Three hours later and my number gets called. I've never been more overjoyed in my life. Resisting the urge to hug the guy helping me, I quickly go through the drill. I'm handed a piece of paper and my old license and told that I have no choice but to wait again for the camera station. I begin weighing the pros and cons of the bicycle.

Thirty minutes later and my number is called again. Right as I approach the camera station, my friend from earlier stomps over and angrily asks why my number was called before hers, since she was one person in front of me in line. She gives me a murderous stare to indicate that this is somehow my fault. Apparently we are no longer friends. I am hurt.

The woman taking the picture barks some orders at me without ever making eye contact. She tells me to stand still and right as I'm about to ask her a question (and without warning), the camera flashes. As I'm about to protest, she pleasantly states, "Excellent. It will be ready in five minutes." Confused, I sit down.

Five minutes later my license is handed to me and I all but sprint to my car. Exhausted and numb, I feel as though I have aged many years in the span of a few hours. But at least I am free. As I drive off, I finally glance at my new license. What I see staring back at me causes a reaction reminiscent of the detective in "The Usual Suspects" after realizing who Keyser Soze is. It is the single worst picture of myself I've ever seen -- I look like I've been caught in mid-sneeze. I can only assume that the woman said "excellent" for completely sinister reasons. She is obviously pure evil, but I have no recourse against her. It is either be confronted with this picture every time I use my license for the next ten years, or return to Hell for a new picture. I will not go back, and deep down, I believe that she knew this, and that the picture was all part of a master plan to effectively "checkmate" me. That picture will haunt me for a decade, a blunt reminder of an experience that I will never forget.

The lesson? Never miss a deadline to renew your license online. (Tom B. in Saline, MI) -- So Peter Gallagher has started the Sandy Cohen fellowship to help encourage young lawyers to become public defenders ... like himself. As if this wasn't already good enough, Peter throws in his Wham! audition photo at the bottom. -- North Korea's Kim Jong-il "pilots jet fighters, pens operas, produces movies and accomplished a feat unmatched in the annals of professional golf by shooting 11 holes-in-one on the first round he ever played." I have no problem with this story whatsoever. Truly a remarkable man. (Joe A. in Atlanta) -- Blazers center Ha Seung-Jin reportedly lost his mind during a fight with teammate Nedzad Sinanovic, resorting to threats of "I'll sue! I'll sue!" and chasing Sinanovic around with a six-foot wooden pole. Embarrassed by his actions, Ha then sent Sinanovic a personalized E-card as a peace offering ( -- The one group with less credibility than Kim Jong-il.


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