Road test.

4 Feb

CHiPs!

So, the exciting conclusion to yesterday is that I got my new CA license and registration! I missed one question on the written test. So if you see a parked car, rolling out into the street on an uphill without a curb, that’s mine. Because I don’t know how to park it. (And I’m still not remembering the correct answer). The DMV was a breeze. The ladies I worked with were friendly – even though the one girl told me I looked exactly like her friend that just died. The lady administering the written test was more excited that I passed, than I was. Her: “You passed! EEEEEE!” Me: “….Yay! — oh — EEEEEE!” But the highlight of the morning had to be the SMOG check. I went to a gas station and met with an old Greek man who referred me to Arman, the guy on Franklin/Western who does SMOG checks. I arrive at the second gas station and Arman tells me “I will take care of you” as he pushes his white sunglasses onto his head of spikey hair. He does the check, my car passes, he comes over to me and says “I don’t want to alarm you – and I’m not gonna do anything about it – but there’s a dead rat in your engine.” Me: “EEEEEEEEEEEE!” There sure was a rat in there. A big one, all tucked in and really really dead. Thankfully, his Mexican coworker had the balls to get some kind of clampy-poker thing and take the rat out. Most of it. There’s still a layer of fur petrified onto the space where the rat had been. Me: “How do I get that out of there?” Arman: “Gotta get it detailed.” This reminds me a little of that scene in Pulp Fiction. I drive back to the DMV, certain I’m smelling something along the lines of “warm hamster”, to finish things up with a VIN verification. The lady asks me to lift the hood of my car and I feel like a funeral director, lifting the lid of a coffin. Please… don’t let the lady see the rat shaped fur spot. She didn’t.

So, my day continued – me with my paper temporary ID, my Oregon ID with a hole punched in it and a temporary registration with stickers and forms stapled to it. Fresh out of the box California resident. I ate lunch at Food+Lab in Silverlake with a friend, then went to Zumba and Kickbox class, then to Beverly Hills to see a friend’s band at South Beverly Grill. It was lovely and then it was time to head home. I drove a few blocks from the restaurant, and thru a yellow (see: ORANGE ) traffic light. Oops. I totally thought the yellow was going to last longer. And VOILA! A cop was behind me, driving without his lights on. Me: “OMG there’s a cop behind me without his lights on.” (A shred of hope remains). LIGHTS ON. I pull over and try to arrange my “paperwork”. He shines the force of 20 suns into my eyes “Do you know why I stopped you?” Me “I went through a red light.” Apparently, this ticket could run up to $500. I showed him my hole punched ID, my paper ID, my temp registration, and my insurance. He makes me take an eye-following-finger test. He’s young, married, and still shining a flashlight into my face. I try to remain calm. And I think back to everything I’ve learned today about driving. He lets me go without recording any of my info. I think my dirty Oregon plates saved me on that one.

The cop pulls off the curb and drives away. My roommate and I pull slowly away from the curb and proceed to stop at all greenish yellow lights. All I want to do is be out of my car, and in bed where I don’t have to think about any rules of the road…

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