Mar 27, 2012

A Hot Summer Day

I should have never purchased the truck in July. That was ultimately the problem. As strange as it may seem, I offer this advice: never purchase a vehicle when it's hot outside. I know it seems odd, bear with me.

Sometime in the 1980s, Arizona began mandatory testing of the tailpipe emissions. Apparently the emissions equipment on the vehicles could fail and some lawmaker decided that the best way to check for failure was to test every single vehicle in the City of Phoenix. So once a year, every Phoenician had to take off a half day from work and wait at the emissions testing station.

Now back then, there weren't that many testing stations. It was not uncommon to wait in line for four hours. And since the line moved up one car length about every 10 minutes, your battery could run down if you continually started and stopped the car. But if you left the car running with the air conditioning on full blast, the car might overheat. The solution? Roll down all the windows, hope for a breeze.

So in the summer of '89 or so, the notice came in the mail that I had to perform an emissions test on my 1980 Ford F-150 pickup truck. So I got in the car and drove to the emissions station. It was Really Hot. (Actually, it was hotter than Really Hot – but my wife says I shouldn't use bad words in the Vail Vision). And there was no breeze. I rolled down my window and inched forwards. When I was about 2 cars away, I started preparing for the test. I opened my checkbook to write the check. I was out of checks! I had been in line for 4 HOURS!! I opened my wallet and had $10, not near enough to pay the $27.50 fee. What could I do? I frantically searched in the glove box and there was a $20 packet of McDonalds Gift Certificates. I had no choice! I sprinted from my car and went door to door to every car around me to hawk the certificates. Eventually, a construction worker in another truck had mercy on me and made the swap.

I reached the station just in time. The truck passed. I waved to the construction worker with a big thumbs-up and he smiled back at me. After I left, I cursed myself for purchasing a vehicle in July because if I had purchased the vehicle during any other time of the year, I would have been waiting in line during a much cooler time. So take my advice – never purchase a vehicle in the summer.

When we all approach the end-of-life testing station you won't have the cash. But Jesus will be in the truck right next to you and He'll pay the fee. And you won't ever have to wait in the Hot Line Again.


Pastor David Hook

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