I really wanted to convey the EXACT noise for panel two. =P

Now anyone following my old footnotes for the strips, I’d have to say by now it’s obsolete.  My month long ordeal with traffic court put this incredibly behind. I won’t bore you with the story, so here goes:

I’m driving home from work the other day (which is an hour drive, so I’m quite susceptible to pull-overs.) Coming out of a traffic light with absolutely no speed once it turns green, when a cop does the typical “catercorner-behind-you-creep.”  He had just pulled out onto the road. I’m stuck behind 8 cars full of what I always assume are grandma drivers. Everything seems fine until he does the other typical cop move of “start-speeding-up-nah-screw-you-my-lights-are-on-now” and he’s suddenly behind me.

“Know why I pulled you over?”
“Officer, I have absolutely no idea.”
“Can you please step to the back of the car.”

At this point I must be dragging a drug dealer, because this is incredibly bizarre. He directs my attention to my license plate. “Know what’s wrong with that tag, sir?”

Me: “Uhhh..?”
“The renewal sticker. It’s on the wrong side.”
“Oh…kay..?”
“I can’t tell what’s going on there. Is it expired? Is it not? See what I’m saying here. This is why I pulled you over.”

Now I’m always respectful of the police who put their lives on the line, etc etc. But this was the most bull@#% reason to pull anyone over. Yeah the law’s the law. But come the frick on. That’s the most ridiculous reason to be pulling over someone who’s not even speeding. And with that he decided to pick and pull me apart over everything.

“Why do you have a Tennessee license still? You live in Alabama?”
“Yes”
“How long.”
“Year and a half? Almost two I think.”
“Okay, Who’s car is this?”
“It’s mine, officer.”
“Well why you driving with a Tennessee license and an Alabama tag.”
“Officer, I won’t bore you with the four hour story of how and why I lived in seven states in two years because of my job, but the long and short of it is, I just didn’t know how long I was going to be here. Now I know that’s no excuse. But I agree it’s reasonable and law-abiding for me to go ahead and get my license changed. Yes.”

So two tickets later, because he didn’t care, I was sent on my way. Not with two payable fines, but with two tickets set up for a court date. YAY! Court. WTF. So that was the beginning of my journey to hell. I work when the DMV is open. I actually work earlier and later than the DMV is open. So for me to correct these issues, I take a day off. Head over to the courthouse.

30 minute drive later
County Clerk: “Okay, we’ll get this all squared away with the stickers. You just need new ones?”
Me: “Yes”
*types while looking at the registration* “Oh, I’m sorry. You’re in the wrong county. This is Jackson County. You need to be in Marshall. You’ll have to do it at the same one you went to originally.”

45 minutes later I’m in the right town.
“Okay, it’ll be $2 for the stickers. I need to see your insurance card first.”
*me looking for it*   “F%^#!!!”

1 hour home and back
“Ok here it is. I’d like to get my license changed too.”
Them: “Oh that’s in a separate building.”

5 second sprint across 2 lanes of speeding tractor-trailers
DMV is a ghost town. Walk right in and sit down at the desk. Lady takes picture. Is nice enough to let me pass the eye test. (And trust me, I am getting so blind I’ll be giving girls at fast food restaurants advice soon.) Goes to do background check and I’m 5 minutes from being out the door.
“Have you ever had any licenses before Tennessee?”
“Only Florida.”
“Mmm, yeah. There’s a suspension on it.”
Me: “I knew this was going too well. What’s it for.”
“This thing never says… you’ll have to call Tallahassee and check. I think I have the number here somewhere…”

20 minutes later after I search the web on my phone since THAT number was wrong:
Automated person: “THERE is a SUSPENSION on your LICENSE due to lack OF insurance. You will NEED AN operator to HALP U”

Another long story short… when I worked for HHGregg setting up their distribution centers in the mid-Atlantic market and Chicago areas (and a brief stint in TN and IN,) I must’ve had about 6 forwarding addresses sent to the USPS. This caused my insurance paperwork to somehow get backlogged and returned to them. This (if you didn’t know this, you’re learning it now) causes your insurance company to drop you since they don’t know where you live. Now, I knew about this over a year ago and switched insurance companies. Didn’t matter. Florida never knew about it. And in Florida.. if your insurance drops you, they suspend your license. INSTANTANEOUSLY. Yup. No warning. Never got a letter. No phone call.

By the time I’m done with Tallahassee, the DMV is closed. So now I need another day off. Since according to them, there is absolutely NO way to pay over the phone. I can mail it, but it will take them half a month or more to process it. I don’t have that long by this point. So after contemplating how and why Tallahassee is still in the year 1987, my best COA is to drive to friggin Florida. I can clear up my suspension by paying a fine at any DMV and it will instantly release my suspension.

One more day off and 6 hours to the panhandle:
“You know you could’ve called the county and they can take payments over the phone.”
“Not what Tallahassee said. They said it had to be IN PERSON.”
“Hmm…”
Me: “Thank you for your help, but if you say anymore about it I may drive into a palm tree during the 6 hours back.”

6 hours back home and $230 poorer:
So, didn’t make it home in time to still make the DMV that same day. So I take a THIRD day off. And this time the DMV is incredibly packed. And of course… this ends up being the day of court. I didn’t procrastinate. I took all these days off as early as work (not at HHG anymore) would allow me.

3 hours later baking in the sun:
For some reason, the DMV is only run by one person a day. For about a five hour window. And I’m stuck behind 8 sets of teens and their parents taking their driving tests. Today of all days. This causes the one person running the joint to “lock up” each and every time they go out in a vehicle to take the test with said dopey teens. Great.

I BARELY make it out of there on time. Soaked in sweat, with my temporary paper license. Paper. WTF. Everywhere I’ve ever been they give you the actual license. Good Lord. What if I need liquor?? I have to wait for the real one in the mail? Thankfully I remembered the letters from the first time for the second eye test. Kid you not… I made a point of repeating them when I left the prior visit. I knew I’d end up taking it again. It’s just my luck.

So, I get to court, wait behind felons… get my sticker (or as they put it: “Improper tag”) ticket thrown out. Have to see the judge for the license ticket. Wait behind more felons. Plead guilty just to get the hell outta there. Get slapped with a $20 fine for “driving with no license.” Yup. Even the ticket itself read:
“Has license?” “YES”
“Reason for ticket:” “Driving without a license.”
dafuq America?

Then they tack on $237 in court costs for having me breath their air for 15 minutes, and I’m on my way.

And they never ONCE asked to see if I got my AL license.