Ben Sclair, the publisher of The Suburban Times, who is described by everybody I know to be a most exceptionally high-quality Lakewood citizen, recently published my article, Westside Story – Government Ignorance.
In that column, I promised readers what I termed Part II and Part III of a three-part series. Being a writer of my word, you will find Part II, which I changed my working title from Government Silliness to Government Goofiness, following these introductory two paragraphs.
A few years ago, our vehicle registrations were modified to include a requirement for not only the date, but the PLACE SIGNED. The date is a businesslike and intelligent requirement. I get it. Conversely, PLACE SIGNED is something that belongs on an international peace treaty.
When a traffic cop looks at vehicle registrations, will it make a difference to the officer as to where the traffic violator signed the vehicle registration? I suppose it could be a fun cat and mouse traffic enforcement contest. If the PLACE SIGNED blank contained an answer that was so original and entertaining enough, the officer could let the violator off with a knee slapping laugh and a verbal warning instead of issuing a traffic ticket.
The first time the PLACE SIGNED requirement appeared on my renewal registration, I went along with what I thought was the intent of big government by providing the straight forward boring answer of Lakewood, WA, for PLACE SIGNED.
The next time I thought to myself, PLACE SIGNED is a goofy, unnecessary, and bureaucratic requirement probably produced by a brand new overzealous lawyer.
I took what I considered government goofiness as an invitation to provide goofy answers for the goofy requirement. I do not want to lie on an official government form, but I figure if I make the right moves, I can arrange some entertaining and goofy answers assuming I give it my best effort. The possibilities are endless. A baker’s dozen list of accurate and truthful, but goofy responses to the goofy PLACE SIGNED government red tape requirement follows:
(1) North America.
(2) Planet Earth.
(3) Elmo’s Book Store. While I am not an actual customer, which for some may mean I am not well read, this is a fun head-scratching answer. To be accurate and honest, all I have to do is pull into Elmo’s parking lot and sign my registration, making the Elmo’s answer rock solid should I have to testify in traffic court regarding the veracity of my response on an official government document.
(4) Steilacoom’s Topside Coffee Cabin, which explains the dark brown Cappuccino espresso stains on my registration.
(5) The front porch of a homicide crime scene where a drug dealer shot a rival in the right eye through the front door peephole.
(6) 2,424 miles west of Tommy’s house in Louisville, Kentucky.
(7) Latitude 47.0001 & Longitude -120.8528.
(8) Washington, The Evergreen State. In the beginning, The Evergreen State meant land of many green fir trees. Times change. Now that dopers have more votes, Evergreen State means land of legal leafy green marijuana. This Washington is not to be confused with the other Washington wear they where red hats that say, Make America Great Again. You can see it is easy to mix up words.
(9) 8.7 miles from Jimmy’s house.
(10) 2,683 miles south of the Arctic Ocean.
(11) The Manhattan Project section of my kitchen which explains the Rye and Sweet Vermouth stains on my registration.
(12) Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters.
(13) The front steps of President Trump’s White House. Well, at least for now.
Can you add to my list?
I wonder if anyone in our Washington State government is sober enough and intelligent enough to correct government ignorance and goofiness.
As far as Washington State goes, the buck stops with Governor Jay Inslee, so he may be our answer. He is running for president of the United States which means undoubtedly he has enough intelligence to do the right thing for Washington State residents to keep them safe and to eradicate unnecessary, unwanted goofy mandated governmental red tape. If not, then perhaps he is not suitable for the office of president.
Stay tuned for Part III of this exciting three-part series when I share what I learned during an exclusive interview involving two cops with over 55 years experience dealing with vehicle registrations. The two cops unveil their credible solution which with Governor Inslee’s help will facilitate our being able to abandon our current outdated, publicly dangerous, and goofy vehicle registration like we abandoned the phone booth and usher in a publicly safe and contemporary registration we can embrace like when the cell phone replaced the phone booth.
Don Anderson says
But Joe, we have always done it that way. They would need to cut back dozens of positions and lose an Assistant Director in the Department of Anachronistic Management.
Joseph Boyle says
Thanks for reading and commenting. After I looked it up, I loved your use of the term, Anachronistic Management.
Larry King says
Joe, Very clever observations and responses on the form. You would think that after signing dozens of registration forms, I would remember that question, but I didn’t. So, I just went out to my wife’s car in the garage and looked at the form. There it was – Date and Place signed. My wife and I meekly wrote Tacoma, which was a lie. We were both in our home in University Place, but Tacoma was shorter. Then, for the first time ever, I read the fine print. It said that my answers had to be true under Penalty of Perjury. Wow! Do I tell the judge that there wasn’t enough room to write University Place, and ask for a reduced sentence? What if the government worker that reviews my form is one of my neighbors and knows I lied?
Still, if you think the registration form is bad, wait till you see the new census form. All of your secrets must be revealed. No more anonymous Joe Boyle. The form will test our knowledge of American history, so we should fill it out together down at Harbor Lights. Robyn, our server, can probably help with questions like Who was the third president of the United States. After our third drink, we may not be able to read the small print on your smart phone, so I will bring my IPad. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Joseph Boyle says
Mr. Larry King,
You are too funny. Thanks for adding to my comedic effort.
Dieter Mielimonka says
Suggestion where there is another place to sign: on the can.
Steilacoom, U.P.’s neighbor
Joseph Boyle says
Thanks for your comment. I will have to sit and think about this one.
Don Gaines says
I saw that space for “Place signed” and I damn near put down “dining room” because I was at the table when I signed. But I reverted back to the tried and true “university place.”
Joseph Boyle says
I appreciate your reading my story and for commenting.
How about this one!? “On the dotted line!”
Eric and Jen Chandler says
Pat….we like all of the responses to PLACE SIGNED, but yours was the BEST.
Thanx to all you clever folk….especially Mr Joseph and his wild and wonderful sense of humor!!