When I was living in upstate New York, it seems I spent a significant amount of time explaining that Texans weren't hicks and that we didn't all ride horses to work and that we were, in fact, a sophisticated, high tech, orderly, efficient, and kind people.
I moved back to Texas 13 years ago. Here is what happened.
Yesterday I ventured forth to get my drivers license, my auto registration and my license tags.
First, I stopped at the Texas Dept. of Public Safety since it was closest. I waited in line for about ten minutes to get to the information desk only to find out that my car had to be registered first. I questioned this policy in that it was 'me' getting a drivers license, not my 'car'. The information cyclops lowered her practiced glare upon me and snarled something about policy.
Back to the car. I drove 12 miles to the Harris County Precinct Office to get my car registered and my license tags. The line here was about twenty minutes long. The matronly lady at the counter was sweet as she informed me that I had to have my car inspected first and I was to bring in an AI-14 form as proof of inspection. At least she apologized.
To a service station which had a tag hanging outside that said "State Inspection". By now, I had been an hour into this venture and had not found 'Go' yet. My headache grew worse when I found out the the Texas State Inspector of Inspectors was there and when would be accompanying my inspector as he inspected my car. (Inspect the previous sentence close). A normal 15 minute inspection took 40 minutes. I do know one thing....my car really can pass an inspection.
Finally, with form AI-14 in hand, I returned to the Precinct Office. Another twenty minutes in line. When I submitted my form and my registration and my drivers license and my insurance card and every other piece of paper that I could find, the matronly lady became concerned because my title is from Massachusetts even though I bought the car in New York and my last residence is in New York even though my drivers license is from Massachusetts. I finally sobbed, "Take blood...fine me a thousand dollars...put me in jail...but just give me a registration and tags. There are no more papers. I cannot get anymore papers. This is all that exists!" After a conference with her supervisor, they decided to re-title my car in Texas (Do not ask me why. I have a very adventurous car, first titled in NY, then in MA, now in TX.).
After about thirty minutes and $112 later, I then trudged back to the Dept of Public Safety. I waited in line for another twenty minutes to see Cyclops again. I showed her all of my papers and told her that I wanted my old Texas drivers license number back since it had not expired. She asked why, and I told her that I had, after twelve years, memorized it and I don't have another twelve years to spare to memorize another one. This, of course, took a phone call. She then gave me a number to stand. Of course, it was Number 13. I was told to sit in the waiting room and my number would be called.
The waiting room was packed. A funny observation: Everyone there seemed to be poor and Mexican or black and there were no white people and there was not one business person or dressed up person in the lot. Now, where do 'professional people' go to get their drivers license? Oh, and everybody had five screaming kids. My headache was pounding.
I felt pretty gloomy when the first number called as "84". I figured that put me 29 people back. To entertain myself, I offered to hold a crying baby while a mother went in to do her license thing. I received a bloody, go-to-hell look in return. "91" was finally called out. I tried to strike up a conversation with a teenage Mexican lady....but either she didn't speak English or I have that Jack-the-Ripper look. "98". I tried to sleep. "Number 6". I got up and paced....I had been there an hour now. Finally, Number 13 was called.
I bounded into a big room to get into another line. I only had to stand there ten minutes. Finally, I made it to the counter and told the lovely lady (black hair, black eyes, very little make up...quite cute) about wanting to keep my license number. She said "No problem" and I suggested she tell that to Cyclops back there. She thought the Cyclops reference was funny. I tried to pass the eye test with no glasses. She caught me trying to sneak it so that my left eye could look in the right eye spot in the Dreaded Eye Machine. Damn woman made me put on my glasses (which I hadn't worn for four years). She wasn't so cute any more. In fact I told her that I thought she was sweet when I first got up there, but now I see that she is mean. She thought this was funny too.
Well, I got eyes tested, my face photographed, and then was finger printed and I affixed my signature to something. She handed me a form and said that this was my temporary license and I would receive my official one in eight weeks (eight weeks!). As I left, she said, "Be sure and get your car inspected and registered". Oh my headache.
I take back that comment about Texans being orderly and efficient.