Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on May 25, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 2 comments


Still patiently waiting to get behind the wheel


“Maybe you might have some advice to give,

On how to be insensitive, insensitive, ooh, insensitive.”

Insensitive – Jann Arden

I have been motoring along quite nicely on two legs for the past three years. I live in the heart of our small town and am within walking distance of the liquor store and the hospital, two of the most important institutions in any community! I don’t need a car and I don’t want anything to do with a car but when presented with the offer off a 15-year-old Prius, at no cost, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? A person should never look a gift horse in the mouth, unless the horse has a smirk on its face.

I have owned many cars in my lifetime. Actually, most of these vehicles were jointly owned by a bank or finance company. Do normal mortals ever actually pay off their car loans? My first car was a used 1970 VW that I purchased in Victoria for under $5,000. It was my pride and joy. The last car that I drove was owned by my wife, but I was insured on the policy.

My brother and his wife recently purchased a new Prius. Initially, they decided to trade in their trusty 2007 as part of the transaction but on sober second thought, my brother hated the idea of parting with the older Prius. After all, how many cars sport both a Boston Marathon sticker and one for completing an Iron Man competition? This is when he and his wife decided to gift the car to me.

Because my brother practices medicine in another part of the province and typically comes to Antigonish late in the week, we didn’t get around to arranging the paperwork to transfer ownership for three weeks. During that time, I made a road trip to Halifax and a few other shorter jaunts. I even took it to school one rainy day because I was transporting my guitar that morning. But mostly, the car sat idly in the parking lot of my apartment building.

Two weeks ago, our schedules finally meshed and late on a Friday afternoon, we drove over to Access Nova Scotia (not sure why they changed the name from Motor Vehicles which seemed to sum up rather succinctly what goes on in that office) in his sleek 2022 Prius.

We took a number and waited patiently for our turn.

Papers were signed and money was exchanged. Now, it would take far too long to explain what happened when my brother initially traded in the old Prius but much to our surprise, we discovered that the 2007 Prius did not have a vehicle permit nor was my brother’s car insurance valid on the vehicle, even though he had kept it in force. In other words, I had been a common criminal for three weeks, galivanting all over God’s half acre without a care in the world… or a permit and insurance. I was told that I couldn’t drive the car until I came back to this office with proof of insurance.

It was now nearly 4:00 p.m. I decided to get the ball rolling and wandered over to Main Street, a two-minute walk from my apartment. A young insurance agent took all of the relevant information and generated a quote. I was aghast at the cost of it. I had been led to believe that my age and my stellar driving record, would qualify me for preferential rates. I was informed that the issue was that I had not had any car insurance for three years and as such, insurance companies were treating me as someone with no driving experience, despite the fact that I have driven hundreds of thousands of kilometers over my lifetime without a single claim. The agent suggested that I shop around as other companies in town had access to a bigger line of secondary insurers.

It was now getting near to closing time when I entered the offices of the next company on my list…. the one second closest to my apartment three minutes from home.

I went through essentially the identical process providing my name address, phone number, and driver’s license number. Much to my delight, the agent told me that there were two companies prepared to underwrite a policy at a reasonable price. But there were caveats. To ensure that I would not be a menace on the road and a threat to society in general, they needed my driving history.

I contacted their office again on Monday by e-mail. I received this message from the agent: “Not to be insensitive but is your legal name Elizabeth?” It took me a few minutes (after picking myself up off the floor) to compose myself and send a cheeky reply.

I grabbed a cold beer and turned on YouTube.

Johnny Cash was rattling around in my head.

“I tell you, life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue”.

I am patiently waiting to get my driving record.

Have a great weekend.

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