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road sage

May 5, 2012

Well, it happened. My licence renewal forms arrived in the mail. I have two months to renew my plates. In previous years when I received this form, I'd put it down, near a pile of other correspondence and promise myself that I would get to it. I never did. I'd procrastinate and put it off and then just as the month of June was ending (I'm a Cancer), I'd have to rush around getting my emissions test done and standing in line at the Service Ontario counter for hours.

It was pointless.

This year, it is going to be different. I'm going to put the form in the cupboard by my cereal, so that every morning I will see it. I'll be motivated. I'll get my emissions test done in May and then I will mail the form in or go to one of those handy kiosks. No more lineups for me!

May 27, 2012

Crazy month. Man. Victoria Day may not seem like it can be as disruptive as, say Christmas, but believe me it can cause problems. Fireworks and a whole extra day off. Driving everywhere. It threw me. I had planned on doing my emissions test on Monday but neglected to realize that it was Victoria Day. Thank you, Your Majesty!

But to be honest I can't blame the dead Queen. I've had a staring contest with that licence renewal form every morning for the last three weeks. It goes like this:

Me: "Oh, hi, just here for my Cheerios."

License Renewal Form: "Well?"

Me: "Cheerio!"

The problem is I need a run at it. I have to psych myself up for the emissions test. I know my car (a 1999 Camry) is going to fail. Does any old car pass? Then I'll get the talk. I'll hear how they can only charge me $450 even though the repairs cost way more. The "government" makes it so. Anyway, I still have a month. I am going to have this done by June 5.

June 6, 2012

I've been hit by a bad summer cold. I am lying on the couch and watching both seasons of Game of Thrones. Awesome. The Sopranos meets Lord of the Rings with nudity. Goes well with a fever. Didn't take car in. Still have time.

Anyway, got to go. The King of Underarm is going to either have sex with the Queen of Umbrage or lay the entire village to waste.

June 12, 2012

Misplaced licence renewal form. Where is that damn thing? It's been sitting there beside the Cheerios for a month and a half mocking me and when I finally get around to taking the car in I can't find it. Somebody probably moved it, though I can't understand why.

It should be perfectly obvious to everyone that I am keeping an important document next to a box of cereal in order to keep it safe and remind me to renew my licence plates.

June 25, 2012

Found it! I forgot that I'd moved the licence renewal forms next to my shaving cream because I felt that I was becoming inured to the reminder by the cereal box.

That's it. It's on. In two days I'm taking my Camry in for an emissions test, then it's on to Service Ontario and licence renewal!

June 27, 2012

10 a.m. Took the Camry in! I'm heading up north first thing tomorrow morning so I thought I'd take it in. Left the car. Went for a coffee. I'm feeling positive. Maybe it won't need repair.

11 a.m. No word yet. Went to used bookstore. Bought Jay McInerney's Bacchus and Me and Mark Leyner's I Smell Esther Williams and Other Stories.

11:15 a.m. Got the call from repair shop. Fail. Needs repairs. Will take a day to figure it out. I'd leave the car but I'm going out of town. I'll have to bring it in when I get back – after the Canada Day Weekend – July 3.

Make note: Jay McInerney and Mark Leyner = bad luck.

July 2, 2012

9 a.m. Well, I'm a lawbreaker. I am driving with an expired licence plate. If a cop sees me and decides he wants to make trouble for me I'm done for – $110 fine. If the police officer wanted to really get me, he could fine me each time I drove for five seconds or longer. I'd have to get my car towed to avoid the fines.

What kind of system is this?

Noon. Guess what? The repairs cost the maximum: $450 plus tax. Does any repair ever cost less? It was the fuel injector or something. Who knows? I was too paranoid to stick around. I now have to drive to Service Ontario and pray I don't get pulled over.

It's like the final scene from Goodfellas. I see helicopters above me. Are they looking for my plate? Is that a cop in my rear-view? Why didn't I just do it in May when I had the time?

I somehow make it without getting pulled over. I stand in line for around 30 minutes and finally get my licence renewed. I normally go one year at a time but the trauma has been too much. I renew for two more years.

Hey, it's a Camry. It will last forever. And next time I get my renewal forms, it will be different.

Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy