I'm taking most of the week off because of the christmas show, so today I decided to get my car inspected and registered in D.C. Heck, I've only lived here six months, don't want to rush things. I'd heard the horror stories of the D.C. DMV, so I was prepared with snacks and magazines and patience.
10:20 I get in line. Actually one of three parallel lines. I read the New Yorker until it makes me sleepy, then the Washington Post magazine, which includes a particularly bad Date Lab. Find my Maryland registration stuck to something in the glove compartment - whew.
10:55 Reach the front of that line and join the line for old cars, which have to do the treadmill test. Sit there for half an hour, gradually realizing that I could be here all day. Eat some nuts. Pose for a few self-portraits.
11:40 Move my car into the inspection building. Honk the horn, flash the lights, turn the wheel to the right and left, demonstrate that it is a functioning vehicle, and go inside to wait. I watch through the window, and at about...
11:50 ...my car is on the treadmill and ready to go, when I notice that the car in front of it is no longer a little white car (as in picture above) but a large red SUV. Witness much discussion and pointing at my car.
11:53 My car gets backed up off the treadmill and the large red SUV has *its* emission test.
12:05 My car is back on the treadmill. Awright! I'll be out of here in ten minutes!
12:15 My car is pulled up to the end! Oh wait. They just drove it into the street. Oh. Now it's in another lane. I go out and this guy explains to me that somehow one of the inspectors pushed a button that meant my car got taken out of the computer system entirely, so my inspection didn't count. Oh, and by the way, it wouldn't have passed anyway because of my window tinting. And I said, ok, how do I get it off? And he says you use a razor blade, and walks away. And I'm like, well, great, because I don't have a razor blade on me. Then he comes back with two razor blades and we both get to work.
12:40 He finishes scraping. (He found a proper scraping tool - I was totally hopeless with the razor blade. He ended up doing almost the whole thing. He is my new favorite DMV guy. He broke two or three blades on my window.)
12:45 They test my car again.
12:55 My car FAILS. I need a new gas cap. Two and a half hours, and I'm not done yet.
So I'll be repeating this whole ordeal later in the week. Maybe that time I'll bring my real camera.