When I failed the easiest portion of my three-part Commercial Driver’s License Permit test, I cursed under my breath as furious steam curled out of my ears. When I learned that I would have to re-enact that morning’s three-hour round-trip drive south to take the failed five-minute portion of the test the next day, I wanted to throw myself to the ground and declare the Department of Motor Vehicles and all of its associates a bureaucratic bag of dicks (it’s my blog, and I can say “bag of dicks” if I want to). Then I remembered two things:
First: Just yesterday, behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey was shot in the leg THREE TIMES while trying to save an autistic man from getting run over in traffic. Did I mention that he was shot AFTER HE LAID DOWN AND PUT HIS HANDS IN THE AIR? What was the charge, black while saving a life? As gross injustices go, my little brush with bureaucracy doesn’t even rate. If I’m going to get “bag of dicks” mad about something, I should be mad about what happened to Charles Kinsey, and I am. Plenty.
Second: I got too many answers wrong, so I failed. No need to call in Sherlock Holmes or the State Board of Appeals on this one. I skimmed the questions too fast (e.g. “which one of these is NOT true”), second guessed myself when my philosophical brain took charge (yes, that may be a correct answer, but it is not the right answer), and selected a few answers based on what I wished they were, rather than what the manual (which still uses the term “mental defectives” to refer to those with mental health issues) states as fact.
For example, it is legal for me, in the student-filled school bus I will be driving all over the Pacific Northwest, to transport up to 500 pounds of certain hazardous materials. 500 pounds! And if some of that poundage is in small arms and ammunition or up to 100 pounds of solid Class C poisons? Load ’em up, pardner! Got some labeled radioactive waste for the old cargo hold? All aboard, matey! Don’t worry, though. All hazardous materials will be kept ON THE OPEN ROAD, MOVING FREELY AND AT HIGH SPEEDS FROM STATE TO STATE, but this bustling DMV office
which is tucked into a woodsy, suburban corner of North Springfield, VT, is a hazard-free zone (unless you consider constant threats to sanity a hazard).
Sour grapes? Probably. After passing the longer and more difficult General Knowledge and dreaded Air Brake Endorsement tests with ease, I walked into the Passenger Endorsement test a tad more devil-may-care than I should have. But I walked out thinking about Earl (the lewd truck driver from Thelma and Louise). At least in movie world, even this guy got his Commercial Drivers License. And I swear with Earl the Lewd as my witness- So. Will. I.