Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In Vermont, I didn't worry about the annual state inspection for my grease-powered 1985 Mercedes wagon. Every spring, I'd just take it to the auto center at the big department store at the mall, and they'd miss all of the tiny things that could cause it to fail--like the broken turn signals and hazard lights, and the gaping hole in the muffler--and slap a shiny new inspection sticker on the windshield without question. Now that I've moved to North Carolina, I don't know of any reliably incompetent mechanics who could do the same for me down here. And I'm about to switch my license plates and registration, so I'll need to get the car inspected. As a result, I had no choice but to get the car fixed at a Mercedes specialist. It's been at the shop for three days, with no sign of returning to my driveway anytime soon. But at least the hazard lights and turn signal will work, and that gaping hole in the muffler will finally be gone--among many, many other things. Looks like my kids can kiss their college funds goodbye.