I have spent too much of this week at the garage just down the road from my work. As ever my MOT was overdue and I booked the car in to get seen to. I was quite confident that it would be fine. The tyres had been seen to just a couple of weeks ago.
Well, so much for confidence. We did not pass successfully. The list wasn’t a long one, but one of the items was a bit costly. We have savings for that kind of thing, so I just took a deep breath and offered up the bank card.
They kept the car overnight, not that it was dangerous to drive or anything, or not that they had any clue that the MOT had run out, but simply because there would be no one around early enough to leave the keys with.
The next day I phoned to see how things were progressing. I was actually in a position to leave work early that day, but being told “another forty minutes” I just stayed on a did a few things. The forty minutes easily became an hour and bit before I arrived at the garage. The car was hoisted up and being tinkered with, so I took a seat in the waiting room.
An hour and a half later I was still there.
I read my way through the newspapers on the table, averting my eyes from a scantily clad woman on the front cover of the Daily Star. Someone had left behind a couple of weightier papers. If you watch the Sunday morning programme, they do a section that covers interesting articles in papers.
I picked out two.
The first was an article about drivers' licences. Who ever issues them is raking in the millions because the plastic picture licences have to be renewed every ten years. Most people don’t realise this and end up getting prosecuted. The “use by” date is printed in very small print just above the picture. However, just to complicate things, on the reverse side of the card there are a list of other “use by” dates next to the list of vehicles that the driver is able to drive. The dates are not the same. People look at those dates and not the one, the smaller print one, on the front of the card. Needless to say I got out my licence and scrutinised the date. I am OK for another five years! You have to pay to get the card renewed! Seems mean to me!
The second story was focussing on the anniversary of Charles Darwin in his legacy of evolution. Have we unlocked the mysteries of the universe? The unravelling of DNA codes were supposed to tell us so much, but in fact have posed more questions. The differences between species, not just chimps and humans, but flies and humans, and worms and humans, is so slight that it is amazing that such a slight variation in the genes results in such variety of life forms. The technology that has been developed that allows us to scan the human brain and light up bits of it that are used for different tasks was supposed to mind-map the mind. The more we seem to find out about ourselves the less we seem to know! What amazed the writer was how simple everything looks, but how incredibly complex it all is. It is like Torvill and Dean – they made Bolero look easy to skate, but when you and I put on our skates and take to the ice, it is not so easy at all. The secret of a good creator is to make creation look simple, when it isn’t!
As I was reading, I just wanted to scrawl across the page – God! The more I read the more I was amazed at the creative genius of God.
The afternoon wore on. The car was lowered and driven out the garage to join the queue to be retested. I had done the newspapers and dug through the purse to buy a cup of hot chocolate from the vending machine.
Meanwhile other customers came and went. I have to admit that one man reached over to pick up the Daily Star with the scantily clad woman pouring out of a bikini. I must have given him my most disapproving look because he put it down quite swiftly!
The car eventually got released into my custody and I went home!