Smile and Nod

Smile and Nod: The Orange Juice Principle

Russ Pitts | 14 Apr 2008 17:00
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Unfortunately, a lot can happen in a week. Long story, short: everything that could go wrong with this plan did. Murphy was in full effect. My tires, it turns out, were a mildly rare size and required a few extra days to get shipped in. Likewise, the trailer assembly installation, which I also assumed would be painless, required a part I couldn't get shipped to me in time, causing me to spend a frustrating evening under the rear end of my car hacking in a solution. I also spent about a day total in the hardware store, going through trial and error to find the absolute exact trailer hitch for my bumper. In all of these instances, a little homework would have prevented a lot of headache. I hadn't done mine, and I was paying the price.

Still, by Friday I'd tended to all that needed tending, and was prepared to hit the DMV in the morning, get my temporary tags, head out to the coast, book a hotel room, buy a boat and set sail. And, despite the setbacks, it almost worked exactly like that. Yeah, almost.

When it was my turn at the DMV, I smiled, said hello and handed the fellow behind the counter my lapsed registration, thinking to myself I'd finally gotten a break, that it couldn't so simple. It wasn't. After a few seconds of staring at my registration paperwork, the fellow's face fell. He handed my paperwork back to me and said "I can't help you."

It turns out, the lightning fast resolution of registration renewal is reserved for people who actually do that sort of thing on time, not for those like me who put it off for more than six months. The fellow handed me a flyer outlining the steps I'd need to take to renew my registration, then wished me a pleasant afternoon.

After a few hours spent on the phone with my bank and various other DMV officials, I determined it would be over a month before my truck was street legal again. There was no way I could drive it the three hours to the coast without having an anxiety attack the whole time over possibly getting pulled over and towed. The dream was over. I wanted a glass of orange juice, but didn't have so much as a pitcher to make it in. The Orange Juice Principle strikes again.

I thought about renting a truck, even went down to the local rental office and filled out some paperwork, but somewhere along that train of thought it occurred to me I'd gone over the deep end. I'd come so far that the thought of not buying my boat seemed a sacrilege, and yet it was all becoming far too complex - and costly. And I'd made it that way by not keeping my kitchen clean.

I decided then and there it just wasn't going to happen. That it wasn't, in fact, worth spending double for a thing just to get it Right Now. I just wouldn't have any orange juice this day, and I would have to deal. I'm still working on that - while sittin' on the porch.

Russ Pitts would rather be sailing. His blog can be found at

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