No doubt you’ve heard of the ongoing problems with MNLARS, which stands for Minnesotans Need Licenses and Renewals? Sorry.
Like most large problems, I paid it no mind until I was personally affected, but now it’s a crisis. My tabs expire at the end of the month, and the new ones haven’t arrived.
I’m starting to get worried, but the tabs don’t have to be up until midnight on the 10th day of the following month. Still, what if they don’t show up, and I’m pulled over at 12:02 a.m. on May 11? That’s never any fun, because you sit there while they call up your records, which go back to grade school, and, for all you know, there’s an open warrant on making a flatulence sound in the crook of your elbow at kindergarten naptime.
“Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?”
“To enforce a tiny infraction in the name of asserting the necessity and supremacy of a framework of mutually agreed-upon social structures?”
“That, yes, and your tabs.”
You could claim MNLARS is the problem — come May 10th, I’m sure I will — but what is the problem with MNLARS? Computers, they say. I think the system works something like this:
1. The tab requests are put into a big plastic bin, which is coated with Crisco.
2. A clerk takes the bin to Computer Entry, where six Amiga computers with the latest full-color screens are ready for input. To get there, the clerk has to walk across a tightrope over a pit of snapping crocodiles.
3. The clerk slips.
4. An investigation is launched into the accident; a commission recommends reducing the slack in the rope to prevent further accidents. A bipartisan bill to improve the tightrope founders when a rider is attached adding $1 million to the pension fund for retired crocodiles.
5. Meanwhile, no tab requests are processed, because the MNLARS clerk who was eaten was the only person who knew the password for the computers. (It was “password.”)
6. MNLARS mails temporary tags, which consist of a date written on a Post-it note. A new vendor is found to produce permanent tags to the exacting specifications, which demand that the corners of the tabs start to curl up after six months. A new computer system is ordered from a guy on eBay who has a Cray Supercomputer in his garage, but the only place it fits is the croc pit. The crocs are reassigned to the police K-9 division.
If my tabs don’t arrive in time, I have a backup plan: I’ll go get them in person. On the last day possible, when the waiting room is filled with everyone else who put it off. MNLARS: Minnesotans Needlessly Lazy About Responsible Stuff, that’s us.