What’s the Point of Pointless Rules?

My wife has a wonderful expression whenever circumstances conspire to make life a little more difficult than it needs to be.   She says, “They’re sprinkling tacks in your path.”

Case in point: A postcard from the Maui DMV showed up a few days ago reminding me that my driver’s license expires at the end of next month. The notice also informed me that every dozen years or so, the law says you have to jump through some extra hoops in order to renew your license. It said I still have to fill out a form and pass the eye test, but this time around I also have to come up with some extra documentation: 

– To prove my identity, a passport or a valid drivers license with photo.

– To prove I am or was employed, my original Social Security card but, since I’m a geezer, my Medicare card will do; and …

– To prove I actually live where I say I do, two documents that were mailed to me – an electric bill, for example. 

So last week I went to the County of Maui’s Service Center, took a number, filled out the form, and waited for over an hour until I was called. I passed the eye test and laid out the necessary documents in front of the clerk: Passport – check. Medicare card – check. Current water bill – check. Recent State Farm bill for Auto Insurance – GONG!  
Me:   What’s the matter?
Clerk:  We don’t accept car insurance bills as poof of residence.
Me:   But see? It was mailed to the address which is where I say  I live.
Clerk:  I know.
Me.   Then why isn’t this acceptable as proof of residence?
Clerk:  (wearily) I have no idea.

See? Someone got to the DMV before I did that morning, waited until I drove up, and sprinkled tacks in my path. Fortunately, the clerk said my old driver’s license had my address on it and she agreed to accept that. A good thing I had a passport, she said, because the driver’s license could not be used as both proof of identity and proof of residence.

Me:   Why not?
Clerk:   (wearily) I have no idea.

Anyway, I left the DMV with a new albeit temporary driver’s license and stopped off on the way home at the local pharmacy for the various medications I’m taking on my upcoming trip. Since I’ll be gone almost a month, I will need more than the normal 30-day supply for several of them. The clerk was apologetic:

Clerk:   I’m sorry, but the insurance company won’t authorize an additional supply for these three prescriptions.
Me:      Why not?
Clerk:   They said they approved more than a 30-day supply when you were traveling in April.
Me:      What has that got to do with this trip?
Clerk:   (wearily) I have no idea.

I hate those damn tacks!