Wednesday, March 14, 2012

bomb scare at the DMV

the line at the DMV is out the door,
hundreds deep come for license or plates
nervous teens ready to take their driving test

a little boy, maybe three
tricked out in a button up shirt and jeans
more expensive shoes than my entire out fit,

     wails

high and piercing, enough to make ears bleed
his eyes slits between puffy red flesh

     wailing

i rub my neck but it does not help the throb
of waiting & wasting time mixed with the clanging
     gong, five alarm fire he is & i am not the only one,
       grumble, gRumBLe           
            a bomb is about to go off

to the oblivious and no one will escape alive
     so i make a face, screw my lip up, wide eyed
          and scrunchy, smack myself,  woop,
make strange animals with my fingers

the line inches slowly away to give me space,
making room for the cop inching closer,
     hand on his shoulder radio
& finally the boy peeks from behind little fists
    a little laugh on his little lips

silence, so sweet you could weep, except
  the lunatic with a mohawk, his mom
looks up from the magazine she's been reading
and mouths 'thank you' then buries herself
   once more, her finely manicured nail tapping the cover
just below 'How to have a life after kids'

Arriving eventually at the reception desk,
the older lady working whispers,
'I won't make you wait any more.
I'll take care of you right here,'

and that is alright by me.

Today, I am privileged to be highlighted at Diagnose your Characters, the blog home of author Josh Hoyt.

70 comments:

Chantel said...

I hate the DMV. You, my friend, are an angel.

Daniel said...

How do you do it? I would have made a worse scene than the kid.

Bonnie said...

So funny - I make faces at kids too. It is so unusual for them to see an adult act that way, they invariably stop mid-tantrum. Usually I escape unnoticed.

Great read Brian.

Lady Nyo said...

You painted the whole room here...the cop, the kid, the ignoring mother, and you.

I love you, Brian Miller!

Not just the poems you write, but your humanity!

Lady Nyo

Teri M said...

Always lots of good people watching there!

Steve E said...

The DMV insisted recently that I take the 4-Hr course on Defensive Driving (which I used to teach!)

I bless them for the opportunity, since there are SO many little changes in the driving laws--and if I am driving wrongly, at LEAST I want to KNOW I am wrong!

No line...no 'little Peeps'--thank God!--or that cop might have been after ME!

Brian, I'm in agreement with Lady NYO!

Heather said...

ha ha ha - would love to have seen you at the DMV making faces at the little kid...but you know, your writing is so visual I felt as if I was...
PS - I hate the DMV, too! especially in NJ!

turtlememoir said...

"silence, so sweet you could weep, except"

and what follows makes me weep for the kids of that so-called mom "tapping the cover
just below 'How to have a life after kids'"

Anyes said...

You have a way with children ;-)

Tom said...

our BMV is so streamlined anymore, it's scary - but in a good way.

Sue said...

Some angels wear mohawks.

;)

Indigo said...

So much here - the inattentive mother, the cop reacting more probably to the Mohawk than your actions, and you...

You were the icing on a dismal cake of crowded disdain. Meaning the only thing worthy in the entire DMV was the man with a Mohawk and a heart of gold. Icing I tell you...
(Hugs)Indigo

Mama Zen said...

You, my friend, are a mom's favorite kind of guy!

Fred Rutherford said...

neat character sketch, metaphor and story setting built- yeah, DMV is always a pain in the butt, one of those things that are the same no matter what city or state, and I'm guess country you live in as well. Nice write. Thanks

Reena Walkling said...

Awesome Brian. So hate going to the DMV! Exactly as you describe. A few years back, I spent time in such a line only to discover that they would only take a check or cash, no credit card. ARggghhh! Had to return later to do the whole wait again.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Oh, you saved the day for EVERY ONE. Poor little bugger didn't want to be there either. But the screaming will bring out the WORST in the BEST of people after awhile...

UGH! DMV!

Pat Hatt said...

LOL lunatic with a mohawk
Not something I wanted to squawk
But I will nod and agree
With thee..hahaha
Hate the stupid dmv
But making faces that are kiddy
Can be quite fun
And you made the tantrum all done

rosaria said...

You couldn't help yourself! Yeah, that's how some folks parent, between sighs and fantasizing.

kaykuala said...

It can happen anywhere. Just a little bit of imagination and you're in front of the line! Great verse!

Hank

Tara Miller said...

Nice way to distract him if only briefly. He may also have been scared of what the crazy guy with the mohawk would do to him if he started wailing again. ha ha. I'm sure everyone there was appreciative - I know the little old DMV lady was! :)

Simone said...

You pegged my feelings at the DMV in California. Here in Oregon, I don't get that same sense that there's going to be a hostile retaliation where attitudes and fists may fly. Great job, Brian!

Travel & Dive Girl said...

We have DMV kiosks here in Canada (mostly in the malls), where you can do some of the mundane stuff yourself like renewing your license plate, etc. It sure as heck beats those lines.

CiCi said...

Nice move. Seeing it from the seat of the people who work there, it is a rat race for sure. The guy with the mohawk was the hero of the day.

Janice said...

A fun DMV adventure! Every time I go there it is completely boring. Yay for the man with the Mohawk...you.

william said...

unknowing what the DMV is, but I know now lol, thanks for the education ;)

AmyLK said...

so sweet that you got him to settle down. Where was his mother? And why didn't she take him out? grrrrrr

You got your reward in the end though. :)

SueAnn said...

I got into my seat on the plane all ready to read my book when in comes a mom and dad with 4...count them...4 toddlers. Everyone around me groans...me too!! They sit near me and start right in. Oh dear says I. I volunteer to take one of the toddlers and play with her...keeping her quiet.
As we land...everyone thanked me profusely. Ha
Cheers to you..a fellow warrior.
Hugs
SueAnn

Claudia said...

oh my...she should read "how to give a kid a life" i don't even wanna think about it what he's going to do to get attention when he's fourteen... love that you made him smile..

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"i rub my neck but it does not help the throb
of waiting & wasting time mixed with the clanging
gong, five alarm fire he is & i am not the only one,
grumble, gRumBLe
a bomb is about to go off..."

Hi! Brian...
Nice poem, nice write, what a very interesting situation and I have to agree, with Claudia's comment 100%
Tks, for sharing!
deedee ;-/

ethelmaepotter! said...

How do you do it? You take an ordinary maddening situation and weave a beautiful tale. My take on this would have been, "While I was waiting at the DMV, this kid started throwing a fit and his mom paid him no attention and it was getting on everyone's nerves, so I made a face and he stopped. The end." Not much really to write about, huh? But YOU, Brian, forced our emotions and we were there with you; we heard the siren, we felt the tension, you took us there. And brought us back. Thank goodness.

Felt Tip Fountain Pen said...

Cool! But you'd think the DMV lady would want to keep you {and your silencing capabilities} there!

Shamsud said...

absolutely delighted....thank you for sharing...i am sure i will come back for more.

hedgewitch said...

That's enough to make you slap somebody--only you would make shadow animals instead--brian you deserve to be featured at every place possible, for a lot more than just your writing. Our dmv has seats--dismal, plastic, overcrowded seats, but at least you can take a number and read.

ayala said...

DMV..not a favorite place but you painted an entire canvas with your details, nicely done!

ayala said...

great job with the little boy :)

Daydreamertoo said...

Kids are so difficult sometimes, you seem to have such a knack with just about everyone :)
I'm sure the lady behind the counter was thankful to you too ;)

G-Man said...

I used to work at a DMV...Yikes!

Friko said...

Well done. Screaming kids drive everybody nuts.

Mary said...

At least something positive resulted from your visit to the DMV....your poem. I always try to guess the least busy time to visit. I seldom guess correctly.

Jira said...

I'm taking this on advisement! ;)

Goofball said...

it's worse when you are in line and you try to make a funny face to the staring kid in front of you and it only starts to cry after you did that. ooops, seriously, I just tried to be nice & entertaining :(

Josh Hoyt said...

The DMV is a pain you would think they would learn a better way. Nicely done. and it was great to have you on my blog thanks for the wonderful story!

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

I love making kids smile... I am soon to take my road test... Hope there will be a Brian there to calm me down... LoL!..

JJrod'z

Jyoti Mishra said...

ha ha
that was fun... but u managed to save the day :P

Heaven said...

Nice capture of the scene...I hate waiting too and I am happy you made the boy smile ~

Happy day ~

darsden said...

:-) I love your mohawk!

emmett wheatfall said...

The DMV is where people go to die, Brian. It's that place between heaven and earth. Hopefully there are no red eyed kids there. Nice write about a great topic.

Vodka Mom said...

i saw DMV and started hyperventilating. And even 5 year olds can't do THAT to me.



shiver

Magpie said...

I'm glad that the mother at least (and I do mean LEAST) acknowledged your efforts. Way to go, Mr. Mohawk!

Yousei Hime said...

This was great, from the misdirection of the title to the ending. I love how you take the every day and turn it into the tale of something we would have admired had we the eyes to notice it like you do.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Haha. Love the image you painted in my mind with this one. It's fun to dream about, but not so fun to endure.

Anthony Desmond said...

oh the DMV is horrid! especially in the heat... heheh

LadyFi said...

Just wonderfully written!

farmlady said...

Next time MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. Did you know you can do this?
Good poem. Very descriptive and something everyone can identify with.
Glad the "bomb" didn't go off.

Dave King said...

Superbly well told. Clear, factual and yet completely gripping.

Valerie said...

I hate anywhere where kids squeal. I bet everyone was glad you were there to sort it out.

myraysoflight said...

I loved this...if we could only take a moment to see the world through the eyes of a child. Thank you

Peace to you

the walking man said...

We for the past 25 years had no lines at the DMV so the irritants weren't this bad. But then they decided to close out the outlier offices and make super centers...come to MI in July I have to renew my plates.

Laurie Kolp said...

I can just see you now making faces and entertaining the child... while his mother reads? That poor child...

sm said...

nice poem

Wolfsrosebud said...

Wow... you truly captured this. Amazing what can happen when you have the corner on the market (DMV). Waiting... a hard thing. Looks like you found a way to work with it. LOL

Wolfsrosebud said...

Wow... you truly captured this. Amazing what can happen when you have the corner on the market (DMV). Waiting... a hard thing. Looks like you found a way to work with it. LOL

Madhulika said...

awww... that's so sweet of you :)

happygirl said...

You are a daddy. And the best kind of daddy. A daddy loving to all children. :)

Luke Prater said...

one of your best, Brian... and congrats for the feature!

Syd said...

I smiled at this--I can imagine that you and that kid made quite a scene at the DMV!

Mariya Koleva said...

So elaborate. I feel wordless, honestly speaking. And, honestly speaking, each time I read your work (and I do, although I don't comment), I contemplate giving up poeming. Not that I can, if I tried. I know I can't quit anytime I want :-)
Respect, M.

joanna said...

you sure can tell a helluva story, brian. that magazine title she's reading is icing on the cake!

adeeyoyo said...

Brilliant, Brian. Reading this was like watching a video. You really are a genius - just in case anyone doubts it!

Bit of a prob for the 2nd time getting my comment saved, lol!

Margaret said...

her finely manicured nail tapping the cover
just below 'How to have a life after kids'


oh! so sad and you, my friend, are a hero! I've been away from blog land for three weeks, and will have to slowly go through your poems.. always so filled with LIFE.