If anyone ever doubts the wonder of the Internet, let them spend a morning in a Car-Tax office.
Due to our other car being off the road for a while, I had to manually make payment with all the relevant forms at a local Tax office. Normally, used to clicking a few buttons to achieve this result, I am astounded at the time and bureaucracy involved.
The Car tax office is in a large Provincial town and is situated about 50miles from Dublin.
As my car, Lottie, is a bit asthmatic at the moment, (her clutch is slipping), I was terrified to find that the office was at the top of a hill. Lottie isn't doing hills well at the moment. I inched her up the hill and then wasted a few euro on a non-functioning car park ticket machine.
As there were signs everywhere warning us motorists of the risk of being clamped, I hand-wrote a note in pink crayon (thats all I had) saying :
'Do not clamp my asthmatic car or I will have to hire a hit-man to come after you) or words to that effect.
When I got to the tax office, it resembled the waiting room for Hell. The staff were the usual mix of people who answered a job ad :
'Do you loathe dealing with people face to face?
Do you get great pleasure from telling people their form-filling skills are inadequate?
Don't even send your C.V., just turn up on Monday'.
In fairness to the staff, it is a fairly unrewarding job, full of customers who do not want to be there handing over more tax to our current Government.
I took my ticket and realised I was 19th in the queue and took a hard seat with the rest of the sinners.
The local farmers were in and as they smelt like they slept with their cattle, I moved seats only to be surrounded by the boy-racers.
There was a clutch of boy-racers wearing surfing gear and flip-flops.
'Do they not realise they are at least 60 miles from the nearest ocean? It's
raining outside and they are speaking in a weird country hillbilly accent with a dash of surfing Californian dude added on,
God, if they were my sons, I would send them to Paris or London and tell them not to come home until they learnt how to dress properly and why are they wearing flip-flops?
No wonder they have so many accidents for crying out loud',
I thought to myself, although I think at some point I may have said some of it out loud as they were giving me weird looks as they chatted on their mobiles :
'Yeah, I'll have tuna and coleslaw for lunch, dude' to their callers, probably their Mammy. Not cool at all, dude.
Just as I thought I was going to die from the stench of farm animals and / or be lynched by boy-racers, my number came up.
Just as my number came up, the counter staff pulled their blinds down. What do they do in there? Are they having blood transfusions because they are all so pale? or are they doing that Madonna circle of prayer thing to keep themselves motivated?.
Finally, a blind opened and I was served by a lovely member of staff and parted with vast amounts of cash to drive on pot-holed roads again.
Oh, joy !! Next time I am going online.