Lazarus Has Finally Fallen

Lazarus Plate

So for those of you who are familiar with the Bible, Lazarus was a blind man whom Jesus helped. First he gave him back the sense of sight, then when Lazarus died, Jesus reincarnated him. Lucky guy, this Lazarus. I’m not religious or anything, in fact, quite the opposite, but I have always liked the name Lazarus. I first thought it was cool when I went on the set of a made-for-TV mini series called The Lazarus Man. It was about some bad ass cowboy who couldn’t be killed. My dad gave me a tacky teal jacket that had the show’s logo on the back. I wore it until it could be worn no more.

So fast forward to junior year high school. I really wanted a car, a new car. I had heard of this car coming out in Europe in 1999 called the Ford Focus. It looked stellar, nothing like Ford had ever made before. So I coaxed my parents into buying it for me. I told them it got great gas mileage and that it was much safer than the airbagless 1987 Cop Edition Crown Victoria I was careening around in at the time. After owning the Focus for a few months and driving it around like the teenage jackass that I was, I decided it needed a name. It needed a name that people could read when they saw me speed by them at the governed 108 miles per hour. So I dubbed the sport compact Lazarus, because I felt invincible in the car. How juvenile.

So after moving to Albuquerque to attend UNM, I kept the car and the plate. I fielded questions about why I had picked that name and got sour looks from atheists and Christians alike. Then in June of 2007, the plate went missing. Disappeared from the back of the car. I reported it to the Albuquerque police, then spent a few hours dealing with getting a new one at the DMV. I paid for a new plate, then had to send away to Santa Fe for a new vanity plate. Set me back about $30. Sweet, plate’s back, nothing to worry about.

Now fast forward to last Friday. I was speeding (I really need to stop doing that) and got pulled over by a female UNM police officer. After sitting there for a few minutes I heard more sirens. Two other cop cars pull up behind her cruiser. They jump out and reach for their guns. “A little excessive, do these guys think this chick cop can’t handle me?” She came back to my window, “My computer says this car is stolen.” “What the fuck?” I thought as the men approached my car, hands on holstered guns. “Well, my plate got stolen last year,” I told the chick cop. Everything eventually got straightened out because she looked it up and saw that it was just the plate that was stolen. One of the male officers told me to go see APD and get the stolen tags code removed from my record. So after signing my name saying I’d show up in metro court, I took off to an APD sub-station. The APD officers told me they would have taken me out of the car at gun-point because catching thieves is how “cops get their jollies.” They also told me that I’m not actually supposed to have the vanity plate saying Lazarus. Because it was stolen, there were now two of the same license plates out in the world. Someone else could theoretically pop my plate on their car and commit a crime and I would be to blame. So now I had to return back to my favorite place in the world, the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. I spent a few hours there before I finally got to talk to a manager. He said he would have to confirm with the Santa Fe office that they issued me another Lazarus plate. So until he figures out the MVD’s ass from the MVD’s head, I have to roll around with a temp tag as if I just bought the car. After 5 hours, 2 police departments, and the MVD’s bureaucratic bullshit, all I have to show for the day is a temp plate and a court date.

So this marks the end of the saga. Lazarus is finally dead. I have had to resurrect him via the MVD a couple of times, but now it is time to just let him die.


One Response to “Lazarus Has Finally Fallen”

  1. The lady in the yellow hat Says:

    So. What a sad story. Did it turn out ok? Maybe you can move on to other biblical license plates – but none really have the cachet of Lazarus.

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