So I got that green card in the mail, the one that says I
need to send $xxxxx dollars to the State of Washington for the privilege of owning my
minivan.  That’s annoying enough, but
this year Oscar (that’s the minivan’s name) (what?) is in need of an emissions
test to ensure that I’m not contributing to Global Warming any more than is
absolutely necessary.  Considering that
today it is a.) about 58 degrees outside and b.) the middle of JUNE, I’m
feeling a bit doubtful about that particular threat.

I drove to the testing place and randomly chose a line to
get into.  It was early so they were all
short, and in front of me was just one van, one of those big boxy ones, a Ford
I think, about 10 years old judging by the degree of fading of the paint job.

While the Ford got tested, I pulled Oscar up to the first
station, where a cheerful black woman took my money.  I had a Koko Taylor cd playing, and the
cheerful black woman did a little dance there next to my door, so I figured
this was going to be ok. 

After a few minutes, I noticed that the other lines were
moving right along, but the Ford dude in front of me was still revving his
engine and scrutinizing the screen on the wall. 
Pretty soon a car that had come in after me and chosen a different line
drove away, printed inspection report in hand.

The cheerful black woman showed me a bowl of biscuits she
kept at her station.  “So I can feed my
babies when they come in!”

“You give treats to dogs when they come?”

“Yes, I give my babies they treats!”

Ahead of me, Ford dude was still revving, and I thought it
might be better if she handed out cookies and coffee to irritated drivers, but
I kept that to myself.

A dour looking technician shook his head sadly at Ford dude,
and finally handed him his report.  “He
flunked!” the cheerful black woman told me cheerfully.  Ford dude hung around a minute or two longer,
while I mentally shoved his vehicle forward. 

At last I was allowed to pull forward.  The dour technician reached in and plugged a
cable into some mysterious place under my dashboard while I tried to hold my
legs out of the way and felt glad I was wearing jeans and not a miniskirt.

No, I never wear miniskirts, but I was especially glad

Approximately 15 seconds later, I was driving away, my
printed report in hand.  PASS, it
said.  I didn’t even have to rev the

I cranked Koko Taylor up loud, felt superior to Ford dude,
and drove to Starbucks, where I again joined a line of vehicles.  Luckily, all the treats there are for people.


Edit: Yes, yes, I know, vehicle emissions don’t cause global warming.  It’s all that damn hairspray.


30 thoughts on “

  1. If you flunk, Al Gore personally comes to your house to yell at you.  And ryc: I submitted the final diary entry of conjoined twin (triplet?) Clara Ederle.

  2. The fact that it’s that cold in June actually probably is related to global warming… it screws with weather patterns and makes things unusually cold and wet in addition to melting crap… eh, I don’t know what I’m talking about. Guess I should go watch that movie, huh.

  3. Good for Oscar, Charlie ( I just gave my van that name, just now ) flunked last year. It was because my check engine light was on. I tried to explain that it always went on and off, Charlie was fine ( of course I did not call him Charlie because I just named him right now ). They were not buying it, so I had to take Nameless Charlie to the dealer who told me they could not find anyting wrong. Like I said Charlie was just fine. I did not get coffe or dog biscuts at either place. I did have to pay for them to tell me Charlie was fine.

  4. Yea for Oscar! Oddly, for the first time in years we’re living in an area that doesn’t require emissions testing. We’ve only flunked once and that was our little ’86 Toyota MR2 in Las Vegas. Whoops! We sold it to a fellow who probably auctioned it off for quite a nice price. I figure it’s just a matter of time before Eugene adopts emissions standards stuff too and it’s really no trouble. But if a ten-year old Ford can’t pass… that doesn’t say a lot perhaps for Ford or perhaps for the owners. LOL. Bummer. Our ’99 Chrysler passed just fine a year or so ago.
    What a cheery emissions testing lady though. Goodness! And um… here in Springfield and Eugene our Dutch Brothers coffee drive throughs provide coffee for the adults, hot chocolates (called Not So Hots) and lollies for the kiddies and biscuits for the puppies. No idea what they do if a cat person happens along. ROFL.

  5. The emission test is for smog (ozone and nitrogen oxides). Smog is the stuff that burns eyes and lungs. Nothing you put on your tail pipe will stop global warming (carbon dioxide). That will just smother you. I wish we had green cards here. We get tax breaks for planet wreckers because they are farm equipment.  No matter if you are a farmer or not. That biscuit lady and I need to get together to discuss babies.

  6. This is fun reading. I like the woman with the dog treats. We don’t have “drive though” spots I don’t think…but I have a “new” car (5 years old) so haven’t had to test in 5 years now. Maybe it’s changed. I always pick the wrong lines.

  7. huh… in the past 5 years I haven’t had my cars tested… am I breaking the law, breaking the law??! Couldn’t help myself there-(humming that tune) Isn’t it the same all over the state that the yearly renewal is a set price thanks to Eyman or somebody? Or did that get overturned and we haven’t seen the change in renewal charges… sorry, thinking and typing outloud here.

  8. Btw, we have those in Illinois. Rachel is the only one who has ever been there as she is the only one with an older model vehicle.She said it was a horrific experience all around. So you and she agree. As for me, it’s an experience I shall never have. But if for some bizarre reason i should end up there… I’m taking Milo.

  9. And breathing.  All of that silly, CO2-producing respiration.  There oughtta be a law!
    I’m due for the ol’ testaroo this year as well.  I haven’t gotten around to it, but I have until next month.  I used to own a Mustang so I naturally cringe everytime I have to test.  It’s a learned response to adverse stimuli (like having to sell the Mustang because it wouldn’t pass multiple times…what is it with Fords, anyway?).  Stoopid global warming!

  10. what a nice way to start my morning, thanks!!  I always love your blog… regardless of the topic.  By the way, you wrote a piece a few days ago about AIDS and I read it but did not have time to comment – I appreciated your thoroughness, the solid information you included and I do not think there can EVER be enough said about the topic…
    love and peace

  11. You should move to Oklahoma. They stopped vehicle testing here several years ago so that Bubba can drive his 4-ton F-350 pick up truck with no muffler and a nuclear arsenal hanging on the gun rack without any pesky government interferance.

  12. LITTLE GIRL IN CHURCH: “Why is the bride dressed in white?” MOMMY: “White is the color of joy, and today is most joyful day of her life.” LITTLE GIRL: “Then why is the groom wearing black?”

  13. We have emissions testing here too.  We used to have to only have the test every other year… But the testing stations wanted our $25 every year, so the legislature changed the law. 
    Of course, most trucks and buses are exempt from testing… even though many of them spew copious amounts of smog every few feet.

  14. My old 89 van would never pass, it shoots blue smoke all the time. It needs rings (on the pistons, not on its fingers) but since they don’t test vehicles here, I don’t care. Well, I kind of do care, but not enough to put a new $1,000 motor into a $700 vehicle. That’s why I bought a 91 toyota pickup and am selling the van.
    I should name my toyota truck, what do you think would be a good name?

  15. We have to take our cars to a private garage for the emissions test, which means we pay, whether we pass the test or not. This test, of course, only applies to personal vehicles – trucks and buses need not apply.

  16. There are No emission testing here. No inspections either.  Surprise Surprise.  LOL@ isismoon – leave it to a scientist to make a perfectly funny story and ruin it with facts.

  17. They cancelled those tests around here last year. The newspaper headline read: Kentucky rivals Oklahoma for number of Bubbas — VET testing cancelled. Buy hey — it’s all good. I could listen to Koko Taylor any time, anywhere! Whut a woman!

  18. You keep such an interesting menagerie here! Ah’m wantun to git me won o’ them nuclear arsenals fer my ’75 Dodge!      I thought global warming was about methane, which is all cow’s fault.Puts a vegetarian ecologist in a difficult position.

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