I stopped at Harold's Red Neck Emporium the other evening to pick up a loaf of bread. I nodded howdy to all the fellers and told Harold to "give me a can of that cream of tomato soup".

He said, "Gotcha ole buddy, what else you need?"

I told him, "I reckon that'll do for now."

Turtle grinned and asked, "Slim, what on earth you been in to? You look plumb tuckered out, sorta like you wuz sent fer and couldn't go, and en wudn't needed atter ye got tair."

I said, well fellers it's kind of a long story. You see, today I went to the placePlaceNameDrivers PlaceNameLicense PlaceTypeCenter to have my license renewed. I figured that after the first week of the month had passed it would not be all that crowded, but boy, was I wrong. That place was packed solid from wall to wall with people that evidently had the same idea as I did.  Anyway I stood in line for about four and a half hours just to get a number. Then I was told to wait in the waiting room until my number was called. I began to worm my way through all those people while frantically looking for an empty seat. I finally found one way over in an out of the way spot and settled down for what promised to be a very long wait.

Now the people in charge there were using two sets of numbers, depending on what you needed. All the people renewing their license were given a "B" number and the folks taking the driver's test were given "A" numbers. It took a couple of hours for me to figure that out.

Evidently most were there to get their licenses renewed because they would call out a "B" number every once in a while. I was about half asleep when they called out the first number, "B 38" then a short pause and another "B 38". It sort of startled me semi-awake and at first I thought I had somehow gotten involved in a bingo game. Then as my senses slowly returned I realized where I was and glanced at my number, it was "B 74".

Then two blondes came in and were given numbers and told to find a seat and wait for their numbers to be called. They started moving slowly around the room staying next to the wall. Just then the loud speaker called out "A 27 . . .. A 27".

Two people got up and left the room. The blondes took those seats, which happened to be at the very back of the room.
After a while about twenty people got up and left. I looked out the window and watch them all pile into a very large truck. There was a couple of fellers sitting in front of me and one of them allowed that bunch was contractors in there to get their commercial license renewed. The other assured him he was right because they always took commercial drivers to the head of the line, never any waiting for commercial drivers. He did not say how he knew, only that he did know and that was that. Then his buddy agreed with him and they both seemed quite pleased that they knew things like that.

Anyway the departure of that many people obviously left several seats empty. The two blondes that had come in a few moments before jumped up and scrambled to a couple of seats that were closer to the receptionist's desk. They seemed quite happy they had found better seats. After a while a couple more numbers were called out. The two blondes frantically hurried toward those seats. They stepped on people's feet and even knocked one old gentleman out of his chair. They sidestepped a big woman that looked like she might work as a bouncer at a bar. Finally those two dingbats took those vacated seats closer to the receptionist, this time they were really excited. Just then the voice from the loud speaker called out "B 47 . . .. B 47". The blondes jumped up and offered their numbers to the receptionist and said, "We're next."

The receptionist looked at their numbers and told them to have a seat and wait their turn. The taller blonde told the receptionist, "I assure you that we are next because we have worked our way all the way from the back of the room".

Again the receptionist told her to "have a seat and wait your turn".

They sat there and grumbled about the unfair receptionist every time a new number was called.
Next a little old lady came struggling in walking with a cane. Poor thing had just about worn herself out just getting in there. I could see why she was so tired too, she had one of those humongous bags slung over one shoulder and was constantly struggling with that bag trying to keep it from sliding off her shoulder. I wondered what on earth she could possibly need to bring with her that required a bag that big. I mean that thing was as big as a laundry bag. Well I reckon she could have been intending to go to the Laundromat when she finished here, but why would she carry her laundry in here. Shucks, maybe she had her laundry stole before and was not taking any chances this time. She finally got her breath back. The receptionist asked her "what do you need, honey?"

The lady told her, " I need a non-drivers license but I have to wait for Myrtle to get here, she is parking the car".

Apparently the receptionist was not sure what the woman had said, so she asked again, "do you need a new drivers license?"

The little woman told her again "oh no dear, I need a non drivers license".

This time the receptionist heard correctly and said, "Oh, you need a photo ID card. OK, you will have to fill out one of these forms and we will take care of it."

About that time Myrtle came in and announced she needed to renew her license.

So the receptionist gave her a number and pointed toward the waiting room.

It turned out the old woman was Myrtle's Mom. I knew that because Myrtle called her mom while they were sitting there. I also discovered that the mother was not carrying her laundry in that big bag either, she had important stuff in there. She started to prowl in the bag and soon began sitting framed pictures out on the table in front of her, I didn't make that up, it happened.

Just then they called out "B 53  -  B 53". Myrtle's mom said, "That sounds like they are calling out bingo numbers. I think it would be a good idea for them to give everybody bingo cards and let them play bingo while they waited, don't you?"

Myrtle said, "Maybe we should go over there and ask for bingo cards."

Both blondes jumped up and ran to the desk and said, "We'll take two bingo cards apiece".

One of them claimed to be able to play as many as six cards at the same time but because it was so crowded she would only take two.

The receptionist told them "there are no bingo cards".

But the tall one insisted "give us two cards apiece, it's only fair since we both can play a lot more than that.

The receptionist got purty anger and in a loud voice told the tall blonde "we don't run a bingo game here, now sit down or leave."

They sat back down and complained bitterly that the people who ran this place were so unfair.

Myrtle's mom was still looking through her bag and sitting stuff out on the table. All at once she asked, "Myrtle, do you have your compact with you? I need to fix my makeup before they take my picture."

Myrtle looked her over real good and said, "mom, you look fine, your makeup is in good condition just like it was when we left home."

Her mom was not satisfied with that and insisted Myrtle get her compact out so she could see for herself. Poor Myrtle began dragging stuff out of her bag, which was almost as big as her mom's. Finally she came up with a small white compact with pink ornaments on the top. She handed it to her mom who quickly opened it up so she could check her lipstick. After carefully checking her lips from side to side, she determined that she needed to fix them again.

She dug around in her bag for about fifteen minutes then told Myrtle, "Give me your lipstick so I can fix my lips, they have faded a little on one side, and I want to look nice for my picture."

Myrtle just got out her lipstick, handed it to her and said, "it's a good thing we wear the same shade of lipstick or you would be out of luck."

Her mom fooled around with the lipstick for ever so long. She would put some on and then look at it in the mirror of the compact. She would turn her head from side to side, carefully checking to insure there were no little smudges. She said, "it's those little smudges that make a woman's lipstick look bad.  And if they would only take time to look for them and remove any they found, they would look very nice."

Myrtle nodded in agreement and I heard number "B-73  -  B-73". I looked at my ticket to make sure my number hadn't changed, it was still B-74.

I watched as Myrtle's mom was checking each strand of hair to make sure they were all in the proper place. Just then they called "B-74  -  B-74". I hurried to the counter where my number was flashing and handed the woman my ticket. She took my picture, had me sign a small blank piece of paper and told me to just have a seat next to the wall. About three minutes later the machine spit out my drivers license.

The woman handed me my license and said cheerfully, "see ya in about five years." I nodded and headed toward the door. I noticed Myrtle and her mom both were giving themselves the once over for their pictures and the two blondes were standing there arguing with the receptionist again.

Roy Lovelace