Remember back to the day, when you were about 16 years old and full of anticipation of driving your first car? Just having our drivers licence would have given the feeling of total freedom to our youthful existence. Learning how to drive from mom was like asking a tiger to become a vegetarian. It wasn’t going to happen! But Dad? despite the temper, he was well-meaning. Besides he is the only one left to ask. So that’s the ticket, I’m sure! Little did I know. For Dad just the thought of driving, with his son was bringing dad to the place of contemplating, drinking heavily. This was the worry of all parents. Having this life changing event, that also has them looking at being forced into letting go! All to fast of their kids growing-up. The downside thoughts of most parents, the worry of all sorts of calamity’s of major proportions. Anticipating getting that phone call. The kids got into an auto accident! Do we really have to let them drive? On the more positive thoughts. If we survive without having a heart attack or a stroke, with all of our faculty’s still in place, we may finely get to enjoy our golden years of retirement. As long as we manage to hold onto some of our money in getting there? Can we just say NO! If the kids start asking for the land yacht, gas money, and money for the movies….? Drivers education by the way of the land yacht, was the life changing event to say the least.
Getting back from our first drive with dad had my dad calling the first drivers education school he could find. What once was. ” I can do it! We can save that money! ” Changed to ” My life is worth so much more than an early heart attack!” Dad was breathing somewhat heavy, and deep. Or was that… he’s breathing heavy all so, in maintaining control in keep himself from killing me?
I don’t know what the big deal was? So I confused the gas and the brake pedal. Leaving the parking brake on untill we smelled the burning brakes. It finely dawned on dad that telling me give it more gas to be able to merge into traffic was the wrong thing to teach, once the parking brake was taken off! burning rubber as a posed to burning brake was too much! I thought I did relatively good though. But how the hell was to know? I havent driven a car before and from my point of view. It wasn’t all that different then Dad’s driving. Munis the temper! Once as he was passing this guy, that had just cut him off. He shook his fist at the guy vigorously. Of course once he realized it was a woman driver… The colorful language came to the surface and made its way out of his mouth. Flooring the gas pedal to the floor and just taking off in a cloud oily blue smoke! Now how was my driving different? Well I wouldn’t have even tried to use colorful language, but thought it, while driving with dad!
Upon entering the driver’s education class room, my attitude was like, “This was old hat “. After all I drove before! I naturally had more experience and therefore was above the rest of these losers in the room. My driving experience wasn’t driving on some video game either. Kids think to themself’s “I’m so cool with the game Grand theft auto ” now day’s, saying ” I can drive anything because I got to the top-level “.
Ha! Got one over on them. I drove for real. A real land yacht at that. A land yacht is an old car made of real American steal, with those big blinding chrome bumpers. Parents thought that these kind of cars were the bomb. The more chrome the better.The kind of real thick chrome bumpers at that. You know the kind..? While driving now days throughout the country the old land yachts are stuck in the middle of some farmers field. The sunlight is sending streams of light into your eyes from the mirror reflection off the bumper. So you look. The car is all but rusted out, half ways gone. Rusted away, with some tree growing out of the engine compartment! But the bumper is bright in comparison to the car, looking new. This kind of old American chrome bumpered car is what I drove! Besides it had real muscle under the hood. Muscle car’s had 300 to 500 horse power engine, that screamed when you floored the gas. Sending out a smoke screen of burning rubber, and oily smoke. So cool in deed!
When the driving instructor entering the class. My first impression was. ” What the hell this guy is drunk!. This guy drinks, or is slightly drunk already”. He was slurring his words… or was that a speech impediment? He also seemed like he was all to relaxed in comparison to my parents. This guy was unaffected by the many possibility’s of having to drive with youthful speed demons. Thinking to my self. If this is the way to get my drivers licenses then I will have to go through with it, drunk or not!
This guy was such a boring instructor! No radio, no distractions! Seat belts please! Adjust the mirrors and check all around the car. Now start the car. Check around the car again, while place foot on the brake, you can put the car into gear, at the same time taking the parking brake off. Check in the direction that you’re wanting to go, and put the blinker on in that direction. When you have done all that your are now ready to take the foot off the brake and place it gently onto the gas. He then sat there putting check marks on some paper while your driving, only looking up every once in a while to tell you to change lanes, or right turn, or left turn, slow down… Is this guy a moron? Was he trying to blindfold himself with placing check marks onto some paper? A way of calming his drunken nerves? He never told people to speed up stay with traffic. I mean, we could be going 30 miles per hour under speed limit and he didn’t seem to mind. Nor did he seem to see the neer misses, almost getting rear ended several times. It didn’t seem to bother him, how many people he pissed off in the posses. Other drivers, or the ones in the car. Cars speeding past us were flipping us off, and yelling something as they sped by. Were they just in his blind spot? So it would seemed. He didn’t even acknowledge that this was even happening. Even when we were to complain about it.
” No back seat drivers please!” he would say with a mono tone voice.
Driving with other kids who have never even driven a video game before, just added to my frustrations. When it was my turn though. He had me parallel park. Because I had more driving experience then the rest of class. Experience means I can go faster than the speed of parking! He then had me drive in reverse around a corner along curb side. No problems for me. Now I thought we would hit the freeway. But NO! “Next driver please” He remarked.. “Change positions”. Crap! For the first time I knew, what it was like to be my parents driving with a teenager that thought he knew everything. At least I didn’t have shot nerves, hyper-tension, or a need of a bigger drink. Just a need for speed!
8 long weeks of driving school and I was almost ready to quit. logging in the least driving time, out of everyone. He finely decided to take a small group, out on the freeway. I was the chosen driver, by the instructor to demonstrate to everyone else, on how to do it. Just because of my previous driving experience. Taking the car up the on-ramp of the freeway. The instructor was giving me hints on how to do it. But I was one step ahead of him. I heard my dads voice in my head. On how to get into traffic. By speeding up to freeway speed and then merge into traffic. My idea was somewhat different as to what the freeway speed was, of course. Or even what the instructors ideas was. First impression was long gone now! This was all about the lasting impressions!
I think, I may have just passed the corse. Not by driving skill. But because the instructor was having to go home, and consuming more than usual amounts of alcohol. He really didn’t say too much to me but he did say. “congratulations!” with a funny smile on his face. As if he was about to say. ” Thank God! This one is finely gone!” I think he told me, more than anyone else, to slow down out of everyone in class. Watch your speed limits! What did the last speed limit sign say? Yada, yada, yada! Signs don’t say anything… their SIGNS! Thought were shooting through my head like we were in a war zone.
The day finely came for me to take my test. Mom was told by dad to take me to the DMV. and get the boys drivers licence. It will save time, at least this was the excuse, or was it he didn’t have the time, so mom had to! The later was more like it. Mom was afraid of frost, net alone of having to drive with me. But the voices in her head must have told her. ” How bad can it be? Certainly not as bad of a driver, then his father? He had to take the test 5 times in order to get his license.” But then she knew I had a lead foot!
As the police officer got into the car. Mom got out and just stood there with a horrified look. After the test, I pulled up to the sidewalk where mom stood. She hadn’t even moved an inch, or so it seemed. She got into the car as the police officer got out. She assumed that I failed. Certainly her son was more like his father, chip off the old block, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. All kind of different things she must have been thinking. Assuming I had failed, and need to have a new run at it soon. But not today!
” Well let’s go home and you can…” mom was just jumping to conclusions, without asking. So I cut her off.
” Mom! You didn’t even ask?”
” What?” She really didn’t think I would pass. ” Oh! The test! Well did you pass?”
“Yes I did! Thanks for asking late.” I stared to take off my seatbelt.
“What are you doing? Let’s go home now!” Mom exclaimed as if she had a fire to put out somewhere.
“Well I’m going into this place, to get my driver’s licence. Are you coming?” I looked at her as if to remind her to what dad said. She got out of the car and followed me into the building reluctantly.
All the way home. Mom reminded me that driving the car was a privilege. If I get a ticket for anything the privilege was going away. Insurance was also going to be somewhat my responsibility. Keeping grades up and keeping up with a part-time job was also a must. Just to help out with the insurance bill you know? On and on she kept right on going. Finlay we were home. Now I had to get to school.
“Can I take the car mom?”
” I can drive.. well you did get your driver’s licence on the first try. I suppose so.” Reluctantly she gave in. She had the look of fear on her face once again. Like something was going to happen.
“No Fear mom! I’m a good driver.” I reassured her.
“You better be! Remember just what I said, to you on the way home. I ment it!”
Well getting to school was the best! When you are also driving alone. I controlled the radio, and the volume. I didn’t have anyone telling me to slow down, speed up, right turn… Yada! Yada! This was truly the freedom I was looking for so long. Now it was here. With a favorite song playing. The window down, and the wind in my hair. Tapping along with the beat. I was in hog heaven. Truly now! Everyone could see the cool, that I always knew I had. In the rear view mirror I saw flashing lights. I pulled over to let them by. An ambulance, a Fire Engen going to a fire, police car having to get to an accident some where. I thought, pulling over was the thing I learned in driver’s education, to let them by. Looking back to see who or what was going on. Surprized! I said out loud. “Or a police officer pulling me over!” Not even 45 minuets after getting my driver’s licence. Apparently school zones have a slower speed to them? But they have those signs that also say ” When children are present!” I didn’t see any kids. Didn’t matter! The rule was, “When children are present during school time hours”. So they couldn’t have made a bigger sign to say all of that?
After receiving my ticket, I drove slower than my mom ever had before. A world slow speed record for driving the rest of the way to school. Thinking the whole way. How can I explain, as well challenge this in court? That required my mom talking me to court I’m sure. Loosing my privilege, and freedoms of the yacht. Would make my life somewhat more difficult again. A lesson to learn, receiving a drivers education by way of a land yacht.
Stay safe friends, look out for the kids out there in school zones, and the ones to cool, behind the wheel of a land yacht. All the best.