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July 20, 2008

Can you be any dumber?

July 18. Day 18.

Two askings, with very different results.

Number one. After moving back to California from Boston, I sent in a Lost Plate affidavit to cancel my registration. A few weeks later, I received a confirmation receipt, mailed to my new address -- but with another woman's name (Rosilyn) and vehicle (Toyota) listed on it. I called the Massachusetts RMV to untangle everything.

First, I explained the situation to the clerk in the Titles division of the RMV and asked her what needed to happen so I could get my own receipt and the other woman got hers. "I can't do anything. If that woman put your address on her form, it's not my problem."

"No. Maybe I'm not explaining myself very clearly. I have never met this woman before. She doesn't know I exist. Her name and paperwork were mistakenly sent to my house. Meanwhile, I never got my receipt. There's no reason for her to put my address on her form."

"But it's her name sent to your address, right?"


"Then the only way that would happen is if she put your address on her form. That's the only explanation."

"Do you mean to tell me that it's more likely that a woman who I've never met before, who doesn't even know my street or house number in a completely different state, magically conjured my address -- or maybe dug around in my trash and somehow got that address--and sent me her receipt, versus the possibility that someone in your office made a mistake and sent her form to my address?"

"Well, clearly, if it's her name and your address, then she put your address on her form."

"But she doesn't know my address. I've never met this woman before. My home is in California. Maybe I'm not being clear. Your office has misread our forms, or sent her receipt to me and vice versa. Can you please sort this out?"

"There's nothing I can do."

"Okay. Thank you very much."

GRRR. I would have slammed the phone shut, but it's a cell.

Second. Extraordinary Desserts, a lovely pastry shop a dangerously short drive away. I was there with my sister and cousin, who discovered, halfway into her white chocolate linzer torte, a minuscule gnat in her water. I said I'll ask for a new water, but she'd managed to fish it out with her teaspoon. "That's okay," she said.

But, as I'd just told her about the blog, she smiled and said, "Of course, please do ask for a new water."

Gained: incontrovertible proof that the Boston DMV is staffed by first class morons; and clean water for my cousin.

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