Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I guess once every two years isn't TOO much to ask

So I had to get my emissions test done today and it was surprisingly quick and easy and not the big scary monster I was expecting. Apparently I had missed my original deadline and was running the risk of having my vehicle registration suspended. But I completely object to ever receiving a first notice. Now I know I am completely flakey and the envelope it came in looks way too similar to junk mail so there is a possibility I did receive it and threw it right in the trash. BUT I noticed that every other person getting tested today had the same bright red past due notice that I had (unlike the blue Bryan received since he’s not a screw up like me and still has plenty of time before his due date). Always the conspiracy theorist, I believe the MVA neglected to send out a batch of notices and just issued the past due ones in order to scam everyone of the additional $15 late fee. That’s my theory.

But once I received the notice I instantly freak out. When I think of emissions testing I’m instantly brought back to 1995 when I lived in Atlanta (Buckhead to be exact where everyone drives a Rolls Royce…scratch that, where everyone’s personal DRIVER drives them around in their Rolls Royce) Except for 18 year old me putting around in my ’87 Plymouth Reliant station wagon. Sometimes not even putting around, it was very likely I was pulled off to the side of the road as my car overheated. Anyway I had a very scarring experience with the emissions testing down there. My car was doomed to fail any kind of emissions control (the black smog coming out of my exhaust would have been a hint) and I was dirt poor and could hardly afford the $15 test let alone the mandatory repairs it would take to actually pass the test. By some twist of fate, and after my millionth attempt at trying to pass the test, I found the best mechanics. And I mean THE BEST. They were irreplaceable and if Atlanta was a day trip, I’d drive there now just for them to maintain my car. These guys were awesome and must have felt sorry for me. They would constantly band aid my radiator just to save me a buck instead of making me replace the whole thing. They even got me my favorite job of all times with Napa Auto parts making a whopping $6.40, freeing me from the $4.90 I was making at the Kroger supermarket. So when I showed up in tears asking them what I needed to do to pass this stupid emissions thing, they came up with the perfect con. See in Atlanta when you fail a test, you have make repairs and show SOME improvement as long as you spent over a certain amount of money. You weren’t even required to pass by the proper levels, if the improvement and the money spent was enough. So they rigged some spark plug thing so when I failed the test I would fail it sooooo horribly that when they fixed the spark plug, it would show a huge improvement. And they created some phony receipt showing I “spent” the minimum to repair my car. So the EPA would have been pissed but to a poor 18 year old, alone in a city full of rich people, they were Angels from above!

Obviously my 2002 Xterra (which I’m sure the EPA is still pissed at me for driving an SUV) wouldn’t have these troubles but I will forever fear the state emissions. I much rather flee the country than deal with that again! Now I’m off the hook for another 2 years…


Blogger V said...

I'm glad you passed your emissions test!

The clause that allows you to pass as long as you spend enough money sounds fishy and unfair for poorer students - if the EPA's going to make it illegal to drive a car that doesn't meet standards, it should be illegal whether you can afford repairs or not.

The mechanics from your past (sounds poetic, doesn't it?) do sound like Angels from above.

2:40 AM  

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