Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: The virtues of waiting at the DMV

The Department of Motor Vehicles has a new online program that allows you to see how long you are likely to have to stand in line for a new license at the DMV. This is a horrible idea.

First, you tell drivers that if we hurry on down right now, we will have only a 20-minute wait. Next thing we spoiled Americans will want is the ability to use our E-ZPass to get into a faster line.

And how do we know the DMV isn’t in cahoots with police on patrol for speeders on the highway?

“Look, Marge, there’s only a five-minute wait right now at the Manchester sub-station! Let me drive you. We can be there in no time!”

The next thing Marge hears is the siren on the beltway.

This all began in Florida, where electronic billboards inform drivers of the wait time for shooting victims in the nearest emergency room. These boards are often situated next to signs for bail bondsmen who promise they can spring you from that nasty child-payment arrest faster than you can say “child custody.”

What would really improve the quality of life would be a few e-boards on Route 101 eastbound to inform dad of the chances of finding a parking spot anywhere along Route 1A on a hot and sunny Saturday.

These could be reduced to two or three flashing messages:

“Fat Chance.”

“Are you kidding?”

Or “Have you thought of Uber?”

Meanwhile, Hawaiians cannot catch a break.

They live in an island paradise, but one of the islands appears intent on creating more paradise by way of hot lava.

At first, I paid no attention to the volcano story. My hearing isn’t what it used to be, (is it Laurel or Yanny?) so I couldn’t figure out why they were talking so much about Eddie Fisher. Apparently, there are other fissures involved.

If the volcano weren’t enough, Hawaiians have now been told not to use sunscreen because it harms underwater coral. I don’t even know how you apply sunscreen to coral, but I guess that’s why I don’t live in paradise.

Anyway, the focus must now turn across the other ocean to where someone named Una Merkel was marrying into the royal family despite her being a commoner with a penchant for funny hats. The hats, though, may come in handy if someone decides it’s “off with her head!” at some point.

On the good side, at least she won’t have to wait in line.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @deucecrew.