Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sifting through the nuts and bolts of life

A few weeks ago, I got a friendly reminder from the people at the Minnesota Department of Safety. It said, "We notice you've been driving around on our roads for the past year and we think that you're probably going to keep doing so over the next 12 months so we'd like to charge you $114 for that privilege."

Since the roads we're clean in the summer, plowed in the winter, construction was minimal last year, and the other people from the Minnesota Department of Safety (the state troopers) have always treated me well, I decided that I would give them my hard earned $114 for another year of Minnesota driving.

I paid for this privilege on-line, which for some reason cost another $1.50. I would think that since I was not taking time away from someone at the city office, they would charge me less. I think next time, I'll spend $2.00 in gas driving to the city office in order to save the $1.50 on-line fee.

A few days later, I received a package in the mail. Like a little kid at Christmas, I opened it with anticipation, like I was actually receiving a present from somebody. I soon learned that I wasn't only getting some stickers for my cars license plates, but I was also getting brand new license plates! No longer will I have to drive around having license plates with rock chips or covered in bugs that can't be removed. What a relief!

Today I went out to my car to put my new license plates on. I think the State of Minnesota likes to put salt all over the road in the winter so the bolts on your license plate rust, then once your car has been through about 5-6 Minnesota winters, they like to send you new license plates and then laugh knowing how you'll struggle while you remove your old license plates and install the new ones.

As I started to strip the bolt that holds the rear license plate on my car, I was thinking, "These nuts and bolts are going to be worthless by the time I get them off, maybe I should buy new ones to start fresh." It'd be like new ear rings for my license plate. Before I took both bolts out of the car, I realized that if I'm going to buy new nuts and bolts, I'm going to have to go to the hardware store. Of course I can't go to the hardware store in my car if the license plate isn't firmly attached to the back, otherwise I may get to chat with one of Minnesota's finest. So, I left it attached by one bolt and made the drive to my local hardware store.

As I was sifting through the nuts and bolts of life, I found some nuts and bolts for my license plate. I brought them home and with some brute force was able to detach my license plates and install the new ones in a way that Honda probably never intended. Nonetheless, my car got a new identity today, and with it's new identity, got some new jewelry to go with it.

They say that Minnesota has two seasons; winter and road construction. We are about to enter into the season of road construction which I think is really just half-time between winters.

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