Saturday, March 6, 2004

At the Auto Tag Agency

I finally decided to bite the bullet and get my Florida license plate for the Mustang even though I knew I’d get screwed for the sales tax on it; Florida charges 5% sales tax on a car when you bring it in from out-of-state. So I got down to the tag agency to stand in line an hour before the place opened – and was seventh in line. I brought along a book to pass the time. The guy behind me brought a folding chair and his iPod. (If I was an entrepreneur, I’d take a coffee cart down there on weekends and make a fortune.)

Ahead of me in line was a guy about my age standing with a kid who looked about eighteen or so, and they were carrying on about how global warming was a lie put out by the “extreme liberals” – trees are more responsible for ozone than cars – and how “they” were planning on all sorts of draconian gun control laws that would even hinder the police.

It took a great deal of control for me not to tell both of them that they were full of it; even Ronald Reagan disowned the “killer trees” line, and the last time I checked, the NRA was still in charge at the White House. But then I realized that there are more of us than there are of him. Besides, as I told my friend Brian, trying to convince a redneck that he’s wrong is like trying to teach a dog to wipe its butt: you end up with a mess on your hands and it annoys the dog.

So I got the plate, chalked the tax up to airline miles, and I’m now applying for my personalized plate on the “Support Education” specialty tag. And probably kill a few trees in doing the paperwork.