Random Thoughts

A minor episode from the past. part 4


Once upon a time several years ago I moved from Tennessee to Las Cruces, New Mexico, to go to graduate school.

Soon thereafter, I went to the local motor vehicle department office to swap my Tennessee driver’s license for a New Mexico one. But because I had allowed my original license to expire, I had to take a driver’s test first.

I passed the written part of the exam; but before I could take the driving part, the state trooper assigned to evaluate my driving ability put my car through a safety inspection.

The blinkers, brake lights, taillights, and one headlight functioned properly. But, alas, one headlight did not work! Upon discovering this, the state trooper informed me rather bluntly that I could not take the driving part of the exam.

The reason, she said, was that my defective headlight prevented the car from being “street legal.” I had never heard that term before, but she must have said it ten times during the course of our conversation!

I thought that it made perfect sense that because it was 11 o’clock in the morning on a sunny August day that she should allow me to take the test. After all, we would not have the headlights on anyway.

But she was not to be swayed! The law (apparently) said that a car had to be “street legal” before one could take his driving exam in it – and that was that!

I would have to get my headlight replaced before I could get my New Mexico driver’s license. Well, that put me in a difficult position. How could I get my headlight fixed without driving my car?

I thought that the cheapest place to buy a headlight was Kmart but I was out on a highway several miles from that store. Moreover, I had no money for a cab and not one single friend I could call to come get me.

But everything eventually worked out, as we will see next week in part 5 of this story.


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