Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shapes Of Insanity

Ok. It’s official. What I’ve been fearing has finally come true. I have lost my mind. I now close my eyes and envision shapes of insanity and they look like this.

My driver’s license expired on my birthday last week. I know, I know, you’re supposed to renew it before it expires, but I just told you, I lost my mind.

This afternoon I went to the lovely Secretary of State facilities with the oh, so friendly (cough, cough, gag) people and confessed that my license had expired a few days ago. It was no problem, they assured me, and I should just get in line. Of course.

When they finally called my number, the lady at the counter told me that I would have to take a written exam to renew my license. Because it had expired? No, because of the whole ticket fiasco I told you about last year in my I Want You To Want Me post.

I did get a ticket, but a conviction was entered before they even gave me a court date because, you know, they are soooo busy that they can’t always process the return envelopes within the 30 day allowed time span. Welcome to Chicago and Crook (opps, Cook) County.

Ok, whatever. I’ve been driving for 26 years with only one traffic ticket and a handful of accidents. The majority, of which, were not my fault. I can do the written test.

I was directed to an area with school type desks (made for right handers) and you had to answer the questions using the red pen tied to the side of the table. I might want to add that it was tied to the right side of the table and the string wasn’t very long. I am left handed so I had to do a quarter turn to my right and write on the little arm of the table just to use the darn pen.

Come to think of it, it's amazing that I even made it through school being discriminated against like this! What if I suffered from some potentially serious neck or back strain injury trying to write like this? I should probably sue somebody.

Anyway, I answered like 30 multiple choice driving questions easy as pie. Piece of cake! And then I turned the page to find 17 shapes without words on them and I was supposed to indicate what these shapes mean.

Yes, I did know the stop and the yield sign shapes, but the other ones? Not all of them. When I see those signs on the road, they have words or pictures on them. That’s what I pay attention to, not the darn shape or color of a sign.

Good God. I made my best guesses and took it back up to Mr. Older Than Moses for my score. I got all of the multiple choice questions correct, but I missed two too many signs, prompting him to mutter "sorry" and hand me a copy of “Rules of the Road”.

Sorry? I. Failed. The. Test.

I have never failed a test in my life! I was a terrific student in school, sailed through my ACT and SAT exams and score in the top 2% of all human beings on an IQ test and I know I knew this when I was 16... the last time I had to take a written driver’s test.

I feel like Kelly Bundy without the boobs. Check out this episode of Married With Children episode where Kelly was competing on a game show and could only hold a certain amount of facts in her head before she was full. Once she reached that point, any new facts added to her brain would blast out something she already knew.

I guess all of the wisdom I’ve accumulated in my 42 years has erased the meanings of the shapes of the signs on the road from my mind.

This is bad news for me because I’ve always done pretty well with my memory games all things trivial. My friend Malcolm hosts a weekly trivia contest that I love to play. I do fairly well on his quizzes, but today I really wish that I was able to recall the shapes of insanity, instead of Fred Sanford’s deceased wife’s name or Patricia Reichardt’s nickname.

You should go take Malcolm’s Trivia Quiz, and I will retake my written test tomorrow..you know, so I actually have a driver’s license.

Move over, Al. Psycho Dad is being replaced with Psycho Mom. It was bound to happen sooner or later.


This Eclectic Life said...

Oh criminy! I hate those darned tests. Sounds like that really sucked. And, what sucks worse is that I've had my head in the sand for days! LONGER! I missed the new digs, missed your birthday! Kick me. I'm an idiot. I'll make it up to you. I don't know how...let me check my lottery tickets real quick.

Happy belated, sweet friend. I feel lower than a worm's belly for not dropping by.

The Rock Chick said...

Shelly: oh please. Don't feel bad. You certainly have had more than your fair share on your mind. Belated birthday wishes are just as good as the "on the day" ones to me! Well, much to the amusement of the police officer hubby and new driver daughter, I studied my driving shapes tonight and I'm sure I will pass tomorrow. This would only happen to me, I swear! What do you think of the new digs?

The Freelance Guru said...

Intriquing. Are they suggesting that the majority of Americans can't read? Because surely that would make the first page of the test null and void.

pjazzypar said...

You were ambushed! Luckily I get my ass over to the Department of Motor Vehicles before my license expires, otherwise I would be in a world of trouble if they broke out the shapes on me. Let's see, I think the first sign denotes a school or children crossing. Of course everyone recognizes 2 and 3.
I am not sure about 4, but I think it is construction. 5 is used for railroad crossing. 6 is the one used as a Do No Enter sign. I remember seeing 7, but I don't know where.

The Rock Chick said...

Freelance: You know, I don't know why the shapes and colors of the signs. I'm guessing it's supposed to be for immediate recognition, I don't know. If there's words written on them, they are written in English, but the test is available in any language. I'm wondering what would happen if you were colorblind? And...in my area, the first sign isn't yellow anymore and hasn't been for a while. It's like a bright glow in the dark yellow-green color. They're just trying to trick me.

Pjazzy: Very good! You got the first 5! #6 is actually a regulatory sign. It's the speed limit sign. The Do Not Enter sign has a red circle with a white line through it. And #7...I actually took a poll of my neighbors and nobody got this one without the words on it. It's the No Passing Zone sign. I totally did not recognize the yellow circle without the railroad crossing words/logo on it.

Now that I'm all studied up, I'm going back to take the test this afternoon. Wish me luck :)

Sassy Mama Bear said...

Hope the test goes better today, and you know if you ever want to sue for left-handed discrimination my husband would join you.

The Rock Chick said...

sassy: I passed this time with a 100%! woo hoo! I'm seriously considering the lawsuit. Come one, would it be too much trouble to get one left handed desk? I think we have a good case here!

Jessica Morris said...

I got so confused when I had to write my test for my American license - silly little things like how far you can drive behind a bus or how fast you can drive in school zones are *slightly* different than what they are in Canada ... and yet the multiple choice answers were all within a few miles of each other so guesswork was impossible!!
I barely managed to pass the test.