Monday, July 9, 2007

Matilda is Naturalized!

Saturday was the day we took Matilda to the DMV to transfer her Florida title and make her an official Oregonian. What an adventure that was! Gary hooked her to the truck using a tow strap, wrote "in tow" on the back in blue painter's tape, turned on the hazards, and off we went. Although I didn't like either option, we decided that he would drive the truck and I would sit in Matilda to steer. Gary gently took off and we made the turn from Aster onto Country Club okay. When he hit 15 mph, I began to freak out. It was like a riding in a terrifying carnival ride with no seat belt, being pulled along in a tiny, rusty tin can. When Gary hit 25 mph, I though I was going to lose it. Making wild hand gestures and having a look of sheer terror on my face, I did my best to communicate to Gary via his rear view mirror to please slow down. Apparently I need to work on my miming skills because he mistook my hand waving as a desire for him to go faster, which he did. A short distance later (right before 35th street, a whopping half mile from our house), the toe strap broke. Hallelujah. I was relieved to be able to stop for at least a minute and let him know that 10 mph was going to have to be the max.

Gary retied the toe strap and we took off with our now agreed upon top speed. We tootled down 35th Street and onto Philomath Blvd. Fortunately, there was a large shoulder and we were able to stay in it so that we didn't totally muck up traffic. We made the turn into Avery Park, and navigated its speed bumps and windy road just fine. When we got out of the park and were stopped at the light on Highway 99, we decided to switch spots. Gary now got to ride in Matilda while Simone and I drove the truck. We made it about a mile down 99 before we were pulled over by one of Corvallis' finest. He talked to Gary, took both of our licenses for a quick check, then kindly let us go with the understanding that we would not tow Matilda back home ourselves. We were relieved to not get a ticket! He probably could and should have told us to get a truck/trailer right then and there, but let us go and we slowly drove the last 3/4 of a mile to the DMV.

Amazingly, we got right in at the DMV and were in and out in 10 minutes. We requested Matilda's custom plate "M TILDA". Here's our best rendition of what it will look like:

Once we finished all the paperwork and paid the necessary fees, we pulled Matilda down to the end of the dead-end street by the DMV (they tow any cars left there after 2pm on Saturdays), and then called a tow truck. It was worth the price of the tow to: a) not die on the way back home, b) not cause anyone else to die, c) not cause an accident, and d) not get a ticket. When we arrived home from rehearsal that afternoon, Matilda was sitting securely in our driveway, like she never left.

Next adventure: removing the engine! It may be a few weeks though, as we're swamped with work and play practice right now. We'll keep you posted!

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