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In Which I Start Wondering how I’d Look in an Orange Jumpsuit

August 11, 2011

This has not been a banner week for the Department of Vehicular Responsibility in my house. It started when I received a little envelope in the mail, letting me know that the city of Raleigh is blackmailing me out of fifty bucks. Their letter (complete with photos) informed me that unless I paid them, they’d let the real authorities know that I ran a red light.

First of all, in my defense, it was in downtown Raleigh. Downtown Raleigh is basically an amalgamation of one-way streets and roads that you think are taking you one place, but actually end up taking you into places that are somehow 30 minutes away from your destination that used to be only two minutes away. Downtown Raleigh is like the movie Labyrinth, but instead of David Bowie in a leotard, it’s a homeless guy talking to himself. Personally, I think Raleigh got the better end of the deal on that particular comparison.

I tried blaming my boyfriend for distracting me with his charm and dashing good looks, but I really doubt that SafeLight (the company that Raleigh gave permission to blackmail their residents) cares.

The second blow to my car-owning ego occurred yesterday when I received a notice that I’d been sent a certified letter from Durham County. The only thing that could make it sound scarier and more intimidating is if they had a guy standing off to the side with a bullhorn announcing that I’d received “CERTIFIED MAIL” in a voice like the narrator of a slasher film trailer. What I’m saying is it must be something important if they need me to sign for a letter to prove I’d received it. And my brain translates “important” to “there’s probably a warrant out for my arrest.”

I had an inkling about what it was for, and it turns out I’m right. Apparently, even if you don’t actually live in a county, if your license says you live there, you still have to pay property taxes. Well excuse me, local government that wants me to own stuff, but then wants me to pay to own it so they can pay to NOT fix the ROADS.

I went to the post office this morning and signed my life away in order to pick up the Certified Mail. The postal worker looked like a nice older man, but then I think as soon as he saw Office of Tax Administration, he sized me up and judged me for being the riff-raff of the earth who doesn’t pay property taxes.

Listen buddy, I moved three times in one year. One of those times was out of state. I don’t have the time or inclination to worry about changing my license and address on every little piece of paper every single time. Come talk to me when you’re faced with a situation that involves packing your whole life into a single car, learning new cities, and doing all of this while trying to remember which zip code everything is registered in. Because currently I have 47 zip codes locked into my brain and sometimes there just aren’t enough brain cells to go around.

Okay, buddy? I had a lot on my mind!

If you know me, then you know I’m a goody-two-shoes who doesn’t like anyone to ever be mad at me or disappointed in me or think I’m getting in the way of anything ever in the whole world ever, forever and ever, AMEN. So when I receive letters with words like garnishee and pursuant and TAX COLLECTOR (their all caps, not mine) I get all uncomfortable and wonder if I’d look good in an orange jumpsuit.

Because obviously Durham County is going to throw me in jail for this and then the city of Raleigh will be at my trial and tell them that “Yes, she is the scum of the earth. She ran a red light last month and is a danger to society. We have pictures to prove it. She even tried to blame it on her boyfriend.”

And you know what, people? I would not look good in an orange jumpsuit. So add that to the reasons why this week is not a banner week. But the good news in all of this? Netflix has Labryinth on instant streaming. So at least there’s that.

Don't look directly into David Bowie's eyes.

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