Thursday, December 6, 2012

Massunderstood at the RMV

Or DMV, as we call it back there...

So I've been waiting for a variety of reasons to switch over my Driver's License. For one thing, it's expensive: $100. That seems crazy to me, but they don't call it Taxachusetts for nothing.

Be that as it may, this week the schedule worked out to conduct this business, and the experience was remarkably pain-free. This was a bit of a shock for me since the Registry of Motor Vehicles office was packed. I fully expected a wait of 45 minutes to an hour at the least.

Instead, I checked in at the information desk (more on that in a side note), took a number and that number was called within two minutes. I went straight to the desk of a helpful young man named LaDarrell Higgins, and the whole thing was over in perhaps 15 minutes. Painless.

My experiences in Arkansas had been easy in these matters, and this was equally simple. Very encouraging.

The process here is a little more involved. There's a bit of advance paperwork required, and you have to bring certain documents along. I imagine if you just traipse in expecting it to start when you get there, you're going to be clustered.

But this was simple. LaDarrell even offered to re-shoot my picture. But after the photo-taking experience of last week, I just decided to move along. I've given up hoping to look like Brad Pitt.

Massachusetts also has "motor voter" registration, which I like very much. So I'm a big step closer to being "official."

I opted into the organ donor program. Unless you need your body parts after you die, I urge everyone to do this.


I think it's time to start a new feature. I'm going to call it "Massunderstood." I'm going to use this designation whenever I run into a specific case of confusion brought on by the occasional inability to understand exactly what the fuck someone here is saying.

The first Massunderstood word I heard here was typical, and I actually did understand it, but it was amusing nonetheless because it perfectly fit the stereotype. When we visited in October and I was scouting locations, a renter told me that the property was built out of a 150-year-old bonn.

He meant "barn" -- I think.

At the RMV, an elderly woman asked me what I was there for, and I explained I had recently moved to Massachusetts from out of state and wanted to transfer my license.

She somewhat snootily asked me something I couldn't translate. "Do you have [garbled]?"

Me: "I'm sorry?"

Her: "Your PALM."

Now I was really confused. Was I going to get stamped like going into a club? I opened my hand toward her. She looked at me like I was an idiot.

Her: "Your FAHMS."

Ah! Yes! My FORMS!

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