Saturday, September 17, 2011

I get to keep driving

Had to renew my driver's license, another big worrisome hurdle for me, as it's been 7 years (I got an extra extension because of my perfect driving record - ha!), and this time I would have to take a vision test.

I put it off as long as I could.  I was pretty sure you can still drive with only one eye - Peter Falk drove that old beat-up station wagon around, didn't he? - but I was just so worried that they'd yank my license, I procrastinated like a coward.  I drive all day in my job.  No driver's license, no job.  Worry, worry, worry.

I went to the little DMV office near my home, and the wait time really wasn't that bad.  I gave the nice man behind the counter my old license. 

"Any changes?" he asked as he typed entries into his computer.  "No, everything's the same" I told him.  "Still at the same address?" he asked.  "Yup, still there" I said.  "Okay fine, now I just need you to look in here and tell me what letters you see" he said, pushing a big plastic box across the counter to me.  "Just read me the top four rows all the way across, left to right."   I read out the letters: two columns, four rows.  There was a third column, but it was blank.  To me it was blank.  A blank white column.  Empty.  No letters in it.  Not hazy, not indistinct - completely empty.  Weird. 

The nice man frowned slightly.  "All the letters, please."  he said.  I read them again, loudly and firmly.  I could see them nice and clear.  "Please read the letters in the right hand column" the nice man said.  "I don't see any letters in the right hand column" I told him.  He looked surprised.  "Are you having trouble with your right eye?" he asked.  "Yes, I have a tumor on my optic nerve" I said, very matter-of-fact.  "Oh!"  he said.  Pause.  A beat.  My stomach got very nervous.  "Oh, well, okay, I'm going to issue you a license, but there'll be some restrictions on it" he said.  Restrictions?  Who gives a flying fart about restrictions?  I get to keep my license!!!!    WOO HOO!!!

"You must always wear your glasses or contact lenses" he said  (no problem - I don't think I could find my way out of the house without them!), "and your car must be equipped with side rear-view mirrors.  On both sides!" he said sternly.  "Oh, my car has those!"  I assured him.  Oh, gracious.  Is that all?!?  Piece o' you bet yer sweet bippy CAKE, man!!!!  Yippeee!!!

Didn't I say he was a nice man?

So there we go.

I get to shoot the rifle.

I get to drive a car (or truck).

I get to keep my job.

What a relief.