Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And on a heavier note . . .

Gräbchen, Arkansas
Ozark Mountains

Cousin Bill has finally moved back to the Arkansas Ozarks, returning to his hillbilly roots, but he's meeting with resistance from some of the local fauna, as he and his wife recently experienced:
Monday past we made a run to the . . . Motor Vehicle annex for Arkansas plates and Drivers Licenses. The plates were no problem. Not so the DL.

9/11 and Homeland Security measures subsequent require anyone establishing residence in another state be armed with all sorts of documents to obtain a drivers license.
Armed? Maybe required, but it'll just raise the hackles of the aforementioned local fauna.
We'd compiled everything thought necessary and marched into the office with our bulging packet of records documenting birth, citizenship, marriage, etc.
Armed and marching in? That'll only make things worse!
And there met our first unfriendly Arkansas resident . . . a rather overbearing, overweight, and slightly bearded lady (obviously on a Monday morning downer, possibly needing more caffeine and another frosted donut or two). She began examination of our paperwork, and scrutinized each piece of paper with the eye of an eagle. She suddenly smiles, looks at us, smirks and announces "Aha! This isn't a marriage certificate. It's a marriage license." And refused to consider further handling of Cheryl's request for a DL (name change). The smile disappears as she glares my way and says "Yours, I have to process."

She began pecking information into the computer, looking up on occasion to ask "Want your middle name on the DL?, Wanta be an organ donor?, Wear glasses?, Ya sure the height and weight is correct on this Kansas license?" At last, all information entered, she sits back, folds her chubby arms across her chest and waits . . . and again smirks when the system announces rejection. Seems Kansas's $42M computer upgrade crashed again, refusing to transfer information to the Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles. The lady, almost joyfully, says "You'll have to come back later, and don't forget that marriage certificate if the Mrs. wants a DL, provided the computers will exchange information." Without another word she tosses documents our way, looks toward other waiting customers and yells "Next." Obviously the "lady" was discarded in Benton County by a traveling circus years ago.
Cousin Bill will undoubtedly have been chastened by this close encounter with a varmint in the Ozark wilderness.
As we headed home we chuckled about the "marriage license" situation, then pondered the legal ramifications if we weren't really married. We mailed Kansas yet another $15 check with request for the "Certificate." If nothing's on record there, guess we'll continue to live in sin (Cheryl the bigger sinner without the her DL), or do a quickie marriage in nearby Oklahoma.
I erred. Cousin Bill has little serious intention of being chaste. And he even appears to be taking this encounter with the local wildlife less than seriously, even if the bearded bureaucratress is actually a rare critter, only a handful having escaped the circus to indigenize themselves. But they're hardly the only fauna around:
Discovery of wild things continues. This week I've noticed . . . [a local species of] praying mantis . . . [and] one on the front door measured nearly nine inches . . .
Alarmed at that news, I wrote back and warned him:
That one was newly hatched. Watch out for the big ones . . .
Seemingly skeptical, he replied:
If I see any bigger, you'll be reading about Arkansas dinosaurs!
I reckon. But we'll also be reading about the mysterious disappearance of a Kansas couple, newly relocated to the Ozarks but now relocated the devil knows where!

I've tried to warn them . . .

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At 4:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the red area on the map is an indication of where Bill moved to, I surmise it is in, or around, Gravette? Timing is everything at the DMV. I think I have seen the aforementioned bearded wonder encountered by Bill. I can also verify she did not come the Carson and Barnes circus, which has come through the county numerous times over the past few years. I know this because that particular circus is headquartered in Hugo, OK, my wife's hometown, and we know the owners and performers. In fact C&B was in Springdale this past weekend, and Brenda and I enjoyed front row seats to a matinee performance.

As for the mantis', I can confirm they seem to be rather large this year. Saw one the other day on my back deak and thought a tree limb had blown down. Even the dog was intimidated by its size!

Anyway, if Cousin Bill needs any help or advice, you can let him know I am in the county.


At 4:55 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I thought of you, Jay, when I saw where Cousin Bill had moved to.

I left out the specific town to avoid offending anyone.

I'll alert Cousin Bill to your comment.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apologies if I revealed too much information. I truly hope I did not offend anyone as there is certainly nothing offending about the town.


At 6:45 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Perhaps your guess of the town was off-target -- no one will know for sure.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry overmuch about your revealing too much information Jay - 'cause right about now comes along Herschy!

Cousin Bill? You didn't bring any of them largish Kansas fireworks to the Ozarks didja? If so, one place to avoid lightin' 'em off is down in Melbourne. Don't know 'bout Gravette but in Melbourne Arkansas approximatin' the Fourth of July Remembrance (even if celebrating Liberty) is punishable by a fine not to exceed $205 smackaroos. [Trip to the jailhouse is free though.]

Lightin' 'em off in Salem might be a little touch and go too but though you may well be afforded an opportunity to "talk things over with a city deputy" at least Salem didn't set me up with a Court-date this past Saturday evening.

Thankfully for me - somewhat unusually - somebody other than myself chose the precise moments of the deputy's talking to me, to light off a much louder explosion than I had in my possession. Whoever it was lit that 'un off I am happy to, er, report when the explosion lit off, the deputy did likewise.

Don't know there was any paperwork writ up in Salem t'other night - but Homeland Security was made aware of my Melbourne dalliance for certain.

Still Bill, should you venture over to my neck of the woods - give me a shout and I'll light up the night to celebrate your freedom of movement. Have a valid driver's license though - there's discarded circus performers over here too.

Herschel D.

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Looks like Cousin Bill has much to look forward to!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction (birdie just whispered in my ear) Melbourne's Sheriff actually just charged me with "Disorderly Conduct" - pity I reckon - my former neigbhors' objections notwithstanding.

Fine for a "DO" is not to exceed $205 - getting a fireworks charge can be up to $2500.

I was gonna contest the Melbourne charge until I read the statute - best watch yourself in Arkansas Bill - all you gotta do to be charged with Disorderly Conduct is, "annoy someone."

I reckon farting in an Arkansas church is a chargeable offense.

Herschel D.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"I reckon farting in an Arkansas church is a chargeable offense."

I should hope so! One isn't even allowed to use that word in the Ozarks, let alone in Church. Why, a civilized fellow's also got to be wary of referring to St. Peter or King James donkeys in an Ozark church!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dadburnned keyboard. How "a single farthing in the collection plate" transmuted to that word, I haven't a clue!

Leastways it's made it's appearance half a world away.


At 9:39 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I see your point. A farthing would be worthless in the States, thus an insult to God (especially since foreign money lacks the motto found stamped on American coins).

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm proud to say the address is Bella Vista Village, and we're enjoying the slower pace of life.

Jay, we'll make our next D L attempt the south in Bentonville...Gravette's got me scared.

Herschel, I'll look you up on the next visit to your neck of the woods, but don't count on me packing any cherry bombs. Kansans had to do a trip to Missouri for those anyway.

Cuz Bill

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, some folks don't worry about traceability! And I thought I'd been so clever using the word "Gräbchen" . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill - BVV is a nice place to slow down to. Best keep your doors and windows locked though as there has been a rash of thievery going on, usually upon folks who leave an open door or window for easy access. another thing to look out for is their ain't no straight roads in BVV! Those curves and narrow roads seem to be a mystery to newcomers. :-)


At 8:49 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Even the curves have curves . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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