A few months ago, I wrote about the large box truck my wife and I bought for the purposes of transporting furniture to our home in preparation for opening a secondhand furniture, home decor and design store in Rochester.
In the time that's since elapsed, I'd become much more comfortable driving the behemoth 20-year-old vehicle that has more miles on it than the International Space Station.
Now, I say "behemoth," but in actuality it's only about a 15-foot-long box truck that we chose very carefully so as not to run afoul of any MN-DOT regulations. We ascertained that our box truck weight limit was such that we could transport furniture without being considered a commercial vehicle.
Which was true, except for when it wasn't.
Last month, I found out when it wasn't.
As I drove our box truck back from the Cities with a load of furniture acquisitions, I happened to have earbuds in both ears, primarily because the box truck roars so incredibly loud, you can't hear the radio, or your own thoughts. I knew earbuds in both ears was a "no no," but I weighed that against maintaining my sanity. The trade-off seemed fair, to be perfectly honest.
Anyway, the earbuds were a secondary reason I was pulled over by a Minnesota State Patrol commercial vehicle inspector. The primary reason was a non-functioning rear brake light. Hey, when you're dealing with a 20-year-old box truck, you're going to have some technical hiccups.
After being pulled over, the officer asked me a very specific question right off the bat: "Are you driving this vehicle for a business?"
This was a key question, which I of course didn't know at the time. Having driven the box truck for the last four months thinking I wasn't in violation of MN-DOT regulations, I told him I was driving to our store. This was an incorrect thing for me to say.
Now, remember when I said we could transport furniture without being considered a commercial vehicle, which was true, except when it wasn't?
Well, it turns out, back when we first purchased the box truck and used it to transport furniture to our house, that was just fine, and didn't violate any MN-DOT commercial vehicle regulations. The second I said I was taking our box truck--which weighs just over 10,000 lbs--to our store, it magically transformed from a personal vehicle into a commercial vehicle. Just like that. The clouds didn't part and the angels didn't sing, or anything dramatic like that. It just *POOF* became a commercial vehicle, and I, by extension, became a commercial driver.
Which. . .
Did you know, as a commercial driver, you have to obtain a very special MN-DOT number? I certainly didn't. Did you know NOT having a MN-DOT number is a misdemeanor? I certainly didn't. Did you know, as a commercial driver, you must obtain and have on person, a medical card? I certainly didn't. Also a misdemeanor. Did you know, as a commercial driver, you have to keep a journal of your hours behind the wheel? I certainly didn't. Also a misdemeanor.
Did you know, once a box truck magically transforms from a private vehicle into a commercial vehicle, it's subjected to a very thorough inspection right there on the spot? Well, it is, and you probably won't be surprised to learn that a 20-year-old box truck has a few problems that run afoul of ALL SORTS of MN-DOT commercial vehicle regulations. And, until you get those problems fixed, that commercial vehicle cannot be driven ANYWHERE.
Did you know it costs $160 to have a box truck towed from Hampton to a Cannon Falls repair shop? Well, it does, just in case you find yourself in a similar situation. A little knowledge never hurts.
I learned all of this and much, much more during one snowy afternoon in late February. I haven't had a cram session like that since college. I also learned State Patrol commercial vehicle inspectors aren't keen on the concept of giving out warnings. At least, this one particular inspector wasn't. So, I get to go to court to explain my MN-DOT ignorance to a judge who will hopefully appreciate the hilarity of my extenuating circumstances and show some mercy.
Unless she doesn't.
UPDATE: She did. My oratory sucked, but she got the gist. I only got knocked for the ear buds. Still cost over $100.
Ryan: I'm going to hell, in case you didn't know already.
Caroline: That was solidified a looooooooooong time ago
Ryan: I just saw a guy drive by in a pickup, and he was missing his left arm at the elbow, but he had his arm stump propped up on the open window, and I was laughing as I thought he should be careful or he'll get "farmer's stump tan."
And the stump, it was propped. Oh, yes, propped the stump was.
Why was it propped? The stump was propped, just because.
When properly propped, a propped stump looks quite proper.
When improperly propped, a propped stump's a jaw dropper.
With a dropped jaw and propped stump, people just stop and stare.
Propped stumps and dropped jaws, just aren't seen everywhere.
When it's funny:
When it's in "twat" form:
When it's acceptable:
When it's cause for national debate:
Good Lord. Have we really gotten this thin-skinned? Name calling is prohibited?
We're all sluts to political correctness, apparently.
In my lifetime, I've been called everything and anything, and that just covers elementary school. Where's my overdue consoling call from the President?
PS: I didn't post video of Louis CK calling Sarah Palin a C-word, because that's apparently the female equivalent of the N-word. Besides, I generally think Louis CK is extremely funny.
PSS: You ever notice there's no word for white males that's considered too derogatory, even though being a white male is increasingly becoming the worst thing in the world? You know, next to RICH white men.