Posted by Danny
I’m going to need sedatives.
DJ turned 14 last week. I was quickly informed that at age 14 1/2 you can take Driver’s Ed. I had no idea.
Jesse recently told me that I needed to get her out in a car at the Fairground’s parking lot so she could begin to get a feel for being behind the wheel. We were at the lake on Sunday with friends so another dad and I took DJ and her three buds out for a spin on some back roads.
There is a God. I know this because I am here tonight writing and yesterday at 5 pm I was not sure that would be the case.
I guess I made a few assumptions – like thinking they knew how to start the car, or which way to turn the steering wheel when you backed up, or what a turn signal was. They have been riding with us for the past 14 years. I thought perhaps they noticed that we’d gently pressed the plastic bar on the side of the steering wheel 3,459 times each year and that a little green arrow lit up. Apparently they did not. They were probably texting.
Our conversation went like this:
“I am going to start a leaf collection.”
“Because you are driving so close to the trees that I can easily pick them from the limbs.”
“Your grandmother could walk faster than you are driving. Give it a little gas.”
“Stop at the intersection. This is actually two football fields from the intersection. Pull up several hundred yards and re-stop.”
“I’m about to pee in my pants” (that was one of the girls talking because she was laughing so hard). I’ve seen that before and it isn’t pretty.
“What do we do if another car drives by?”
“I don’t think I understand the question. You keep driving on your side. Close to the trees like you’re doing now.”
“I feel like a postman.”
“I can open the mailboxes! Move to the left a little.”
I remember my Driver’s Ed class. Our teacher’s name was Scooby. His mother made his three-piece suits. I was in the car with Carolanne Rahal. I was petrified when she was driving. I’ve never been so close to a telephone pole. I remember driving down I-95 with Carolanne cruising at 35 miles per hour. Cars whizzing by – I was mortified.
Scooby had an advantage – he had brakes on the passenger side of the car. At one point on Monday DJ pressed the gas so hard I slammed on the brakes – at least I tried. I forgot I was not on the driver’s side. Pressing the carpet does not have the same effect.
This will take years off of my life. I may have to call in Jesse for reinforcements. He’s a bit more daring than I – he might have more of a stomach for this sort of thing.