Why? Because I am now an Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator instead of a mere Advanced!
I was at the Indianapolis Hamfest (report to follow with some photos), having worked my way through the flea market to the the sole-and-only air-conditioned building (also, it had started to rain), when the PA system announced, "The bus to the testing location is about to depart!"
"H'mmm," I thought to myself, "I have not been exactly shining on the online practice tests (see links in right sidebar) but I have been passing the Extra exam -- why not give it a go?"
So I scurried out to the "bus" (8-seater SUV) for a rather loooong ride into the next county, were tests were being administered by Volunteer Examiners in the fellowship hall of a local church. Started to sign in, realized I needed a photocopy of my license and hitched a ride to the closest photocopier (at the town library) with another ham. Took the test, really stumped by a few questions, but hey, who knows.
Sure enough, once they'd scored the exam, I had passed!
Considering that I still have (somewhere) my Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam Element for the old twenty-words-per-minute code test, I shall count myself an old-fashioned Extra -- after all, I can prove it!
What's this get me, you may ask? Aside from bragging rights, a little elbow room: holders of the Extra-class ticket have exclusive use of the lowest 25 kilocycles of the ham bands, or most of them, anyway.
Until my Official License arrives, I have to ID myself as "W9---/AE" when using the exclusive frequencies and in International Code that slant bar is composed to the letters D and N sent all run together, a middling awkward construction, "DAHdidiDAHdit."
Can't say that I mind it!