Friday, March 14, 2014

Spastic Strikes Again

Every once in a while an encounter with people outside my home (gasp!) reminds me that I am, in fact, a walking social train wreck—in the best sense, natch (or at least I'm hoping so).

I have a remarkable ability to say what no one—not even me—expects to hear.

And of course this talent manifests in the most awkward way possible. Every. Time.

It's a combination of my gallows humour, self-deprecation, and broken filter. Inappropriateness or just plain weird? Yep, I'll say it. Likely in front of an audience.

So last week I'm out and about doing errands. I received my Health Card renewal notice, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and hit the ServiceOntario office near me to renew that and my vehicle's plate sticker so I might avoid the rush forgetting before it expires.

And thanks to having been subject to so called "database errors" of past clerks working at this particular office—"database errors" that resulted in my having to go to court to fight an automatically generated ticket because my invalid plate sticker was in fact valid and baffled the ticketing police officer (true story)—I'm all for not leaving things to the last minute because heaven knows that's a recipe for disaster.

Headache much?

So. In I go, first thing after dropping the kids off at school. I have all my identifying documents—proof of residency, proof of citizenship, proof of whatever else they needed for the OHIP card (there were three document lists); and I also have my license, ownership, vehicle insurance, and odometer reading from the van.

I might as well have brought a briefcase in, I was carrying that much paperwork.

A brilliantly sunny yet bitingly cold day (-29c/-20F with windchill), and no lines at ServiceOntario!

I spread my papers before the clerk to serve me—a delightful lady. Aaaaaaand she informs me I need my driver's license renewed, too.

Good thing I brought everything.

So. I stand, get my photos done for both the driver's license and health card. I get my plate sticker. I pay (ouch). Then she gets to the Organ Donor Registry part of the exchange...

Cue my spastic mouth.

Clerk: Are you interested in donating your organs?

Me: Sure. I believe in recycling.

Clerk [gives me sidelong glance while clicking away on the screen]: First time I've heard that one.

Me: I mean, as long as I'm not using them anymore... This is for after I'm dead, right?

Clerk: Yes.

Me: Whew! Okay. Well, like I said: as long as I'm finished with them, I'm cool with it. Less for my husband to deal with.

Clerk: ...

Me: Right?

Clerk [politely ignoring my awkwardness]: Well, we already have you in our database. Everything but your pancreas.

Me: Pardon?

Clerk: Last time you registered, you indicated you didn't want to donate your pancreas. Perhaps you have a reason to retain it?

Me: Yes. Yes, I'm terribly attached to my pancreas. Could never bear to give it up.

Clerk: ...

Me: Kidding. Clearly I was drunk when I filled out the paperwork.

Clerk: ...

Me: I mean, if I was going to indicate a body part they wouldn't want donated, it'd be the boobs, hands down.

Clerk [beginning to give me that wide-eyed stare one saves for the mentally ill.]

Me: Kidding again! I was testing the system. Guess what? It works. Put me down for everything this time... Unless boobs are on the list of exemptions. No one wants those, trust me. [awkward half-laugh] They're not even real anymore.


Me: No worries—they were broken but replaced under warranty. For free by the province. Technically you own them—or at least your tax dollars helped pay for them.

Clerk: ...

Me [to myself]: I wonder what happens to them when I die... hm...

Clerk [shakes head, clicks away on computer]: Ooookay...

Seriously. I shouldn't be allowed out of the house. Especially when caffeinated.

I blame Roll Up season.


  1. Clearly she had no sense of humour. I would have gotten a good chuckle (and in fact did). It must be a prerequisite to work in government.

  2. I think they must be desensitized or something from being so exposed to the public. I don't know...

    And then, there's me--the more awkward and anxious I get, the more embarrassing the babble spouting from my mouth, in turn making me more likely to say something inane. It's a dangerous cycle. :/

  3. I think that is the most brilliant thing! Had I been behind you in line listening in as I am wont to do, I would be busting a gut.

  4. Highly entertaining though. I tend to say something inane, realize the depths of my idiocy, then stop talking altogether. Of the two, your path is better for everyone. Well, everyone except poor desensitized government employees forced to deal with the worst of humanity on a daily basis.

  5. Haha--my path's better unless you're Mr Lannis, who has been known for backing slowly away from my non-stop public babble. It's every man for himself, apparently... heh.