16 Again!

Two Cents Worth in the Nickel City
16 Again

I received my Ontario drivers’ license recently.  It felt like a big deal because I was giving up my Florida license and becoming a full fledged Canadian occupant.  I am officially a permanent resident and have my social insurance number, I have a checking account and the all important library card.  But finally came my drivers’ license.  The last vestiges of my American identity had just been turned over and a new driving record was being established.  Technically, I am sixteen again!
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The lady was very friendly and of course, asked the inevitable “Why did I move here?” Most people I meet are still having difficulty understanding why I would make the transition from paradise to paradox, but I just smile.  Then we began trading war stories.
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“You’ll find summer a little different here.”  She offers soberly.
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“Oh really, how so?”  I respond cheerfully.
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“It is cooler in the North.”
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“Better than the heat and humidity in the South.” I volunteer.
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“Well… you won’t like the bugs, the mosquitos are awful.”
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“Do you have mosquitos?  In Florida we have an army to combat the mosquitos; trucks, airplanes, helicopters.  We are at war with mosquitos! ”
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“Really?”
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“Really!  Mosquito Control is a multi-million dollar industry in Florida.”
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“Wow, well… we have dangerous animals, like bears.”
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“We have bears in Florida… and panthers.”
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“Really?  Well… you can’t be too careful here, the animals are wild.”
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I thought of a snappy come back, like not all the animals in Florida come from Disney World, but I refrain.  It is time to take my picture now.  I wonder why in Ontario they request you keep your mouth closed and don’t smile for identification photographs on passports and drivers’ licenses, so I ask.
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“Why do they tell you not to smile?” I ask; smiling, feeling defiant.
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“We have to make you look like a criminal.” She answers matter-of-factly.
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That sounds reasonable to me, I guess if you are pulled over by the O.P.P. or the R.C.M.P. the last thing you would feel like doing would be to smile.  Imagine the officer asking for your identification then forcing you to smile, just to make sure it WAS you smiling in the picture. I figured it would just be too difficult and awkward.  So when she told me not to smile, I thought about something unpleasant: income taxes.
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“There,” she says afterwards, “that wasn’t too bad.”
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“No,” I agreed, “that is the best face I have.”
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“It’s not a bad face.” She smiles.
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“Well… it got me this far.”
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It was time to go and I throughly enjoyed my time at the drivers’ license outlet.  The nice lady wished me good luck and happy driving.  I thanked her and turned to leave.
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“Watch out for bears.”  She reminds me.
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“Oh, I will be very careful.”
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I know she felt like she trumped me with that “wild animals” qualifier and  I could have brought up Florida alligators as my ace in the hole, but I resisted the urge.
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I walk out smiling, 16 again

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2 Responses to “16 Again!”

  1. Classic Game Room HD – SEGA GENESIS Model 1 review | New Games Overview Says:

    […] 16 Again! « advantages of mutual respect and fair play […]

  2. Marge Says:

    congratulations!
    Safe driving!

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