The Nine Circles of DMV Hell

“Dante has nothing on Jason Greene, who stood in line at the DMV for an entire day… With three kids.

“Dante once wrote that Hell had nine circles within its depths. Dante’s Inferno is an amazing literary work that describes in great detail the horror of a place where no person wishes to go. Dante must have been inspired by a trip to the local DMV.

“You see, I recently journeyed into an inferno of abandoned hope, discomfort, and pain when I was forced to visit the Queens DMV. Like Dante, I encountered the nine circles of Hell, though not necessarily in the same order. But first, some backstory . . .

“We recently bought a new vehicle and we needed to get new plates. The month had been difficult and harried and we didn’t get the title from the dealership until our temporary tags were almost set to expire. Unfortunately, only a short time before, I lost my wallet and everything in it. I ordered a new license, but since it had not arrived and the tags were set to expire the next day, we had no choice but to try to register without it. The story gets more complicated; my wife had to leave town at the last minute for business and the title is in both of our names.

“Now, none of that should have been a problem. Before my wife left, she signed all the necessary paperwork, including a form that gave me the right to make all decisions on her behalf. We even had contacted the DMV to make sure that we were walking in with all the correct paperwork and to verify that I could do the deal without a license. They assured us that all would be fine.” [. . .]    –Jason Greene, The Good Men Project, September 15, 2012.

All was not fine for Jason Greene at the DMV. Read Greene’s account of the circles of DMV Hell here.

The Tenth Circle: Istanbul Traffic

On this list put together by Canim Istanbul, the author, a local of the city, gives prospective tourists five tips for a good time while in Istanbul. The first tip?

“1. Avoid  the Tenth Circle of Hell, AKA Istanbul’s infamous traffic.

“The city’s traffic is a tempestuous creature that flares whenever and wherever it pleases, blocking streets and bridges for hours and hours on end. There are horror stories of people driving for four hours when they could have reached their destination in 30 minutes. Locals will advise you to avoid taxis, buses, or cars whenever possible and make use of the lovely modes of speedy transportation like the ferry, Metrobus, and the metro.”  [. . .]    —Canim Istanbul, June 5, 2016.

Check out the rest of Canim’s list here for four other handy tips about travelling in Istanbul.

Wallace Zane, Taxi Inferno (2014)

Taxi InfernoA death and violence, deceit and fraud, cab-driving, police-chasing translation of Dante’s Inferno.

“Set in the hellish world of cab-driving in Los Angeles in the year 2000, Taxi Inferno is an idiomatic interpretation/translation and transposition of Inferno. In place of Dante walking through hell with Virgil as the guide, the author is driving a cab in LA with Charles Bukowski. The narrative is shot through with the feel of dim and smoky death and the thrall of disgust that impels one on, as is Dante’s.

Taxi Inferno is written as a mirror image of Inferno. Virgil becomes less competent the deeper into hell they go; Bukowski becomes more so, and even heroic in his guidance. Each location in Los Angeles compares with one of the circles of hell, corresponding to Dante’s description of the terrain and its punishments.”    —Amazon.com

Contributed by Wallace Zane

Fiat 500 in the U.S.

fiat-500-in-the-us “FOR fans of Italian cars — those with positive recollections, anyway — the high-profile introduction of the Fiat 500 to the United States this year holds the promise of a long-awaited brand renaissance. But for the 500 to be a genuine success, paving the way for a full line of European driver’s cars to follow, its appeal would have to be more durable than a pretty face and an attractive body. My quest to plumb the 500’s inner beauty recently took me on a long drive that included stops in Naples, Verona, Florence, Rome and Venice. . .
Next up, Dante’s autobahn — the New Jersey Turnpike, where treacherous merges and construction projects large enough to be seen from outer space were made all the more entertaining by an afternoon of ark-building rain. But the Fiat was absolutely composed: precise steering, no hydroplaning and brakes that grabbed more aggressively than Tony Soprano at the Bada Bing.” […]    –Towle Tompkins, The New York Times, May 20, 2011

Car Talk

car-talk One of the Magliozzi brothers says, “And even though Dante says ‘OK, make it 10 circles!’ whenever he hears us say it, this is NPR, National Public Radio.”    –Episode 0945, “Good News! It’s Going to Cost a Fortune!”, Car Talk, November 7, 2009

http://www.cartalk.com/ct/review/show.jsp?showid=200945 (retrieved December 29, 2009)

Contributed by Alex Bertland (Niagara University)