The Red Octagon 

Today I went to the DMV to renew my license. Even though my license does not expire until July, I wanted to get it over with while I had the time.

I arrived at the DMV at about 2:30 PM. I filled out the renew license form and grabbed my ticket (#C321). I watched the ticker above the windows: “Now serving #C312 at window 8.” Dammit! I sat and waited for about 40 minutes.

#C318… #D101… D? Who cares about D? No one! #C319… Not here, ha!… #C320… Almost there, almost there, hurry up you idiots… #C321-- Success!

I gave the lady at number eight my paperwork and two forms of identification. (Passport and social security card.)

“I’m here for a renewal.”

“That will be twenty dollars.” She said mechanically. I handed her a sweet Jackson. “Oh, wait… You’ve had more than two tickets in the last couple of years so you have to re-take the driver’s test.”

“Are you kidding me?” I asked.


“Didn’t I just take that thing when I got my damn license? What happens if I fail?”

“Then you have to take it again.”

Damn you lady, damn you!

She led me over to test station one; a standing height touch-screen computer. I started the test.

Test Question:

Which of the following is your name?

A. Maria Nunez
B. Barbara Green
C. Jessica Mae Stover
D. Lana Bricken

I went with C. Stupid test. The screen informed me: " CORRECT! Now you are ready to take the test.” Oh, goody.

The first ten questions are road signs. The computer shows you a photo of a road sign and you select the corresponding multiple-choice answer. You cannot miss any of these questions or you fail and are shamed for life.

B. Slippery When Wet… C. No Left Turn… This is easy. A. Pedestrian Crossing… Almost done… My vast knowledge of road signs is rather impressive— Wait a minute. WTF is that?

I had reached question 10: A red octagon with no words on it.

That can’t be a stop sign… it doesn’t say "STOP"… What the hell, is there some red octagon sign I’ve never seen before? Some sign that means something similar to a stop sign?

Answers C and D didn’t make sense, so I disregarded them.

A. Come to a complete stop.
B. Stop only if there is oncoming traffic.

Well it’s not a stop sign… so it can’t be A…

I touched B.

Idiot! They probably removed “STOP” so that it didn’t give away the answer! Shit—

Just then the screen flashed: “INCORRECT! You have been disqualified from this test.”

It was a stop sign. And I am an idiot.

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