It was an epic struggle, but I finally managed it: my car passed inspection! This story is perhaps less funny that it could be if I made it up, but every word of it is entirely true, so I invite you to read it for that reason alone.
The effort started back in December, when I was already a month late, and I received the first (of many) setbacks when the poor vehicle was failed for two sensors tripped, four bad tires, and rusty windshield wipers. Leaving aside the ridiculous fact that having any sensors tripped fails you for emissions (what does having a broken fuel gauge sensor have to do with polluting the atmosphere?!), why do the authorities care whether my wipers are rusty?! They still worked fine, after all!
Nevertheless. After Christmas I took the car in for repairs, which were accomplished very efficiently and quickly by the fine folks at Shimansky Brake and Alignment in Lexington. Then I waited around for a while, having been told that some amount of driving is necessary to reset the sensors and allow for a retest. Who knows how long a while? And, I had other things to do. So give it a month or so.
Finally, I make it into the inspection shop again (I had to go back to the same place if I wanted my free retest). I'm confident, having enjoyed the last couple weeks of driving without a check engine light on in my car, a rarity for me throughout all my driving life. Imagine my surprise, then, when I hear that I failed again on account of that *#á£ï! light! Or rather, I would have failed, absent the kindness of the mechanic who aborted the test in order to give me another free try. The problem, he told me, was the same old fuel gauge sensor. Which had never gone on before (since being fixed), and which never went on again after that!!. Why was this happening to me?! Lesson learned: do not attempt inspection with less than a half-tank of gas.
Long story short, I tried again later but the inspector fellow was just off to lunch; the next time the inspection machine was broken for the day; the next time the line was too long and I had to get to school. Not funny, but all true. Happily, the sixth time was the charm, for this afternoon I finally passed. Now I don't have to go through all that for another 11 months.
"I'm liking that orange," I said to the mechanic when my car finally emerged triumphant. (The 2007 stickers are orange here in MA).
"It's a good look for it," replied he, who had shared my pain.