After a lot of stalling, a little studying, and some measure of trepidation, we took the test and now possess Minnesota Driver’s Licenses. The whole process was delayed, however, because of the state government shutdown in July which closed not only the state parks and other facilities, but also the offices which entitle one to drive, shoot, or (heaven forbid) FISH! The last entitlement provided the biggest uproar during the whole debacle, with the exception of the announcement that all restaurants and bars which were needing to renew their liquor licenses would be out of luck. And even the biggest beer distributor in the state would be “out” of business and unable to provide any provisions at all. That did it! Any worry about the old, poor and disabled getting their care aside, the state of Minnesota was brought to its knees and forced to compromise in a preplay of the debacle which soon was to take place on the national stage.
But we are now legal to drive as true Minnesotans and T.M. will be able to buy his own liquor as soon as he gets his photo driving I.D. in the mail approximately one month from now. If that seems strange to our friends and family from California – like many states across our nation, liquor is only sold in state licensed stores. And they require a photo I.D. and not a temporary replacement without photo that someone has had to procure after losing his license on a long road trip.
Studying up for the test was a bit stressful after we were told that there was a 50% failure in first time test takers. The booklet didn’t seem too hard but it was a bit disconcerting to learn that we had been illegally parking in a yellow “loading zone” which in Minnesota is actually a NO PARKING ZONE. And they really lost me with the flashing downward yellow arrow as opposed to the flashing X – which seemed to signal the same thing – drive along in that lane, but get out of it soon. Or something like that.
THE GEESE KNOW WHICH WAY TO GO!
But we passed. Only missing 5 and 6 out of a possible 8. You guess who is the smartest? We were also required to bring along birth certificates and if my birth name had not coincidently been the same as my married name, I would have had to supply a marriage license as well. But all of the extra caution – alcohol and driving alike – is more than made up for in the, once again, “you betcha” attitude and a decidedly un-bureaucratic public personality. Yep. Yep. Yep.