Saturday, October 02, 2004


I went to get my new car tag yesterday. That's the best way that you can tell if a guy has had a birthday. New tag, new insurance, new wave of bills in the mail. Renewal, renewal, renewal. When I got to the tag office the lady said that my car had been stolen. Huh? It's sitting out in the parking lot in front of the tag office. Love those computers. They went and looked again and it seems that there was some sort of a mistake. But in the meanwhile, a Sheriff's deputy had to run me and everything about me through the computer again and again. You might not know it, but I'm a fairly well known bail bondsman as well as working for the Dept. of Juvenile Justice and I'm known by just about every cop in the seven county area known as central Florida. Aside from teaching at the local university for twenty years (statistics is one of the things that every cop and school teacher have to pass to get a masters degree so a whole lot of cops know Dr. Baird.) Unfortunately, the guy who came to check me out was new to me.

The upshot of everything was that there was some sort of a computer glitch so the whole process came to an abrupt halt. Hell, there's the damned car sitting right there... right? Fortunately, I had the title with me. I have the bad habit of carrying the title around with me in the same envelope that the insurance junk is in... in the glove compartment. Then I had to prove that I was who I said I was. It turns out that there's my doppelganger out there, lives in Ocala and has a felony record. Well, gee. I have twelve different kinds of photo ID... bail bonds license, Fla. drivers license, concealed weapons carry permit, DJJ officer ID... FDLE...uh... my YMCA membership card.... give me a minute to get to the safety deposit box and I can get my passport. Anyhow, Bill Allen, a old buddy of mine from Sanford, who is the MIS guy and computer guru for Seminole County government, came out of his cave of an office there at the court house and vouched for me. "Yeah, I know the guy. He's OK as long as he agrees to buy lunch." Sigh. The cops weren't really doubting me, they were just being thorough. I know how it works. But it took all morning.

The trouble was that I was scheduled to be at a send-off farewell luncheon for my boss and friend Jeff for lunch. The whole Unit took him out to wish him well with his new assignment (a promotion I think... at this point in his career just about anything is anti-climactic.) and I wasn't there. By the time I got back to Orlando the whole show was over and rumor had it that... 1) Baird had a heart attack and was dead..... No, 2) Baird had been in a car accident and was dead.... No, 3) Baird had been kidnapped by Mollucan terrorists and was last seen being beheaded on Al-Jazeer TV. No....

You get the idea. Anyhow, at least I didn't get stuck with the bill from the restaurant. And believe me, those women can run up an impressive bar bill. I've got scars to prove it. It was nice to know that they were concerned about me.

And... I know for sure that the car out in the parking lot is definitely mine and not some wierd switch made by one of the X-file car swap gangs from outer space. And I also know that I have a criminal twin over in Ocala. All good stuff to know.

I guess.