In our recent post OK, Now You’re Just Messing With Us, I mentioned some of the ways that fate seems to be toying with us as we try to implement our carefully orchestrated escape plan. Yesterday, we got totally blindsided by something completely unexpected. My birthday is April 18th. That means it’s time to renew the registration on our boat, something we planned to attend to before shoving off in a few days. It should have been a simple task—just swing by the Tax Collector’s office and pay the fee to renew the registration on Eagle Too. So we were a bit puzzled when the smiling, helpful clerk developed a deep frown just a few minutes into the process.
“I’m sorry sir, but you apparently no longer own your boat.”
I’m not making this up. Apparently, sometime recently in another Tax Collector’s office in another part of the state, another (smiling?) tax clerk had transferred our boat’s registration to someone else. Without telling us. So we didn’t own the boat anymore as far as the state of Florida was concerned. And we therefore couldn’t renew our registration. Because it wasn’t our boat.
It took two clerks and a supervisor most of the rest of the day to make it right. Everything ultimately turned out OK (or so we’ve been told), but it ended up pretty much wasting much of a day, one of the few we have left before departure and for which we had significantly different plans. But at least we caught it while we could still do something about it. We could only imagine the situation we would have found ourselves in if we’d been trying to deal with this via email from Cuba or Belize.
“What would have happened if we had just mailed in the renewal?” we asked the clerk.
“Oh, there’s no way we could have fixed this if you weren’t here,” she replied solemnly.
We wonder if there are any other suspended shoes waiting to drop…