Thursday, November 8, 2012

thrice denied

As I mentioned, Primo was due to take his driving road test on his 17th birthday, last Tuesday.

As in, the day after Sandy came to town.

NJ rules require you to take the road test in a car with a center pull brake, or one in which the examiner has "unrestricted access to the foot brake." With the exception of a postal delivery truck, or the examiner sitting on your lap, I cannot really fathom how you can pull off the latter option. This means that if you are a family like ours, without a center pull brake in your car, then you are forced to hire one from a driving school. This was actually just fine by me, as it meant I didn't have to deal with a cranky over-anxious teen who felt like his whole life was on the line for one little piece of plastic.

The driving school called the weekend before Sandy hit, to give me the heads-up that Primo's road test was preemptively cancelled by the state. No road tests through Wednesday October 31st.

I went online as directed and found a little slot on Thursday November 1st. Of course, given the damage that the state suffered, this date turned out to be laughable. The driving school didn't have power, we didn't have power, I doubt that branch of the Division of Motor Vehicles had power.

Second strike.

We finally got a call from the driving school this past Monday. Since Primo is still out of school for the entire week, we were able to snag the last remaining slot for the next three weeks: yesterday at 3 pm.

As in, the day that Winter Storm Athena came to town.

The driving school instructor, savvy in such things, insisted it would be OK. He picked up Primo 10 minutes before the snow started. Somehow he convinced the DMV to take him a couple of hours early, and even in the driving snow, Primo passed.

He and the instructor went to go into the DMV to get his license... and the doors were locked. The governor had ordered them to shut down early for the day.

To say the kid was a little frustrated by this point would be putting it mildly. Teenage boys, within arms-reach of a ticket to freedom, can get mighty testy when they run into repeated roadblocks.

We managed to pull it all together today. DMV, open. Snow, off roads. Paperwork, in order. License, obtained.

His father's text upon hearing the news (yes, it was really this long):
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff.
Dr Peter Venkmen: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.
Dr Ego Spengler: Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanos!
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave.
Dr Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria...
[Primo's father]: Hurricanes, nor-easters, power outages, Primo getting his license...
(Points for naming the reference!)

He didn't let such dire prognostications trouble him. Within 30 minutes of arriving home, he found a reason to drive to his friend's house. Alone.

Scary stuff indeed.


  1. The first kid getting his license is really scarey. The second one is the one that turned my hair grey. Tell him I said "Congratulations. Pay attention to the road. I have family members out there."

  2. Ghostbusters! The best!

  3. I'll be praying for him!

    and Ghostbusters, of course.