The auguries weren’t great. Two hours sleep last night (my own fault for watching the Ashes funeral rites); then woke up with a murderous cold, each sneeze coating my hanky with what looked like Mr Kipling apple pie filling. Then, a little late, I cycled down to the tube, only to find I’d forgotten to bring my bike lock. A frantic dash home and back again left me cutting things very fine. Then I got lost wandering around London Bridge. Finally asked someone for directions to Stand street, only to have her smirk and point to the street sign directly over my head. In the test centre the staff were old-school civil servants, whose job was to exude contempt for anyone on the wrong side of the desk. Asked if there was anything in my pockets (they do everything but strip search you), I said no. The lady asked me to turn our my pockets. They contained some tissues and a five pound note. This was considered a major security breach, and I was escorted to my locker to deposit them. Then it turned out that I had two pairs of glasses, which is one over the permitted number. Back to the locker. All eyes on the cheating bozo holding everyone up. When the test began, I didn’t know the answers to the first three questions, and guessed. One was about some sort of special mirror you need when towing a caravan. Futile to rail, as I did, silently, that I had absolutely no plans of ever towing a fucking caravan anywhere ever in what’s left of my life. You have to score 43 out of 50, so this was a sad start. Then, in the hazard perception part (videos of vaguely dangerous driving situations – you have to click when you see a developing hazard), I was deemed to have over-clicked in a dishonest way, and was given 0-5. That zero points fiasco meant I had to get near full marks for every other section.
I left the room and went to the desk to get my results, convincing myself that this was a useful practice session.
‘Here is your results, Mister Doctor’, said the only friendly person there, handing me a printout. ‘Fuck you, loser’ the letter said.
Except, no. Miraculously, I’d passed.
This leads me to conclude that the theory test really isn’t that hard. Or, rather, it’s both relatively uncomplicated, and yet so filled with tension that it becomes an ordeal. Much like losing your virginity, should one ever get round to it.