Busy busy busy day today. Lots of hurry up and wait.
It started off quite well – all four of us – that’s really rare these days – headed to the local passport office at about 10 a.m.. (there’s only a couple in the whole of Southern Ontario, so it’s handy having one close by, but it’s usually filled with people waiting in line.) Once we got there, Gizmo Guy and Guitar Hero split off and said they’d go through a local Staples and then if we weren’t back by the time they got done there, they’d meet us … um, somewhere – truthfully I totally forgot where we agreed to meet. Curly and I braved the passport office itself. Now, normally you’d wait in line to get a number ( there were only three people ahead of us so that part didn’t take long), then you sit down and wait for your number to be called. It’s sort of like that scene in Two and a Half Men where Alan is waiting at the DMV office. (How ironic – you’ll understand later…) Except, last night we’d gone online to the government passport website and filled in all the paperwork in a special program they’ve set up. In the comfort of our own home. Once we finished, we printed it off, and guess what? When we present it at the Passport Office, you get to bypass the waiting room and head straight to the first wicket available. No waiting. We were in and out of there in less than ten minutes flat. If you need a Canadian passport? Do it online. You’ll save yourself hours and hours. That waiting room was packed.
“Whee! Happy Happy Joy Joy,” she said doing a little jig in the hallway. We even found GG and GH with few problems.”
Unfortunately, the fate demons were waiting for us at the Drivetest office when we took Curly in for his learner’s permit. It was a PA day today, which meant every other kid in the entire district was there waiting in line. It was basically the same deal … line up at reception, show them your ID, get a number then sit and wait – no appointments can be made in advance. (Oh, and remember my rant the other day – I heard that same refrain about not having something with the kid’s signature on it from several other parents while we were waiting. But Good News! We came home that day and checked Curly’s Health Card and discovered I’d never signed it, so Curly signed it and used it as his ID today.) Anyway, back to the story. Curly was assigned #42 … they were currently at #21 … and we were told it was an hour’s wait. Okay, not too bad. Knowing GG and GH were sitting in the car twiddling their thumbs, I dashed out and said to GG, “Hey, we’re going to be an hour, why don’t you take GH over to the Harley Store so he can get his winter gloves? That way we can kill two birds with one stone.” They took off, I headed back into the Standing Room Only waiting area of the DMV to wait with Curly. And realized that he’d failed to bring his glasses. D’oh! I dashed back out hoping to catch Gizmo Guy so he could drive home to get them. I arrived in the parking lot just in time to see GG driving away. We ended up waiting just over an hour before Curly’s number was called, and luckily enough Curly passed the vision test without his glasses (which makes me wonder 2 things. 1. How BAD does your vision have to be before they require you to wear glasses when driving? and 2. Does that mean Curly’s vision is good enough that maybe he doesn’t really need glasses and the optometrist is prescribing them to make more money selling glasses.)
GG and GH got back just as Curly was finishing up his written test, and I’m proud to announce “Curly passed.” I am now old enough to have two kids who are old enough to drive.
“Happy Happy Joy Joy,” she said between gritted teeth.
So we took them both out to lunch to celebrate Curly’s new status. While we were at the restaurant, we were discussing how they don’t let you smile on either your passport photos or your drivers’ licence photo anymore. GG and I wondered when they’d instituted that rule and why (I’m figuring it’s something to do with facial identification software.) During the discussion I pulled out my driver’s license to show them how I am smiling in my license picture which was taken in 2004. GG pulled out his and he’s smiling on his too, which was taken in 2007.
“Oh, no, wait,” he said, taking a second look at it. He looked up at me in horror. “Look at this and tell me what it says. “
Issued in 2002, his license EXPIRED November 13, 2007. He’s been driving without a license for the past year and a day.
O. M. G. Neither of us had any idea it had expired. Neither of us remember receiving the paper the government sends out to remind you to renew your license. I mean, how often do you pull your driver’s license out of your wallet and look at the back of it where the expiration date is? Not often for me. And obviously less often for GG.
Since it had been more than a year since it expired, we wondered if this meant that he’d have to sit the written exam again. Did it mean that he’d only get a G1 (learners’ permit) which means that he couldn’t take a road test for another 8 months. Which would mean he’d only be allowed to drive as long as he had another licensed driver with him. Would that mean that I’d have to drive him the hour and a half to work every day and back? O.M.G. The slight headache I’d had before became a full blown migraine.
We rushed home and checked the website. Phew! No, he wouldn’t have to rewrite the written test. But we had to go back to the Drivetest office this afternoon and again wait in that never-ending line while he got his license reinstated – all they required was a vision test and a new picture. Plus payment for the license of course.
By the time we were done, it was dark, and my head was pounding so bad, I had to lie down or I’d be sick. But it’s all done, Curly’s got his license, and so does GG.
Oh, and while GG and GH were at the Harley store, GG fell in love with two bikes. This black one to the right – a $39,000 (pre-taxes) three wheel Harley Davidson motorcycle. Okay, that’s not bad. Well, yeah, the price sticker hurts, but I could see him riding it. I could even see me on the back seat.
But the other one *oh, my lord, I will not be seen on that one.*
And what’s with the three wheel addiction?