It is a long and complicated journey, beginning as most long and complicated journeys do: at The Department of Motor Vehicles.
You see, we’re touring the country in a vehicle with expired tags. Why would we be such idiots, you may ask? Well, Janell’s tags expired in October–whilst we were on the road–and a simple request to renew them was made impossible. Janell used to live in Kansas (I know, commiserate later), but became slightly more sane and moved to Missouri–and this move created ripples in the space-time continuum far beyond our feeble ability to comprehend.
It seems that the Great State of Kansas requires that all titles be held by the Department of Revenue and not by the people (or entities) that actually own the vehicle. Now, travel back with me to the first week of October, 29 days before our tags expire. Janell makes a request to her bank (the lien holders) that they send the title information to Jefferson City, MO for processing. At this point, we figure there is 4 days for actual communication, leaving 17 or 18 working days for processing and screwing up.
The bank then informs her that it cannot send a copy of the title to Missouri DOR because they don’t have it–Kansas DOR does. Hmmmm. Two days down. Contact Kansas DOR to request they send the title to Missouri. Kansas informs Janell that they are unable to do this unless the proper forms are filed and a written request to transfer title is received. Okay, get this info faxed to us and sent back to the DOR. Four more days down. Kansas does send the request for paperwork to Missouri. Missouri is to fill out the request and fax it back to Kansas. Why? Who knows. Purpose? WTF.
A couple days go by and we check in to see if Missouri has received and/or sent the form. Nope. They claim not to have received the request. Two days. Call Kansas, have form resent. Call Missouri. No go. Two days. Here’s the silly part. Janell does the paperwork to give her mom power of attorney so she can go into the DMV and DOR and fix it in person. Missouri tells Janell’s mom that they don’t (can’t) fax things. They tell Janell (on the phone) that if they had received the form they would have faxed it. What??? 8 days. Janell’s mom goes back to Missouri, sees the lady who would’ve and can’t (at the same time, no less) fax the form. She does indeed have the form, but has filed it away with no intention of faxing it. Janell’s mom gets her to fax the form. No fewer than 18 working days have passed.
Kansas now has the form. They can release the title.
We now have only one business day before our tags expire. We’re still on the east coast. Assuming 2 days for mail between Topeka and Jefferson City and another day to FedEx us the tags, this gives us -2 days to tag the car.
Calling Missouri to see if they have the title info, Janell is told that they may or may not, but it would take 3 weeks (15 days) to process it and let us know. The minus number becomes much larger. So, we still have no tags, no definitive answer to where the title is and the good fortune of never having been pulled over. Until…
We have to do shows this morning at Fort Riley. You know, the military base, Fort Riley. Well, you can’t get onto a military base without everything being ship-shape. This I understand, but what to do? Fortunately, the schools where so SO SO awesome. The secretary at the first school volunteered to come out to the base gate and pick us (and our set and props) up. The second school then drove down and took us to their school and back out to our vehicle at the end of the day. So very cool of them. The Fort Riley School system rocks and never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Now, we have shows at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM and no car. What to do about lunch? Well, for $2.75, you can have a school lunch. This is how I came, at around noon, to be eating:
a breaded, more than half flavorless (a blessing perhaps), slightly brown, less slightly warm, patty of unidentified meat-like substance with a decent sized helping of what may have been mashed potato, a halved pear and really delicious (compared to skim) 1% milk.
I then went out to recess to play tag.