It’s fair to say that I was purdy excited about getting my driver’s license reinstated. After all it had been quite some time since I had been able to legally drive and now the only requirement that I faced was to deal with the courthouse. That’s just how the law works in Virginia – if you owe any outstanding fines, court costs, or restitution like I did, the DMV will suspend your license indefinitely. If you cannot pay said costs in full, the only other way to get your license reinstated is to set up a payment plan with the courts, which is what I had to do.
“How can I help you?”, the clerk asked.
In all my years, I have probably hadn’t never been so happy to fork over any money that I owed, but there I was stoked about it and beaming. “Uh, yes ma’am, I’m here to set up a payment plan with the court,” I answered with a huge smile on my face.
In a snooty like attitude, she retorted, “Well you’re just gonna have to come back later! We don’t accept any payments before 1:30 pm!”
My guess was that this old bird hadn’t had her morning coffee yet, or she simply was having a bad day. Deflated a tad bit, but certainly not deterred, I thought I would kill her with a little bit of kindness and springle in some charm. “You know you strike me as a pretty reasonable lady who likes to do good deeds for people. Perhaps today you could make an exception for me. You see I went through a lot of trouble to take the day off from work just to get my license reinstated, so I would really appreciate it if you could please help me out by taking my money now,” I told her.
There for a moment I thought maybe that would do the trick, but unfortunately it didn’t. Her response was to belt out, “I SAID WE DON’T TAKE PAYMENTS THIS EARLY! COME BACK AT 1:30!” Then she proceeded to slam the slot shut to the window and walk away.
That’s when any hint of composure I might have pretended to have evaporated. As far as I was concerned she had definitely succeeded in rattling my cage and now I was on a mission to make either her caffeine deprived headache or her day much, much worse. So in response to her curt demeanor I began chanting, “I’M NOT LEAVING… UNTIL YOU TAKE MY MONEY!” as I rhythmically beat on the window with my fist.
After several minutes of my uninterrupted cadence, it was pretty obvious that my theatrical display was downright annoying. The other clerk’s faces in that same office space said it all – they were all clearly perturbed from my noisy ensemble. And of course there was that old bird’s own expression whom this was all directed towards. Put it to you this way, she pretty much wore a mask of pure hatred and her eyes were burning with fury that only momentarily relented when the gentleman walked up. Surely, he must’ve been a welcome sign of relief for her when he entered the picture.
“Can I help you?” asked the police officer.
“Man, you sure can,” I said gleefully without missing a beat as I continued pounding on the glass, looking at him in the process. “What I need you to do is follow suit and help me beat on this window until someone in there takes my money and sets up a payment plan.”
“Sir, I am going to ask you politely to stop beating on the window and I am also going to ask you to leave, unless of course you have other business within the courthouse to tend to.”
“Yeah that’s not going to happen,” I shot back as I redirected my attention back to the clerks behind the glass. I’M NOT LEAVING… UNTIL YOU TAKE MY MONEY!… I’M NOT LEAVING…”
From the way his face flushed with color it was clear that he was getting frustrated and quickly losing his patience. “SIR!,” he barked. “You do realize that I can take you to jail for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace. Which one do you want it be? You decide. Now, I have tried being nice, but if you continue to pound away on that there window I won’t have any other choice but to arrest you.”
For the first time that day, that I had saw anyway, that old bird behind the glass actually smiled – quite smugly I might add. I suppose both her as well as the other clerks thought with this directive that I was going to cease and desist. I didn’t. Instead, I marshalled on. “You do realize that while you may arrest me, ain’t no judge in this country gonna convict me for exercising my first amendment right of freedom of expression. Not to mention the judge is gonna absolutely adore you for arresting me and impeding my efforts to pay my court costs, especially when I was being so diligent about it. So unless you want to invite a lawsuit against the police department for wrongful arrest, I suggest you carry your business elsewhere. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna continue expressing myself until that lady in there takes my money and issues me a payment plan. I’M NOT LEAVING… UNTIL YOU TAKE MY MONEY!”
Like a deer caught in headlights the officer sat there dumbfounded, not knowing what to do. Finally, when the clerk sensed this too she absolutely lost it. “FINE! HAVE IT YOUR WAY! I’LL TAKE YOUR MONEY, JUST STOP BEATING ON THE WINDOW!”
Several minutes later, I walked out of the courthouse with the necessary paperwork in hand and headed to the DMV with a smile on my face.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Next in the series: The DMV Chronicles – Part 2.
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David Bomber #1130793
Nottoway Correctional Center
P.O. Box 488
Burkeville, Va. 23922
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