I suspect neither my doctor, who is a prince of a fellow, nor another nice guy, who works for the Department of Motor Vehicles, will be thrilled with this, but I have come to see a clear comparison between a colonoscopy and a driving test.The thing about both is that worrying about what's coming is a lot worse than the reality.With the colonoscopy, I reached the magical age when the best medical opinion says it's time, and while on an intellectual level I understand the need, the actual work takes place way south of my intellectual level.My doctor, who is this genuinely pleasant, caring and cheerful soul, promised the worst part of a colonoscopy is the preparation and anticipation. I can say categorically that my doctor speaks truth.The night before the event that can't be named, I was required to drink a gallon of San Francisco Bay water. That is, it tasted like saltwater freshly dipped out of the bay.Back in my youth, I used to swim in the bay and I have a clear memory of both the taste of that water and what it could do to my insides. This prescription version of bay water produced results exactly in line with my memories. It would be fair to say absolutely everything came out in the end.It would also be fair to say that my nervousness — read that terror — over the approaching procedure and the gallon of salt water were dramatically more obnoxious than was the actual event. Somehow, I had missed the fact I would be drugged completely out of my mind during the exam.As far as the DMV is concerned, my driver's license expired on my birthday, and since the picture on the thing looks very much like I did at 35, the state thought it would be a great time for me to drop by the office to get reacquainted.After my initial DMV visit, the people behind the counter were so thrilled by the experience that they wanted me to come back for a driver's test.I should say at this point there was no rancor on either side of the counter and I didn't have any blots on my driving record. I haven't collected a citation in this state — don't ask me about Arizona — for more than a decade, but the newly minted DMV employee behind the counter felt the test was necessary.She scheduled me an appointment for a month down the road and I spent that month getting steadily more looney-tunes about the test.Back on that intellectual level, I had not so much as a single rational fear that I would have a problem with the examination. The problem was I had slid well beyond the realm of rational concerns.On the day of the test, I was pretty much babbling.At the appointed time, I walked into the DMV office for my meeting with this genuinely nice man.The examiner, who was about my age, looked at me, checked my records in his computer, and the paperwork I had with me, and said, "You don't need a driving test."My first inclination was to scream with glee and do a little dance in front of his desk, but I had the good sense to beat that impulse into submission. I don't know for a fact, but I suspect California doesn't give licenses to people who are demonstrably nuts.Trying to sound calm, I said something thrilling like, "Oh gee, that's nice."He had me sign my temporary license, promised my permanent one would show up in the mail in a few days, and bid me farewell.I'd like to say I have grown more wise and mature as a result of these two experiences, but I know that sometime in the not adequately distant future, I'm going to have to go through both events again and I'm likely to dive right off the deep end then too.
Roger Aylworth: Exams prove getting there is not half the fun
By Deseret News
Roger H. Aylworth