Perhaps I have mentioned in passing that The Pony is going away for three weeks to attend Missouri Scholars Academy. I might have also let it slip that The Pony is less than interested in practicing his driving so he can get his driver's license.
Imagine The Pony's surprise and delight when he looked at his driver's permit, and saw that it would expire while he was away. "Well, it looks like I can't get my driver's license. My permit expires while I'm gone to MSA. I guess I'll have to take the written test again. That was a piece of cake." He tossed that info out there in a chat room where he communicates with other soon-to-be MSA scholars. Apparently, they are all cut from the same apron-string cloth. "Hey. They say all you have to do is go renew your permit for about a dollar fifty, and it's good for another year." I think he was a bit disappointed in the simplicity.
This morning I called the local license office to see what he needed to do. "Just bring in the unexpired permit, with a document showing his mailing address, and we will renew it."
"He is 16 years old. He doesn't have a utility bill or voter's registration card or paycheck showing his address."
"Well, you can bring yours. That will be good enough."
I was skeptical. They always tell you what to bring, yet when you get there, you don't have the right thing. I fished out a statement from the bank with The Pony's name AND my name, showing the we both lived at 1313 Hillmomba Lane. That's in case they wanted to argue that we had no proof he lived with me, or that I was even his mother. Then I grabbed my latest pay stub, and a notification card from the DOR for the license renewal of T-Hoe. It showed Farmer H's name AND my name. I made sure The Pony had his as-yet unexpired driver's permit in his pocket. We were loaded for bear.
We hit the license office before the Flintstones' bird sounded the whistle for lunchtime at Slate Rock and Gravel Company. I commanded The Pony to snatch a number, and we parked our keisters on a couple of uncomfortable maroon plastic chairs. We were behind a bus driver trying to license a bus, which apparently is kind of complicated, because the clerk took all his paperwork and told him to call the state office, who asked him questions like did he have the personal property tax receipt, necessitating him to explain that schools don't have personal property. Then there was the couple who had to fork over $800-plus, which I assume was sales tax on an automobile. The guy who held us up the longest had a big red portfolio of documentation, which still wasn't good enough, even though we had seen him go out to his truck twice, and call in his wife, and finally just tell the lady he had nothing else.
We passed the time chatting with a Pat-like character who was ageless and sexless, and regaled us with tales of knocking over a moped at the police station when he/she opened his/her car door, because the moped was parked too close, and his/her insurance had to pay hundreds for repair of that piece of crap. An old lady told us how strict Texas is on logging hours of driving when changing a permit for a license. Oh, and that Pat-like character brought up how BAD the new photo system makes people look on their licenses. The Pony smirked.
Our number finally came up. The clerk said the bank statement was good enough ID for The Pony's renewal. I was shocked. Then he had to take an eye test again. AND GET HIS PICTURE TAKEN. Ahem. He had not even curried his forelock today. We were actually on the way to his grandma's house so he could spend the night. Too bad, so sad. Now he has a bad photo for a year. Or until he actually gets his driver's license.
On the way out the door, he said, "It will get here while I'm gone to MSA. I don't think the picture will be too bad." Then he looked at the printout in his hand. In black and white. "Ugh. Not good. The old one was better. But at least it's nowhere NEAR as bad as YOURS!"
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Raising the self-esteem of license office photo recipients statewide.