If someone would have told me years ago that I would someday be teaching a teenager to drive, I’d have laughed my butt off. Seriously, I’d be sitting here without a butt. Instead, I have a rather large butt and I am teaching a teenager to drive.
I have real problems with this, not the least of which is that I am the worst driver on the planet. Hey, I admit it. I don’t do freeways well. When it rains, I start to freak out. About the only thing I do right when driving is refuse to use my cell phone.
But somehow I was elected to teach the teenager to drive, which should make all of you very afraid.
After the first day, I realized we needed ground rules. Specifically, we needed rules to protect me from having a heart attack the next time Junior accelerated my SUV like he would a racecar. So I came up with this list, which I am sharing with everyone and which I am planning to have tattooed on my teenager’s butt (not enough room on the forehead, in case you were wondering).
1. This is not a racecar. It is an SUV. Basically, that means it is a giant, hulking pig on the road and it doesn’t turn well.
2. “Begin to accelerate” doesn’t translate to “smash your foot to the floor and back out of the driveway at full speed.”
3. Stopping is a gradual process. The goal is to stop the vehicle, not give your passenger whiplash.
4. I do not care about the “apex” of the turn and all that racing stuff. Slow the hell down before you start to turn the vehicle.
5. Likewise, the goal of driving an SUV is not to see how many “g’s” you can pull. Save that crap for science class where someone will appreciate it.
6. A turn that happens on two wheels is also known as “you will never drive again.”
7. Do not swerve the vehicle, even if you think it’s funny to see your passenger’s face turn white and hair stand on end.
8. Playing the radio full blast while learning to drive isn’t going to happen. As a bonus, you will not need to constantly switch channels to find your “driving
9. We do not lean out the car window and shout at friends while driving. The goal of driving is to see things that happen in front of you, not your friends waving at you from the sidelines.
10. When you see the most gorgeous cheerleader at school walking down the street, you do not stop in the middle of the road, put on sunglasses, turn on the radio and then back up to make sure she saw you. If you do, all she will see is a crazy woman in the passenger seat screaming at you like a maniac.
I’m sure there are many more rules… but these are the ones I have so far. Feel free to add your own and remember – somewhere out there is a teenager who is learning all of my bad driving habits.
I suggest public transit for those of you who live nearby.