Emotive Emissions

E-check. Dreaded trip to the State's evaluation of your car emissions, engine gas mixture worthiness, overall environmental consciousness, worth as a human being. Us vintage 1995 truck owners get nervous.

Closest station at E. 172 & St. Clair, an unlikable quasi-post industrial strip parallel to the highway and just down the street from the porno superstore and a great veal parm sandwich (not together).

The web says avoid Monday mornings and right after holidays because of crowds (all that pent up hunger for sweet emissions' release I guess). But looming registration expiration means this Monday.

I get there before 8 a.m. and yes Lord I'm #1 and only. My phosphorescent gladness asks tech, "What do I get for being first customer of the day?" She says, "A smile." Great, but if I had to choose I'd take a passing E-check over dental dazzle.

You pass, you get another year of car registration. You fail, tuck your face between your tailpipe and motor over to your mechanic to fix...something.

Because failure means unbalanced mechanical yin-yang. Tuff ruck charlie. Off you go to wizardly grease monkey to figure combustion mystery.

So I sit there holding my breath, watch the car get revved, witness the violent violation of my exhaust system, listen to the tech taping the computer keys and print out the answer to your quest to be a good little green driver.

Fill up the tank, set the cruise control and spew some more Co2, baby, I passed!

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