I seriously think that my life is a sitcom some days and its one sitcom in particular — “Seinfeld.”
Sports writer Dustin Turner and I have a running joke that our circle of friends is like the cast of “Seinfeld.” He’s Jerry, we always hang out at his place and he has the most laid back personality. I’m George Costanza, because of the amount of random things that happen to me and my somewhat quirky nature. Nicole Lindstrom is our Elaine and Zach Johnson is our Kramer.
The reason I bring this is up, was because my day was so random and ridiculous Monday that I thought it was a TV show prank.
I started the day off preparing myself for my big speech at Aurora Heights, to help them celebrate MLK Day, when it dawns on me to check in with the body shop that is supposed to fix my car (it’s taken so long because I chose to stay local). In a previous conversation with the shop, I misunderstood them and assumed they were taking care of my rental car arrangement, and yeah, they weren’t.
So, after getting off the phone with them, I called up State Farm in Pella, and the office was closed. At this point, I was still pretty cool and composed, and decided I would handle it later. I made it into the office, confirmed things with Zach on covering my speech and called State Farm again.
Within five minutes, they had a rental arranged, and I was going to receive a call from customer service to confirm my rental pick up. So with this done, I could go on to do my speech with a clear mind and hopefully live up to my billing as keynote speaker.
Although my knees were shivering like I had hypothermia, I was told I didn’t seem nervous and did a good job. That was my positive note for the day, and afterwards, I decided to drop by the rental place to see if everything was OK and on schedule.
Well apparently it wasn’t. The wrong rental car location had been called. So while at the Newton office, I had to help connect the Marshalltown rental car office with the insurance office in Pella, and I managed to get this done thanks to a lot of help.
I was all set to head back to my office.
Once, I got there, I dropped Zach off, I set up an interview and then drove to drop my car off to get repaired. When I pulled up, the rental car was waiting on me. It seemed all of my playing phone tag was paying off. From there, we rode to the rental office, and all I had to do was fill out some forms, and I would be driving away in a rental car that was oh so much nicer than my actual car.
I left my bags from my actual car in the back of the rental and went into the office with a smile on my face. I got my license out, called and got my claim number and waited to be handed the keys.
Then, of course, things started to get sitcom-like again. My license had expired 11 days ago. So while it was legal to drive for another 49 days, I couldn’t legally rent a car. To quote the immortal Charlie Brown: “Arrgh!”
After calling to confirm they were open, I hitched a ride in “my” rental car from the office manger to the courthouse to renew my license. There was just one problem. I needed two out of three forms of ID —my birth certificate, my Social Security Card or my passport — and two pieces of mail.
At this point, I’m thinking this can’t be real, but I ran out and began to make my way back to the office to hitch a ride home. That’s when I get honked at by a pickup. It turned out to be two of our county’s elected officials, Doug Bishop and Dennis Stevenson. After hearing my story, they offered me a ride to my place.
I got home, ran up to my room, grabbed my passport, Social Security card and two old bills and hopped back in the pickup. I finally thought, “OK, I should be all set now.”
We got back to the courthouse. I waited in line, and things finally started to fall my way. I passed the vision test, took my new photo, checked ‘Yes’ on being an organ donor and finally became a registered voter in Iowa.
Things were looking up. Then I was informed that the credit card machines were broken, but no matter I could run to an ATM and get cash. After everything else, this was a minor obstacle. I was almost at the finish line when it happened again.
My life became a sitcom.
I can’t get my Iowa license because the state of Kansas has a hold on me and their offices were closed on Monday. It gets better; I also left my bags in the back of the rental car, which was now becoming a distant memory of black leather seats and four-wheel drive.
Thankfully, the kind gent from the rental office dropped my bags off at the office and I couldn’t help but laugh at how my Monday was going.
I caught a cab, bags and all, to Thomas Jefferson Elementary School where I had some interesting conversations with Lonnie, my cab driver. After TJ’s assembly, Lonnie took me home so I could write.
Not sure how long I will be car-less, but now that I’m a pedestrian, I have the perfect George quote to sum it all up.
“Is it my imagination, or do really good-looking women walk a lot faster than everybody else?”