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2 Guys in search of a Truck
Episode 6 -- It's me, Margaret!
It was a mighty pretty day here in the Bluegrass and I was getting a lot done - trying to figure out all these emails from Stovebolters and what the heck they were talking about.
I was stalling, actually. I had put if off for a month. I just couldn't do it. I knew this was important to John and I was afraid I was going to mess it up. I mean really mess it up. These people could tell me anything and I'd believe it. Johnhancock's let's-keep-it-legal-advice was "just forget it."
We set the date (twice) and the daughter finally said: "Come on!" I had to get the title to John's '49. You might think this odd. Well, you should think this ODD! He bought the truck in January and still did not have the title. Something new? Nooooo ... you ask him about the title for the '39 (I won't go there).
The couple he bought it from kept calling, begging us to finish this transaction.
"Well, things are a little weird right now. John's gone off to the east coast to take a job. We are trying ..."
"Look, honey, everybody's got problems." ("So, drop dead" ... implied.)
After licking my wounds, I figured I'd better just buck up. However, being the untrusting skeptic that I am: I knew something was going to happen. Also, living here and knowing things are done a "little differently," I just didn't want to go through any hassle. You buy a vehicle, you give 'em cash, they sign the back of the title and everything's square, right? Well, not here.
"You'll have to come down to the courthouse and sign the title."
"You just have to."
"But we've bought and sold so many cars ..."
"Well, this is Kentucky and I don't know how other states handle title transfers."
"But this is how Kentucky handles transfers, too."
"You have to come and sign the title."
I thought I'd try for a second opinion so I called the local county clerk. A very nice lady and she wondered if perhaps there was an outstanding lien on the vehicle.
"I can't imagine that. This truck is old."
"Oh, I hope the seller filled out a declaration of value form."
"A form that shows what you paid for. Otherwise, well, that truck is a classic."
"It's a mess ... a classic mess but no real classic classic."
"No, you'll have to pay the tax on the value."
"Well, of course."
(Noooooooooo!) "It has no value ... you should see it." (Noooooooooo! Where is that man?)
Ahhh! That didn't help my confidence much and I could see I wasn't going to bully anybody at the other courthouse. Plus, I had no idea what might be up their sleeves. Maybe a fine or two. A huge fee. Tons of paperwork. I bet they didn't even have computers there. Everyone behind the counter is probably near retirement age and they have husbands with old trucks and they hate old trucks. Or there may be a youngster there and she thinks anything older than an '80 is a classic ... practically an antique.
What will I do? Where is that man? I stalled hoping they'd call back and just say "Now honey. Don't you worry your little head. We know your husband is away and it's gotta be pretty stressful. We'll just sign off on this title and put it in the mail to you. Bless your heart."
In another stall effort, I came across a power of attorney from our Hawaii move, where John gave me authority to do "anything I wanted." (I forgot I had that ... that's a dumb thing to forget.) So, feeling a bit cocky, I thought okay, I can just sign for him. I can't wait until they hassle me and I will just dazzle these women with a "Total Power of Attorney." They will be envious!
We headed to the courthouse. All the way to Mt. Sterling which I thought was halfway out of Kentucky (John's said, it's on your way to Cincinnati making it sound like I should pack a lunch). What a sneak - I thought it was too far for him to squeeze it in his already packed schedule. So, I packed a lunch, got in the car and agonized over such a long trip.
It took us 30 minutes.
Daughter and I stopped in the doorway of the county clerk's office. We were sizing up the tellers at the windows. I could tell the moon-pie eye look wasn't going to work here. Mainly because all the windows were about 10" above my eye-level. I was going to have to perch my jaw on the counter in order to even see. The open window was a young person ... oh, no.
"I need to pick up a title."
"Do you have the old plate?"
"Old plate?" (Stall and look really stupid.)
"Oh ... has this been sitting a long time?"
"Well, yes. We had to trailer it home."
"Your husband will have to sign this form."
"My husband isn't here but (smirk) I have a power of attorney."
She takes it, reads. And reads and reads.
"This isn't the original. Is it on file here in Kentucky? If it's not filed in Kentucky, we can't use it. Why can't your husband sign for the truck? Is he still in the military?"
"No, he's not and he's not here. He'll not be here and we will need to move the truck."
"Let me check with my supervisor."
Daughter perches on the upper level of the counter.
"Why are they being such pests? What is the big deal about getting the title. You all have done this a million times."
"A, Megan, can you talk a little louder?" If they're not in a bad mood yet, I'm sure they will be soon. These people don't care!
The clerk came back still flipping the Power of Attorney back and forth.
"No, we have to have an original."
Daughter groans. In desperation, I grab the counter.
"PLEASE, oh PLEASE, I've gotta get this done."
"Oh. Well. Why don't you just put it in your name?"
"Huh? Ha. Haaa. Haaaaaaahaaaaaaahaaaaaaa!"
Sinister glance at daughter.
"Put the truck in my name?" Oooo. My truck. My '49. The negotiation and leverage powers are unlimited! Daughter laughs calculating possible "agenda items."
"Yes. Yes. That's a very good idea. Bring me the papers."
I can hear John now, "Well, well, well. You've got yourself an old truck, now don't you? First you take over my site, then, like Hitler taking Poland, you assume the title on my flatbed. What's next????? Is there no appeasing you???"
I sweetly smile to daughter, "Well, daughter dear ... weren't you interested in trading your sorry, pathetic, doesn't-run-and-isn't-safe auto for, say, perhaps a 3-door Saturn? Ha haaa. Hahahahah."
Hey, I'm just having some quality time with our youngest. She needs to learn a few things about handling family matters. Ha haaa. Hahahahaaa.
Sorry this story ends so abruptly. Daughter and I are going to work on the "Honey Do" and "Daddy Dearest" lists.
Ha. Hahahah. Haaahaahaahaa. Margaret
Well, I told Mr. John about my stress-filled adventure and what I don't do for him. And he had the nerve to say: "Okay, you win. You now have the title to the '49. But let's step back a moment and look at the big picture: You have "my" '49 Chevy ton and a half flatbed. It has no brakes, cracked windshield, needs paint and steers like a coal barge in a drunken stupor. I have "your" '98 Chrysler Sebring Convertible with the CD-Changer, premium sound, Auto-Stick transmission, airbags, ABS and cruise control."
Errrrrrr ... and if that isn't enough, check out this communiqué my operatives intercepted from the 2 Guys CO (Johnhancock) to the forward deployed commander in Maryland (the other John):
"Things are really getting out-of-hand here on the front-line. It looks like we are going to need more troops. She's trying to takeover "Two Men and a Truck." This has gone far enough. I will remove the daughter at 0800 hours on 5-14-99 and ship to some unknown destination. During the pickup, I will activate "Dodgezilla," install surveillance and interrogate Peggy a/k/a Margaret. All efforts will be made to seek and destroy this propaganda. Approach with extreme caution. Retaking Independence Court will be a small step for all men and a large step for mankind.
All units should be on full alert!!!!!! Over and out.
p.s. All men go to "PLAN B" immediately. Be sensitive, show emotions and then hit with hard stuff. TAKE NO PRISONERS!
YOUR COMMANDER, John Hancock
Hmmmph! I'll need to work on this one a bit more! -- Margaret
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