By Golly (BG) and by gosh (bg), there are two entities you can’t Google:  My confounding partner “O” and a NSA arm of DMV that seems bent on crushing the driving spirit of WTH. A daunting and diverse duo.

My calendar and numerous interested converts keep reminding me to update the Phantom of Boyle Avenue, the elusive “Oh-bah-keh” – again – and again. Glad to oblige. By now, considering a more than two-year span, a mere recitation of times and dates no longer are important. There have been a couple of surprises recently.

First, a backward look at November 2013: There were only five “tap tap tap” episodes compared to a more frequent seven telephone rings; three of those after 6 a.m., the first time at such a late hour. Of the knocking interruptions, for the first time two were on my bedroom wall, not the door or hallway. [Aha, ye ghostbusters, now I can check with Apartment 213 neighbor to see if she heard anything: Nope, she was dead asleep at 12:12 on a Sunday and 3:22 on the Friday. Besides, alas, she is hard of hearing.]

“O” closed out December with a dozen visitations but whoa, all were “tap tap taps” with one definite eye-opening awakener being on my headboard; no more than a foot or so above a surprised noggin! [And did I mention, nary a single phone jingle. In an earlier column, I explained how a brand new phone has been installed to further investigate the land-line phenomena.]

January has been a mixed bag of fresh, new “Oh-bah-keh-sama” stories. After an awfully cheeky 10:45 a.m. (an unusually late time) telephone ring on the 3rd., there were two additional early morning calls and seven knocking incidents since. Herein lies an intriguing experience.

A way back in October, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to speak to a local seniors group. Don’t ask why. I write. I don’t talk. Obviously not J.D. Salinger in terms of writing, but trying to emulate as a recluse (and admirer of the young). Since I didn’t have to confront the group until January, no big deal, I thought. A lot can happen in four months, no? No. January happened.

Even though there were many in attendance who read The Rafu Shimpo, I decided a recount of my “O” experiences would be of interest to the rest of the gathering. Didn’t turn into a speaking disaster. Was quite pleased with the effort, actually. Again, being a neophyte at standing in front of an audience affords license to blow a line of two.

Relieved, more than somewhat, I returned to my abode after a pleasant meet & greet session with the congregants following the talk. Felt pretty good, if truth be told. But the minute the apartment door closed, a sudden ringing begins in my ears, along with pressure like when descending in an airplane. It was 3:38 p.m.

The ringing (tinnitus?) increased in concert with heightened pain. Rather than scurry to find my emergency Help! button (where did I put it?) to notify nursing staff, Jappo cool took hold and I sat on the bed to gather my wits rather than panic. Voila! At 3:46, eight (my favorite number) minutes later, everything returned to normal. No pain, no ringing, no nothing.  Instead of concern, I felt a sense of comic relief. I was convinced it was “O” registering a level of displeasure [for the just-concluded presentation]. I was and am still certain it was so.

On a following Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the first time in eons such a consecutive streak was posted, there were single knock-knock visits. No phone rings. Just two knocks each time. No ear popping or ear aches.

Nothing, absolutely zilch, nada ever since.

=  *  =

I’m too lazy to Google my past columns but I’m pretty sure I didn’t celebrate the occasion publicly when I finally got that elusive piece of plastic; the one with a photograph that makes you look like you’ve just been arrested.

Yeah, there it was in the mailbox. For whatever reason, sentimental I guess, I didn’t scissor the old license into oblivion. So finally there it was, the **third** official approval to traverse our highways and byways; an unbelievable trio in a period of only two and one half years!

Whoa, hold on there, Tonto. What’s that I see written in yon red line? “Expires 11/25/17”! Who in Hades has ever been issued a driver license (not driver’s) for four years? I’ve asked at least twenty people (and counting): Have you ever heard of a license renewal being issued for a four-year period? Thus far, no one.

But I refuse to allow them to incur any further denigration. When 2017 arrives, whenever that might be, I will refuse to apply for another renewal. No more aggravation. I’ll quit driving or continue into ’18 without official sanction.

What’re they gonna do, throw me in jail?

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at williamhiroto@att.net Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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