Absurdities #10

By Eilene Lyon

This is actually two absurdities for the price of one!

When we bought this year-old trailer in 2002, it came with a motor vehicle title. Um, trailers don’t have motors.

After buying our van RV in August, we sold the trailer. We gave the buyers a proper bill of sale, and transferred the “motor” vehicle title by filling in the form on the back.* There was only one small box for the address, not nearly enough room. Hmph.

Then I noticed a box below the address, one that said “Odometer Reading.” Since the trailer has as many odometers as it does motors, I used it to put the city, state, and zip code. Ta Da! All set.

Not so.

A few days later, the Albuquerque purchaser called to inform us that the New Mexico DMV would not accept the title because “it just wasn’t right” to put something in the odometer reading box other than an odometer reading.

Said purchaser would have to mail (not email) a form to us, which The Putterer would have to sign and have notarized. Then it would need to be mailed (not emailed) back to Albuquerque. The buyers would then have to make a second trip to the DMV to complete the title transfer.

I understand that a civilized society needs to have rules (some of which should have built-in flexibility). But this – this is bureaucracy run amok.

When rules become nothing more than obstacles to efficiency, when they serve as nothing but an inconvenience to the public, for which the government exists to serve, then we have reached the pinnacle of absurdity.

I’m sure you have your own true tales of bureaucratic bungling and irritation. Do tell!


*The more recent version of the Colorado motor vehicle title has two boxes for the address instead of one. What do you suppose brought that about?

37 thoughts on “Absurdities #10

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      1. 😉 I’m going to do a mock gratitude post in a few weeks about this thing they’re doing in nyc right now that I think is so…let’s just say…Ill timed…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh geeeesh LOL! Paperwork snags at their finest. I had one when I changed my name after getting married. Our marriage license had a note in fine print that said the document expired by a certain date IF NOT SIGNED by an ordained person or minister. But when the lady at the DMV saw that note, despite the document having ALL required signatures, she told me our license was void and she would not change the name. I asked her to please just read the rest of the sentence, which said the document expired ONLY if it wasn’t signed. Which ours WAS. She insisted on calling the county clerk where we got married, all while I stood in front of a line of angry, irritated people at the Los Angeles DMV which is one of the most depressing places on Earth. The county clerk’s office must have been irritated too, because she looked quite sheepish when she finally hung up the phone and approved my form.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, how horrible for you to have to go through that – especially seeing the stupidity of it all! I just don’t get why some people working in these government offices seem to just look for ways to make people’s lives difficult. It should be exactly the opposite. And to be fair, I have had some experiences that were like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They want it notarized at additional cost to you, of course. Oh yes, I had some bureaucratic bungling to do with paperwork (with Larry’s pension etc.) filled out with the help of the government employee for said purpose, so I wouldn’t bungle anything, but the qualified person working at said bureaucracy managed to bungle it and I had to go through it all again.
    I am such a procrastinator when it comes to forms!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a nutty situation! You have to wonder about the people who work in those offices. Do they see the absurdity of the forms they deal with day after day? I couldn’t handle it, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So incredibly annoying! I had a similar Kafkaesque situation with title to my farmhouse. I won’t bore you with the details but maybe someday I will write about it. Similar nonsense but many more dollars at stake!

    Liked by 1 person

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