Yesterday I went for my scheduled appointment at the DMV to get a California driver's licence (which really means you have a starting time for waiting in the line-up). After completing my forms, paying my money, and having my photo taken I was directed to go to the final line for "the written test." My mouth dropped open. No one told me there was going to be a test.
Now, it has been over 25 years since I took a driver's test. And I took it in Ontario. Canada. And I have never looked at the California Handbook. Not so much as a glance at the cover even.
But I assured myself that I have been driving for more than 25 years. I have a solid working knowlege of the rules of the road. That it would be just fine.
I failed by one point the first time. I was shocked. I thought I had done very well on the test and I would still contest that a couple of my answers were right if you'd understood the question the way I did. Really, there was plenty of room for an alternate interpretation.
But the clerk just nodded and handed me my second chance. I took the next test (different questions from the first one) with fear and trepidation. The test was not any easier second time around. I ask you, do you actually know what the posted speed limit is for a railway crossing without a barrier? And should you really need to have that fact memorized?
And how is the child-less driver to be certain whether a child must be 4.7", 4.8" or 4.10" before being allowed to travel without a child restraint. Or whether or not, for example, it is illegal to smoke in a car while transporting your child in the State of California. I don't smoke, I have no child. I've only just moved here. I think it should be illegal, does that count?
There were dozens of such silly questions and when I counted the number of answers I was guessing at, there were 8 in total. I just prayed God would have mercy on me as I stood there awaiting my final score.
Amazingly I passed the test the second time. Proof of God's mercy to be sure. But it took me hours to stop shaking. I had this irrational fear that they were going to suspend my driver's licence, wipe out my near perfect driving record, because I was unsure of whether or not to give a warning honk to the blind man at the side of the road who suddenly withdrew his white cane. (You shouldn't. I was right. I figure if it makes me jump, it's probably going to give the blind guy a heart attack).
Funny thing, they never asked a single question about knitting and driving. I think they should and I have the perfect multiple choice question:
When you are stopped at a traffic light, and the light turns green, should you
a. Put down your knitting immediately and turn your attention to driving
b. Finish the row you are on before putting your knitting back in your bag and resuming driving.
c. Wave other cars to go around you so that you can complete your sleeve before driving on.
Not that you'd ever catch me knitting and driving, mind you, at least not in the State of California!!