Old Man at the DMV

An elderly gentleman shares opinions with strangers to pass the time at a government office.

At the department of motor vehicles (DMV) you can frequently observe a diverse array of humans.

Recently, while waiting to renew my vehicle registration, I heard an old man loudly sharing his opinions with what seemed to be the entire room. As he sat directly behind me in an identical plastic chair, I had one of the best seats in which to bear witness to his strongly held beliefs.

The first information he shared with the group was concern for the joint health of other tenants at the apartment complex where he lives.


“Those girls in the apartment building going on the treadmills just bang and bang,” he said. “They don’t even weigh 120 pounds. I talked to my doctor about it and they’re going to wear out their knees.”

Next he became nostalgic about the efficiency of the DMV of the past.

“When there are people waiting like this, workers didn’t used to take breaks. Or someone would fill in to keep things moving.”

Finally, he shared a few makeup tips.

“That’s the gal we had last time, at the end,” he said to someone next to him, pointing at a woman behind the counter that appeared to be about 55 years of age.

“She wears so much eye shadow it looks like her eyes are sunken into her head,” he said.

“A45,” called one of the other DMV workers, not the eye-shadow lady.

I didn’t get to hear any more from the old man at the DMV, because my number was called and I had to focus on that interaction.

I’m sure everyone in the room remembers him fondly and was glad to have someone to occupy their thoughts while they waited.


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