I always said I didn’t want to learn how to drive.

However, I made the mistake of being involved in loads of extracurricular activities (anything to get out of the house) – so my folks were pretty insistent that I learn how to drive so I could get my own happy ass to those activities.

I aced the classroom part.

Then there was the driving part.


I was so terrible.

My first time behind a wheel, I drove up onto some farmer’s front lawn.  We could all see him out in his field, on his tractor, looking and trying to figure out WTF was going on.

I drove from Bay City to Caseville (a very windy road with few passing opportunities) going 25 miles an hour.

I am sure that there are people alive today who are still cursing my name over that excursion.

My last day of driver’s ed, I almost killed a motorcyclist while I tried to make a right turn.   (I had to stop, back up and try again!)

Needless to say, I had to put in extra hours behind the wheel.

THEN I had to learn how to drive a stick – because that is all we had.  A VW bug, a pick-up truck and a Mercedes.  All stick.

If you ever need to learn how to drive a stick, go to an empty parking lot and just keep shifting between first and second – once you have that down, everything else is a piece of cake.

THEN I had to go to the police station and take my driving test.

I get into the Bug with the nice police officer.

I could not (for the life of me) find Reverse.

Then the cop tried.

He couldn’t get it in reverse either.

Finally, we pulled the manual out of the glove compartment and figured it out together.

I am pretty sure his embarrassment over that little fiasco is the only reason I got my license that day.

After that, I spent a number of years where I refused to make a left hand turn unless there was a 4-way stop or a traffic light.


Not going to happen.

I could get anywhere in the greater Tri-City area without making a left turn.

Needless to say, I also put a lot of extra miles on the vehicles.  (And lucky for me gas was about 40 cents per gallon back then – yes, that’s how old I am.)

And the first time, when I was running late, and I decided to try to make a left hand turn from my workplace parking lot – some son of a bitch hit me.

I still don’t know where the fuck he came from – but I can assure you, he was nowhere to be seen before I ventured out of that parking lot.

And I can assure you, I went right back to my policy of no left-hand turns.

Fool me once …

Yes.  I can and do now make left hand turns.

But that doesn’t mean I like it.


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