Yes, This Does Make Me Feel Old
(thanks for asking)

Since 1999, Ontario has had a program called Drive Clean. It’s designed to stop people from driving cars that spew out a ton of pollution. Older cars have to get checked every two years just to be registered.

So, every two years, I take whatever relic I’m driving into town for this test. And every time, my car passes.

This time, my car failed. Horribly, miserably, dramatically failed.

How could this happen? I rarely drive, I don’t speed, I get the oil changed regularly…I was baffled.

The mechanic sent me off with instructions: Stay calm, drive 40 kilometers (25 miles) in two days then come back for a retest.

Right—40 kilometers. I’m a recluse with a home office. It takes me months—not days—to drive that far. But I did it. I drove the long way home. I drove to the mailbox, I drove to the corner store and (since driving stresses me out) I drove to the wine store. I drove 40 kilometers in two days, then went back for the retest.

My car failed. Again.

That’s when things got tense (and expensive). The mechanic attached something to my car’s tailpipe, poked around on his computer, printed out a bunch of papers…

“Your car’s just fine,” he announced. Fine? Then why, I asked, did it fail the first two tests?

“You probably drive like an old lady,” he said (while avoiding eye contact).

Yes, turns out you can fail a Drive Clean test simply by driving too slowly too often—gunk builds up and confuses their testing equipment.

His parting words: “Next time, get your grandson to drive the car for a day before you bring it in.” 

My grandson hasn’t been born, yet. I guess I won’t be registering another car for at least 16 years.

8 thoughts on “Yes, This Does Make Me Feel Old
(thanks for asking)

    1. Brenda Post author

      Thank you, Bruce! In the mechanic’s defense, I wrecked my hip recently so I was limping…

  1. Arnold Forsyth

    Brenda: The best is yet to come! I am old and I even look old. Yes, I am a whole lot older than you young “lady” but that’s fine as I live one day at a time. I recommend a new mechanic or even for him to get new glasses.
    Grandchildren are great. I have seven and love every one as some day you will have Grandchildren too, I know. Of the seven three are “Grandsons” and not even yet old enough to drive a car. Can I be honest and say that my wife is the faster driver in our Family so she is left to blow the carbon out of our car!
    You have a great day YOUNG Lady. Arnold

    1. Brenda Post author

      It’s been a LONG time since anyone called me “young lady.” You’re now my favourite – and you can tell my dad that, too 🙂


    1. Brenda Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Martha – I’m heading over to check out your blog now 🙂


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