MY NEWEST “CATCH 22”

In my life, they seem to keep cropping up.

For those of you who remember, I bought a 2010 Chrysler Sebring Convertible in March, and planned to sell the older version, the 2005. This is my 6th Chrysler Convertible — 2 white & one green (Abbi’s) Le Barons, and 3 Sebrings for me — purple, white, and now silver.

Here’s where the kicker comes in. I need a title to sell the ’05 in order to sell it. No title exists.

I bought the car in Oklahoma the week before I moved to California, because my bank president/owner and friend, Supreme Ruler of the Universe Kim King wouldn’t let me drive a car with 200,000 miles on it (the purple one) across the desert and made me buy a new car. I learned a long time ago to do whatever Kim tells me to do. Anyone who can pull off being the first female bank owner in Oklahoma deserve all the respect I can give her.

Have no idea seven years later whether I received the Okie title at my Berkeley address, or if the new owners of my house got it and never shipped it to me. Either way, I don’t remember ever having an Oklahoma title in my possession. In my mind, I could have written that off thinking that Oklahoma was a hold state and would have kept the title until I finished paying off the mighty First State Bank of Noble (Oklahoma).

California tells me I have to get the Oklahoma title before they can issue a Cali title. Here’s where the Catch 22 rears its ugly head. Oklahoma doesn’t have my title. They cancelled it in ’06 when I registered it in California, and their records show that they transferred the title to California. California has no record of receiving it.

Oklahoma can’t issue me a title because theirs was cancelled. California can’t issue me a title because they have no record of receiving one. Neither can issue a duplicate title of something that doesn’t exist. (Picture Ann screaming.)

So, what am I supposed to do with a 2005 Chrysler Sebring convertible without a title? Obviously, I can’t sell it. I could always keep it until it chokes, but that could be in another 200,000 miles. These puppies tend to last forever. And then, what do I do with the 2010 I just bought? I paid cash for it and would end up taking a loss. So, Abbi and I have three cars. I can’t even transfer the car to Abbi’s name without a title.

And why would we need three cars? In the LA area, parking one car is a challenge. Now, please understand that this is nothing compared to getting a parking permit in San Francisco — that requires large blood donations, bank account withdrawals, and inching up lists that stretch from the surf to a Kansas City bar-b-que joint.

Luckily, the 2010 is snug as a bug in a rug in it’s very own garage space (thank you Sigma Kappa), and Abbi has a parking space at her condo. Leaving Bachelor or Bachelorette #3 without a space. So, she parks it on the street and has to move it every Monday for street cleaning (from the looks of it the last time I saw it, they should leave it, get the ticket, and take the wash). Brett is back in Australia working one more time (hopefully, 3rd time is a charm) to get into the good old U S of A legally, so it’s not being driven at all.

If I were in Oklahoma, I could petition the court to issue a title. Evidently, California doesn’t have such a provision…..at least according to the three DMV employees I’ve talked with this morning,

I’m lost. For once, I don’t have all the answers. Hell, I’m not even sure of the question anymore. But this is taking way more time than it deserves. I’ve been on the phone between DMV’s and AAA’s since 8:30, and it’s now 11am. I’m sitting around waiting for my name/number to come up on the California DMV’s call-back list hoping above hope that a DMV employee knows how to think out of the box. Reminds me of the joke the Air Force members used at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska. There was a huge missile in front of the main headquarters. They called it the Civil Service missile because it didn’t work and they couldn’t fire it. Which is how I feel about most DMV employees and why I go to AAA for my auto-related needs. But in this case, the AAA employees are as worthless as the ones at DMV.

Maybe the best solution would be to drive it into the ocean and file an insurance claim…..only kidding. The ocean has enough pollution. Orange is not a good color for me, I don’t like confined spaces, and not even this is worth a case of insurance fraud.

The phone finally rang…..but it was from West Virginia vital statistics. I need a copy of my birth certificate because no one accepts the ones we were issued with our cute little foot prints on them anymore and I can’t find my passport. They transposed numbers on my debit card and the beat goes on. Now, I’ll just have to wait until I hear from VitaCheck (which sounds more like a vitamin than a report-checking service) asking for more information to verify I’m me. Like knowing the minute I was born at MacMillian and my parents’ maiden & middle names aren’t enough. Anyway, that’s one hurdle that seems to be working itself out. For a mere $86.

And shortly after that, the DMV called. With a person who knows the law and has common sense. I’m pretty sure I’ll know her by the halo and wings when I go to the Fullerton office once I’ve jumped through their hoops. Evidently, all I have to do is get a pink “request for duplicate title” form, fill out sections 1 & 5, have my bank fill out section 2, saying they are the legal owner of the car (which they’re not anymore) and that they release the title to me (which they’ve already done), notarize it and send it back. Then, I take it to the lady with the halo and wings and they’ll order me a title. She suggested taking it to AAA because there are lines at the DMV, but I’m not ready to start all over again. Perhaps (and that’s a — Please, Universe, let he know what she’s doing), I’m actually going to have the title of the 2005 in my hands sometime before the end of the year. And a new passport. And I’ll be able to take a cruise, lounge on a private island with a foo-foo, umbrella’d drink in my hand, and get over the trauma I’ve been going through since March 13 when I bought the 2010 silver Sebring convertible…..

Oh, and for the first time in six Chrysler convertibles, I don’t like it….so it may get sold after all. Though the cabin is still large enough to accommodate 5 spring break’ers, the trunk sucks. That beautiful trunk that has always been large enough to live out of now is about 6″ worth of space because the trunk sleeps in it while it’s down. My sleeping bag is laid out under the top’s trunk carriage, and that leaves barely enough space for a beach chair (the one that fits in a long round sleeve) and a bag containing two beach towels, a book, and suntan spray (which I’m using for the first time ever because Abbi won’t let me go tanning anymore). Evidently, going to a tanning booth increases my getting skin cancer by 800%. Of course, the tanning place rebutted that when I cancelled my membership, but why take the chance?

So, that’s my life for the last few months and all of this morning. Today, I finish re-arranging and cleaning the kitchen after our termite tenting — pretty sure we were the residence for every termite in Fullerton –, working on my expense account, and eating healthy foods. No Coke today. Once more, trying to break that addiction. Coca Cola has owned me since I could stop at Bryant’s on the way home from school and charge a 5 cent bottle to my mom’s account on the way home. Abbi says I used up all my other vices in the 60’s and 70’s, and this is all I have left. And now, that’s gone. Where, oh where can I find some new vices. Is life really worth living without a few naughty areas of one’s life? I think not.

Until next time, take care of yourselves, come up with some new vices for me, and be nice to someone. You never know whose life you’ll change with a smile.

LATER!!!!