Monday, November 15, 2004

As I was at the hospital doing the pre-admission blood test, before surgery on Thursday, I noticed something that at first made me stop and say to myself, "Say What?" and then I just started laughing. As I was looking at the back of my NJ Driver's License (which I need to have changed to my new address) I noticed the codes for the various types of "Endorsements" which you can have on your basic Driver's License. There was the expected, "Moped," "Hazardous Material Carrier," "Motorcycle," "Passenger Vehicle" (old chauffer one), and of course "Double/Triple Trailor" endorsement. The one that gave me pause was the fourth one down (not in alphabetical order, and before Passenger Vechile and Double/Triple Trailor) was Tank. Yep, you heard me right -- TANK!

Now, besides the military, where would I go to get my qualification to drive a tank? I think when I go to have my address changed I am going to ask the folks at the DMV where I can take my tank driving lesson. I have never seen a tank on the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike (though just a week ago a tractor-trailor jack-knifed killing most of its load of sheep. Of course the cook served us lamb chops the next night; I guess she got a good deal). At first I wondered, again outside the military, what use there might be for having your Tank Driver's License? One of the secretaries in the office suggested that it might be useful for "picking up women," you know, instead of "So, what's your sign?" Of course as a priest I am not interested in "picking up women" and I give no credence to astrology.

But then it came to me. A tank would be great to have when someone parks in the space clearly marked "Clergy Parking Only". It would be bad enough if they were parishioners on their way to Mass, but often it is a person who does not want to pay the parking meters, and since St. James is on the main street in downtown Red Bank, they help themselves to our limited parking while they go shopping and dining. Notes on windshields seems to have little to no effect, but parking my TANK on their Porsche would probably get their attention. It would also be great in the snow for getting to the hospital in the dead of night to "anoint" a person who has been in the hospital all day and has now died (we keep trying to teach the hospital staff to call us BEFORE the person dies, but. . . patience is a virtue).

Ummm, a tank. . . maybe I'll take my name off the Prius waiting list, and get myself my Tank Endorsement. As long as I can find a place to learn to drive it responsibly.

Keep Smiling! :-)

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