Drive, He Said

Well, the saga of my attempting to get a driver’s license so I can drive myself on my upcoming book tour continues. I was supposed to take my road test today up in Yonkers but inclement weather caused the DMV to postpone it till next Wednesday. At every turn, so to speak, the attempt to get this license has been a difficult one. I needed a Social Security Card – not just a number – in order to be able to take my written test to get a Learner’s Permit. But when I went to get a replacement card at the Social Security office here in NYC on Halloween day I discovered that the computer system wouldn’t take my information off my application. Behind the glass at the office, all the employees, who were dressed as Dr. Spock and Klingons and prostitutes and cowboys, etc., for Halloween, began to crowd around the computer trying to decipher the problem. After almost an hour they decided that my birthdate in the system was two years off my real one so the Social Security Adminstration had to write to the state of Mississippi to clear up the discrepancy. Therefore, instead of two weeks to get the replacement card, it took six weeks. When I finally got the card I went in to take the test and only missed one question so that part was easy. The day I had to sit inside a safety class for five hours – a week later – I discovered that my permit had already been suspended because, as it turns out, I failed to pay a $35 fine for running a red light ON MY BICYCLE nine years ago. I had to go back downtown and find the right office to pay the fine so my permit would be activated again and then head back to the safety school so, for an extra 200 dollars, it could expedite setting up a date for my road test. It was supposed to take place today. Perfect. I hope St. Martins appreciates all this tsuris I’m going through to save them the few dollars it would cost them to hire a cute grad student from Ole Miss to drive me around Mississippi and Alabama and Lousisana for a week.

By the way, the title of this post is from Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut in 1971. Extra points for knowing that. But it’s not about learning to drive a car. It’s about a basketball player – the “drive” in the title is a command to take the ball to the basket, not a writer to a bookstore.

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