Fault Lines

There are many people, groups, organizations, and countries to blame. Many people. A lot of people. I’ve been told there are over one million people to blame. But none of it was my fault.

The blame starts, of course, with Obama. And Hillary, too. There’s CNN and ABC and their “fake news”, and the LGBTQwhatevers and their fake Q’s. The Ukraine played a role in it as did China. Hollywood’s do-good lefties were involved. And, of course, the protesters in the US. Let’s not forget those thugs. They all are responsible for the crap I had to go through to get a goddam Mexican driver’s license.

Like I said, none of it was my fault.

I’ve lived in Ajijic for five years without a car and haven’t needed a driver’s license. Besides, I have my Washington State one, good until May 2021. I haven’t considered buying a car since I arrived. “I’ll get one when I can’t walk anymore,” I’ve told friends. “Ten years. OK. Maybe five. I’ll get one when I can’t stand riding crowded buses anymore. Ten months. OK. Maybe five.”

And then COVID-19 swept over the world like a coughing, wheezing tsunami.

The last time I rode a bus was March 18. The last time I left my property and walked anywhere was April 1 and that was to buy injectable disinfectant so I wouldn’t get the virus. But, alas, Disinfectants R Us was closed because all its employees had been hospitalized with broken hypodermic needles in their eyes.

But there were times when I just had to go somewhere. To the doctor, the porn shop, or, like the rest of the world, hell in a handbasket. It was time to consider buying a car. And I did.

The process went smoothly until I was asked if I had a Mexican driver’s license. “No,” I said. “First car in Mexico. Never drove on Mexican soil. And my US one is good for another year.”

“But you are permanente. You must have a Mexican license. That’s the law” I was told.

That is where Obama and Hillary come in. Surely when they had power, he as president, she as America’s most hated capable woman, either of them could have passed a law allowing decrepit ex-pats living in Mexico, like me, to circumnavigate that law. But they didn’t.

Because of their negligence, I had to take the test. So, the process began.

First, I learned that since I have a valid license, I would only have to take the written test, which could be in English, and would consist of only ten multiple-choice questions focusing on traffic signs. Easy, I thought. I can handle that.

Next, I acquired crib-sheets, pictures of common Mexican traffic signs. What each meant, however, was written in Spanish. Generally speaking, common sense crossed the language barrier. But there were several that required translating and, often, questionable results. For example, the sign that, to me, resembles Burt Reynolds’ ’70s mustache apparently means “Spaceship Ahead.”

I, then, began inquiring about the location of the nearest testing station. Luckily, a neighbor knew. It was on the outskirts of Guadalajara, about a forty-minute drive from here. I wouldn’t have to enter Guadalajara-proper, thank God, because that is a current phobia of mine. That metropolis has far more cases of and deaths from COVID-19 than it has traffic signs. Therefore, I have stayed away from Guadalajara for months.

I had a friend, a native of the region, take me to this suburban testing site. He also was to serve as translator, if needed, as I plodded through the process.

We arrived to discover the testing site had been closed for months. Googling other offices, we found one twenty minutes away, closer to town, and off we went. That office, too, was closed because, we learned, most offices had been closed due to COVID-19. And this is where CNN and ABC come in. Why the hell didn’t they tell me this?

We went home, where I asked my neighbor, the source of the erroneous testing site information. “From a friend whose friend took the test there,” she said.

“And when was that?”

“During the Benito Juarez Administration,” she answered.

That, of course, was before COVID-19.

So, I got wise. I contacted a law office and arranged to have an employee well-versed in driver’s test details bring me to Guadalajara to take the exam at one of the few testing sites remaining open during the pandemic. As we pulled up to the building, I saw hundreds and hundreds of people in various lines outside it. They were wearing masks, but social distancing was not observed. How could it be? And I thought, What the hell have I gotten myself into?

The guide led me past the crowd and to a checkpoint where my temperature was taken and I was allowed in. The building was crowded and chaotic. The process complicated, involving numerous stops and I believe I was served by seven different people. None were Ukrainian. None were Chinese. None appeared to be part of the LGBTQwhatever community. All wore masks. So, why am I assigning them blame for the horrors I had to go through? Because, while I was preoccupied navigating the process and trying to remember all those damn traffic signs, I’m not certain I saw clerks sanitizing their sites between clients. Had they been Ukrainian, Chinese, or LGBTQ, I am certain, they would have done a better job wiping down the desks and pens. Those people, you know, are very fine people, very fine, good people. In fact, I could see myself sitting down with one and having a cup of covfefe.

I’m pissed off at Hollywood, too, because, if they had made a movie about acquiring Mexican driver’s licenses, and included one scene with frontal nudity, I would have watched it and been better prepared for my ordeal. But no. They prefer to produce movies that make money than ones that could help addled, aging gringos get their Mexican driver’s license.

The test was much harder than I expected because the samples of traffic signs I had studied did not match those on the test. In fact, I had to rely on the cheat notes I had written on the small of my back. One of the questions showed a sign with people walking, but they did not resemble the people in my study notes; they could have been pedestrians or students, indicating a school zone. I, however, chose the third option, “Prostitutes Ahead.”

In the end, I got my license. It only took an hour. It would have taken less, but I got a late start because I had become obsessed watching the protesters on CNN. That’s why they’re responsible for what I had to go through.

If any of those thugs, especially those who speak Spanish—and you know as well I do that all the Spanish-speaking ones, even those who learned the language in high school Spanish classes, came to the US illegally—had stopped holding a mirror up to America’s ugly face and flown to Guadalajara to help me get my stupid license, they would have helped “Make America Great Again.”

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