If you are one of those lucky people who can look at a picture hanging slightly askew, and think absolutely nothing of it; if you have never required any group of objects (pens, pencils, silverware…) to line up perfectly – then stop reading this right now. You just won’t get it. On the other hand, if you refuse to part your hair without a level or a ruler and you cannot even THINK about cutting off your car engine when the windshield wipers are still halfway up the windshield, then read on – you are one of “us.”
Here’s how it went down: My son (who drives a high end SUV that I’m too embarrassed to name, because it is almost decadent) stopped at a gas station in Austin. A couple of “Austin’s Finest” (you know, policemen) were also there quenching their thirst. When one of them asked my son if the SUV was his, my son (assuming the policeman, like most everyone else, just wanted to discuss the bells and whistles on the vehicle or ask about the gas mileage) proudly admitted the truck was his. However, the officer had no interest in either the luxury options or the gas mileage. He just wanted to advise my son his registration sticker had expired.
My son admitted he was aware of that, but added, “I’ve got the new sticker – it’s in the glove compartment. You see, I have this OCD about getting it on the windshield perfectly straight…” At that point the officer half-winked at his fellow officer and informed my son, “Well, you’re gonna have a $275 fine to go alone with that OCD if you don’t put that sticker on the window.”
Obviously, the officer either did not believe my son in fact, did have the current registration sticker in his glove compartment, OR he is one of those people with no need of symmetry and balance in his world, and therefore, could not even imagine the extent of anxiety my son experienced at the very thought of applying the registration sticker any way but PERFECTLY STRAIGHT on his windshield.
I understand. Oh, I totally empathize. If you don’t apply that decal absolutely perfectly – aligned with your universe the very FIRST time – you’re stuck with it – GAME OVER – you are forced to look at that crooked sticker for an entire year. There are no do-overs in state sticker application. If you are one of those obsessive-compulsive people faced with 365 days of seeing that cock-eyed sticker virtually gorilla-glued to your windshield – right in front of your face – there’s only one way to escape the anguish – SELL THE CAR. That’s right. You just have to trade it in. Tell the dealer you need to trade it for a vehicle with perfectly aligned registration and inspection stickers. I really think that’s what Tony Shalhoub’s “MONK” character would do.