On March 7, 2023

Driving into the sunset  

By Dom Cioffi

My son just purchased his first used vehicle. He was excited and proud and ready to conquer the world when the car finally arrived. However, before I allowed him to drive off into the sunset, I was compelled to have a talk with him about the realities of car ownership.

This talk covered subjects like auto insurance, maintenance schedules, registrations, and inspections. When I was finished, he looked overwhelmed and concerned that owning a car was more costly than he first imagined. He hinted at me possibly covering those extraneous costs, but I quickly set him straight.

One of his first acts as a car owner was to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his new plates. I did him a favor by going online to figure out exactly what forms he needed and then got everything prepared.

I told my son to take the paperwork and drive to the DMV as soon as he got out of school, which he did. However, once he got there, he realized things were not going to progress smoothly. He called and explained that they closed in an hour and there was a line out the door.

I realized that he was never going to get this task completed without missing school, so, like a good dad, I agreed to do it for him.

I looked up the hours of the DMV and made a plan to arrive as soon as they opened. The next morning, when I pulled up and parked, there were at least 30 people in line. I got in line and waited. Forty-five minutes later, I was finally called forward.

I handed the woman all my paperwork. She flipped through them in seconds and then slid them back, explaining that I was missing a critical form that needed to be notarized.

I was furious. I had scoured the online information and never saw any mention of this form. Not surprisingly, the woman was unsympathetic.

I left the DMV and drove straight to my bank where the teller kindly filled out the form and had her manager notarize it. I then got back in my truck and returned to the DMV, only to find the line almost twice as long.

I sighed and took my place and then quickly calculated how long I would likely be there, which by my estimate, was going to be well over an hour.

I looked around the room and took note of how many people were staring at their phones to pass the time. It was at that moment that I wished I had brought my headphones just so I could listen to some music and drown out the ambient noise of people shuffling about in misery.

After a few minutes, the guy in front of me started up a conversation. I wasn’t in the mood to talk, but the young guy seemed genuine so I happily engaged. I soon learned that he was a college student studying to be an applied physicist (an applied physicist uses physics to develop new technologies or solve engineering problems).

At 22 years old, I was impressed by his passion for his chosen path and his already burgeoning knowledge on the subject matter. I was also impressed that he was working two jobs to pay his way through school. He was, by all accounts, an impressive young man.

Later in the conversation, I learned that he had never known his father and was raised by a single mother until she passed away when he was only 3 years old. He was then raised by his grandparents.

At that point, I was fully intrigued with this kid. We continued to talk about our lives and found that we shared several interests. But the most shocking moment came when he asked my name. When I replied, “Dom,” his jaw dropped as he admitted that was his name as well.

We had a good laugh and then found ourselves at the front of the line. Just before I approached the counter, the young guy looked at his watch and said, “Thanks! That was the fastest hour and 45 minutes I’ve ever experienced.”

This week’s feature, “80 for Brady,” clocks in at just about the same time, but it wasn’t nearly as entertaining as my DMV conversation with my young friend.

“80 for Brady” stars Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno, and Lily Tomlin as four aging fiends who’ve bonded over their shared love of Tom Brady. The group decides that they need one final excursion in life, so they plan to attend Super Bowl LI to see their hero in person.

This one is obviously geared toward the senior crowd, but it’s got enough chutzpah to entertain a broad spectrum of viewers, especially those with a penchant for football. Check this one out if you’re appreciative of the allure of TB. It’s far from a touchdown, but it does pass the time pleasantly.

A spiraling “C+” for “80 for Brady,” now playing in theaters everywhere.

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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