorized person qualified to hear and handle them. So for the n’th time in two days my file gets pulled with the number they adamantly don’t want anymore and the lady says, oh but we are just extending the current drivers license for an other five years, so we will mail you a duplicate for four dollars with the extension on it. You should have it within seven days. Thank you, thank you. This gives me ample time to figure out how to solve the Catch 22 without having to apply as an April fool dancing on the first of April on the Wal-mart parking lot, a job they may not give me since there is no social security number. Maybe a small bar would employ me as a scullery maid… I keep my fingers crossed.

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