Friday, July 27, 2007

Dignity's for Sissies

Okay...I have to tread lightly, in order to avoid looking like a lunatic in front of the entire Internet...

Remember my truck title replacement project? I was proud of myself. I jumped through the various bureaucratic hoops required in order to get an application to get another application to apply for a truck title. I was able to remain sane, while maintaining my sense of humor AND my dignity.

Today, six weeks later, I received my reply letter from the Secretary of State's office. It was a 10 page missive, outlining my various weaknesses, faults, errors and moral failings. In fact, the only thing they forgot to mention was my unmanageable hair...but maybe they're saving that for the next letter.

The letter described the missing documents, the incomplete attestation outlining my irresponsibility for having lost the title in the first place, and the additional fees I (fraudulently) failed to pay. But lastly, buried at the end of the letter right before they thanked me for the opportunity to be of service, was a paragraph demanding the lien release of the first of many owners from the Citizens National 1988. I wept. I cursed the Gods of Government. I hastily assembled voodoo dolls of Jesse White and Rod Blagojovich, then ground them up in the food processor. I beat my head against the floor. I set the cats on fire. I took a bottle of Valium and washed it down with a quart of whiskey. Finally...I picked up the phone.

My first phone call landed me at a branch of the Citizens National Bank in Ohio, speaking to a very kind woman who informed me that there is no national headquarters, I'll have to call the Secretary of States office and ask them which branch of Citizen's National the loan went through. I called, and got another nice woman who called me "hon" and "dear"...but told me they had no way of knowing that information. I told her it might have been in Indiana somewhere.

"Evansville?", she asked me. "Probably.", I answered.

I called Directory Assistance. There is no CNB in Evansville, says the operator. "Can I have some other CNB?" "Certainly."

The receptionist at the branch in Albany told me that the CNB in Evansville has been taken over by Fifth-Third Bank. I called them, explained my story, and the loan officer told me that, for privacy reasons, I'll have to contact the original owners of the vehicle and ask them to request a lien clearance letter for the vehicle, then mail it to me.

But...but...I don't know the original owner, and it's been 20 years since they took out the loan. I don't want to stalk them, I just want a letter stating they paid off the truck.

"Sorry. There's nothing we can do." says Bank Lady.

For a moment, I was stymied. No title without the letter, no letter without hunting down the original owners from 20 years ago.

I briefly considered stealing the tags off some other Ford Ranger. There are a million of them. I don't speed; no cop would ever pull me over. The truck is can't have more than 5 years left in it. Of course, that means stealing a sticker every year, too....

Okay...that seems hard. And I don't want to go to the Women's Prison for a $300 pickup truck. Except...there are probably lots of dykes in prison (I've seen all the movies), and Lori probably wouldn't mind if I slept with a few of them, as long as I didn't bring them home after I got paroled...

No. It's not worth it. I'm a Laboratory Professional. I save lives. I am not going to skulk around, stealing licence plates in order to circumvent the Darwinian process of navigating the Illinois Secretary of State's office. I will adapt.

Another Call to the 5/3 Bank got me a higher bank officer, who finally reluctantly agreed to look at the letter from the SOS, and decide whether to send me her letter. I copied. I faxed. I followed up. And then...I took Cuppy to the vet.

As Scarlett said, "Tomorrow's another day." And egos are made for bruising. I'm more than happy to grovel and show my soft underbelly to anyone who'd like to kick it in order to get this title project finished.

What the hell. I've got a brain injury. In two months I'll forget all about the trauma.



You know you really screw this up and go to prison you could actually make your own licence plate. Just a positive thought.

Suzanne said...

I cannot trust a bank that is a fraction. You are brave in dealing with them. This is starting to seem like it could end in a Pyrrhic victory, though. (I just love that phrase.)