Saturday, February 23, 2008
At the extreme eastern end of Golden Gate Park in the Panhandle, there is a huge commemorative statue to the assassinated President McKinley which I somehow have never noticed before, possibly because it's across from a building I'd never entered in my 30-plus years in San Francisco.
Because I haven't had a driver's license since the early 1970s, there was never any reason to go to San Francisco's Department of Motor Vehicles office, which has long been known as a legendary branch of hell on earth.
I've always used a United States passport for picture identification, but the document is about to expire and to have it renewed, you need to surrender the old one. I'm not particularly worried about having a passport to go to another country at present, since the American dollar is becoming more worthless with each day, but this would leave me without any ID to get on airplanes, not to mention all the places one is asked for a picture ID in our new national security state.
So I went to the DMV office to see about getting a California ID card and saw that the legends about the place were true. It really did look like hell. After about five minutes in the line with "non-appointments" people, I announced to everyone that I was leaving them to their sorry fate and was returning home to make an appointment. "Good luck, everyone," I said, and silently thanked my younger self for making the decision not to drive a car when I grew up.