Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Today I took the test to get a permit to drive a motorcycle.

I know.  What the hell was I thinking??

I think I did it mostly to get Ed to stop bugging me.  "Are you ready for the test?  Have you studied for the test?  Are you taking the test this week?  When are you going for the test?"  He's been asking these questions for weeks.

He told me, "It's hard."

OK, whatever.  I ace every test I take, even if I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.  Hell, I got a CDL eleven years ago, didn't I? And really, how hard can a motorcycle test be?

I've been using an app to take practice tests.  There really is a lot of stuff to know when operating a motorcycle.  Things one doesn't even think about when driving a car.  And you know what I realized while taking the practice test for the motorcycle?  I realized they expect you, the motorcycle rider, to be responsible to get out of the way of every other idiot on the road.  Because no one is going to see you, notice you, pay attention to you, or give you any consideration at all.

You're on your own.

You're steering a death machine through traffic.

You may as well be playing hopscotch in a minefield.

Yet there I was taking a test to ride a death machine that renders me invisible to the general public.

I finished the test in 10 minutes 13 seconds.

There were 25 questions and you had to get 20 correct answers to pass the test, meaning you were allowed only five wrong answers.

I got five wrong answers, just skating by.

There was one question that stumped me:

Which is affected first when drinking alcohol?
a) judgement
b) speech
c) balance
d) vision

What??  First of all, I don't drink, so I have no idea which of these faculties would go first.  I've heard people slur when drinking.  I've seen people stumble when drinking.  I think if you're driving, your vision is probably not the greatest, although that doesn't really make sense.  And I know drinking affects your judgement.

I chose judgement.

My thinking on this was that if you had good judgement you probably wouldn't drink in excess so your speech, balance, and vision wouldn't be affected.  I don't know if that was the right answer though because they don't show you which questions you missed on the test.

So, $7.00 later I was in possession of a permit to drive a motorcycle.  But there was one more thing.  The lady handed me the permit stating it had some restrictions, which she highlighted in yellow.

The permit read, "This permit is valid except 1) On a controlled-access highway, 2) On any public highway from sunset to sunrise, or 3) When visibility is less than 500 feet."

Well, 2 and 3 I understood, but I didn't know what they meant by "controlled-access highway"? So I asked her, "What is a controlled-access highway?"

She said, "Umm, I don't know."

I said, "How do you not know that?  You work here."

"Well, I assume it means a highway. I'm really not sure."

I hate this kind of answer.  Why would you give any answer if you don't know what the hell the answer is?  You WORK HERE.  If anyone should know, she should.  I've been driving since I'm fifteen-and-a-half years old and I've held a commercial drivers license since 2006 and I've never heard the term "controlled-access highway".

I assumed it was an interstate, but this is Arizona and they're a little backwards here, so for all I know it could mean roads with traffic lights - controlling access.

She said, "I could find out."

I said, as sweetly as humanly possible because I wanted to reach across the counter and poke her in the throat, "Would you mind?  I'm good on the two restrictions, but I just want to clarify the first one."

I overheard her talking on the phone. It sounded like whoever she was calling had no idea either.  What the hell? This is the motor vehicle department.  The people issuing the permit with restrictions.  How does no one know??

Just as she gave me an answer - reading from her computer screen something that sounded like a definition - Ed showed up at the counter to get me.  I was going to have to leave it there.

So, I am now permitted to ride The Eliminator everywhere except on controlled access highways.  

Watch out, Tucson!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2016: Ed Is The Estrella In This Scenario
2015: The Haus Of Cream Puffs
2014: Five Guys Fries Cap Off The Week
2013: Give It A Try
2012: The House I Live In
2011: Through Chicago To Cheese Country
2010: Ghost Rider
2009: I Only Think I Know A Lot Of Things…Here Are Ten Of Them
2008: Texas Love Bugs And Hurricanes
2007: Pimping For The Presidency
2006: Demographics Of A Lifetime
2005: Glacial Impact

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