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Sunday, June 7, 2015
These Untied States
Any writer or editor worth his or her salt knows that Untied States sneaks through the spell checker like a black cat under a new moon. Neither of the words is misspelled but the combination is a misnomer. A prudent editor runs one last check of any document mentioning United States and searches for Untied. That got me thinking about how much our states are united and how much they are untied.
After living for decades in New Jersey, D and I are now officially New Hampshire residents. What a difference a day makes.
So who knew that to register a car in New Hampshire you have to go to the office of your town clerk, who may have haphazard hours (9–12 five days a week, 1–4 three days a week, 6–8 Wednesdays, and possibly morning hours the first Saturday of the month; and yes, they close for lunch as does the post office). After producing a New Hampshire license a person is able to pay a yearly fee (hefty tax) on the vehicle (necessary in a state with no sales tax) in order to procure license plates. Then one goes to the friendly local garage where Dave, for $42, inspects the vehicle, deems it worthy to drive, and slaps a sticker on the windsheild.
Compare that to a trip to the infamously bureaucratic, infuriatingly time-wasting New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles where the one-stop shopping experience comes with multiple long lines and surly clerks.
I’ll take the arcane schedule and the gray-haired town clerk over the Garden State alternative. Shucks, at town hall you can even get a “transfer station” sticker for your car, which entitles you to the privilege of driving your garbage to the dump and sorting it into one of three tractor trailers.
I’m starting to feel a little untied after the move and days of unpacking. Got to rest, the excavator is on his way.