Monday, October 01, 2007

Driving with a Red Inspection Sticker:

New Jersey used to send us a reminder, whenever we had to get our car inspected. Now there's an honor system, backed by a nasty ticket if a policeman catches you. We're supposed to READ our sticker to figure out when we need the next inspection.

One day my wife pointed out to me that I should have gotten the car inspected seven months ago. Life was very busy, so a few weeks passed. Each time I had to drive my car, I consciously chose roads that were unlikely to have police cars along the way. I felt like a nervy miscreant. Eventually I got my car inspected. It had a hideous problem that actually occurred the moment I handed the car over for inspection - the brakes failed. My car was now undrivable. They slapped a red sticker on the car and gave me 48 hours to repair it and return for reinspection. I had to get the car towed to the repair shop of my choice.

Two days later I drove my repaired car back to the inspection station. I drove proudly, head held high, not the least bit afraid of being stopped by a police car. After all, I no longer had an expired inspection sticker. I had a legal, RED, FAILED, sticker.

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