Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: The Notary Manual
TEACHER: Hello class. We are gathered here today to talk about Notary terms, and the state Notary manual. But, first I would like to ask what the manual means to you.
SHELLY: I see a short book designed to teach the Notaries of tomorrow the rules of the road in order to safeguard the integrity of notarized transactions which protects society at large in a broader sense.
TEACHER: Very good Shelly! And very wonky.
KIM JONG “AKA Korean mom”: It’s so very difficult to understand. Half the terms don’t show up in my English-Korean dictionary. What a pain! I have to use my English dictionary and then translate the words in the definition into Korean to figure it out. How will I pass my test? I tried to use that as an excuse to get out of jury duty but they chose me anyway until they found out I didn’t understand any of the legal terms they used! Like “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
TEACHER: Okay, just let me know if there are any terms that I can explain to you. I may not understand Korean, but I can break the complicated terms down in an understandable way.
SHALONDA: I see three things. (1) I see a technical manual that teaches the state & civil laws affecting Notaries public, and more that could help Notaries deter fraud, keep transactions official, and keep paperwork straight. (2) A book that teaches the how-to of doing daily Notary work and (3) A book full of new names for black people to name their kids — you know what I’m saying?
TEACHER: Well, I hadn’t thought about it like that before.
SHALONDA: Oh yeah. I named my kids after Notary terms several years ago. Jurat and Venue… that’s short for Venuetta.
SHELLY: Do you swear under Oath you named your kid Jurat?
SHALONDA: I most certainly do (raising her right hand). But, Jurat is more of a jokester. He doesn’t have a solemn bone in his body. The tread on his boots is shaped like a Notary seal, and he was playing outside after it was raining. It looked like we had impressions of notary seals all through the house. I told him to take his boots off after that.
SHELLY: All of this studying for the Notary exam is tiring. I heard that reading too much can be bad for your eyesight. No wonder Trump doesn’t need glasses.
KIM JONG: I know. That’s why my kid Myong is forbidden to study more than six hours a night. We are recommending dropping his study time from seven hours to five hours and forty-five minutes with the last forty-five minutes mostly study-oriented games, songs or something where he is not staring at a book or computer.
SHELLY: Well we were going to increase Tommy’s study time from forty minutes to an hour and twenty minutes after we found out how hard college is. But, we don’t want him to ruin his eyes, so we’ll compromise at seventy minutes a day.
KIM JONG: How will he possibly compete with those studying five hours a day?
SHELLY’s HUSBAND: She has a point. Tommy will never survive in college unless he studies more. What he does now will affect him for the rest of his life. And if he does poorly in school like my brother, then he might get stuck driving a garbage truck for the rest of his life. Or an Uber.
SHELLY: Or worse — he might have to become a Notary. What has four wheels and flies?
SHALONDA: Ooh! I know this one! A garbage truck.
KIM JONG: No, that’s the junior high version of the joke! The answer in this context is a Notary who is late to a signing because he would be driving so fast!
SHALONDA: Good point. Not funny point, but good. But, honestly, to be a Notary you need to study too. In some states you need to study at least 30 hours to pass the Notary test and then another 30 hours to be a good signing agent. This profession isn’t for jokes — that is if you want to succeed in it. And by the way, you should say what has four wheels and screeches, because when you round those corners, you’re gonna be screeching those tires, girl.
TEACHER: Well class, we do seem to be diverging now don’t we. Being a Notary is a very honorable and noble profession and not for those who lack character. No wonder Trump was never a Notary.
SHALONDA: But, it is for those who lack a high school diploma. There is no educational standard for this job other than passing a test. California, Louisiana and New York make the test hard. But, the other states will just hand out seals to any fool who applies. Like Presidential Seals. Where’s the nobility in that?
TEACHER: Good point. Well, in theory it is supposed to be noble.
SHELLY: Theory doesn’t cut it when a clueless Notary assists a fraud in stealing the Title to your house.
TEACHER: You’re right. Maybe having a longer course than our six hour course would help. Perhaps a background screening too not just for being a signing agent, but for being a Notary.
SHALONDA: In California, the FBI, DOJ, and KGB all check us, but in these other states there doesn’t seem to be a system of checks and balances.
KIM JONG: Perhaps, being a Notary should be regulated federally instead of by a bunch of irresponsible states who can’t keep anything straight. And that wasn’t a reference to the gay parts of California.
TEACHER: Well perhaps you’re right. In any case, let’s practice notarizing a Jurat.
SHALONDA: You’re going to notarize my daughter?
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