Looking good and green for the DMV pic | TheUnion.com

Looking good and green for the DMV pic

Vivian Herron, Columnist
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Mr. Jeff Ackerman, new publisher of The Union, wrote a rather amusing article recently about visiting the DMV in Grass Valley. I say “rather” instead of “very” because he didn’t take it far enough.

I certainly agree that something should be done to perk up the building’s interior, starting with an exorcism by a local priest to rid the place of all that longstanding negative energy.

“Whut chew mean, mah truck shows up as stolded! Whah, th’ selluh give me two pank slips and a big ole re-seet for it, ‘n’ here’s my wahf’s drahver’s lahsinse numbah ‘n’ mah own death c’tif’cate, so it cain’t be no way -” and other related hostile vibrations.

See, Mr. Ackerman totally ignored the greatest DMV challenge there is – not the driving test, not the written test, but the photograph.

Guys look in the mirror and think, “Do I need to shave? … nah, tellwiddit, I shaved last March … bad case of bed head … tellwiddat too … tank top’s only got a couple of holes … fly’s zipped … oopsy doodle, it wasn’t … flip-flops match … I’m good.”

Women see it as a major challenge.

The DMV asked me in for an updated ID photo, and I made every effort in the world to look my best. Of course, I had done that very same thing when The Union photographer Eileen Joyce came out to take a new picture, and look how that turned out – but never mind.

Plastic surgery was out of the question because: (1) the swelling would never go down in time to make the deadline, and (2) I was/am broke. I chose my favorite pink top and matching Betty Boop earrings, and did everything I could to stylishly arrange the duck down that is my hair.

Dear readers, I thought I looked fabulous, and when I got to the DMV at dawn’s first blush, I expected someone to holler, “Watch out, people! We’ve got some sizzle in the house today! Whoooeeee!”

But nobody whoo-eeed. It was exactly 8 a.m. and everyone was too bleary-eyed to recognise sizzle when they saw it. Gee whiz.

Here came the photograph. Okay, shoulders back and head up! But Ms. Osteoarthritis, who came to live with me a few years ago, laughed bitterly and said, “Who are you kiddin’, slump girl?” All right, tuck in chin and look upward through eyelashes, a vision of sultry femininity. But I couldn’t tuck in my chin because there was another chin under the first one, and when I tried peeking upward, I got a stress headache and a nosebleed.

Then I suddenly remembered Zsa Zsa Gabor, a ’40s and ’50s movie star who always haughtily lifted her chin and looked down her nose at her many admirers. She looked good for years and years and probably still does, so maybe there was something to that.

I was getting tired from trying to stand up straight, but I did it once more, threw my head back in a queenly way, got dizzy and lost my balance. My mouth dropped open and my eyes bulged with panic as I flailed around desperately hunting for something to hang onto, and that’s just when the fella took my picture. Rats.

Two weeks later, I got my license with its new photo. God willing, no one will ever see it.

“Mawm,” Crystal murmured. “Why are you green in your photo?”

I am. Not a hearty grass green or a subtle Nile green, but a yellowish-green that announces, “I have a weird, chronic and probably highly contagious disease.”

Occasionally, when I’m in town, someone will tap me on the shoulder and say, “I think I know you.” Well, of course they do – I am the only green person in Nevada County.


Vivian Herron is a longtime resident of the town of Washington whose column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.

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