Random Acts of Ismael:

Driving Me Crazy

            Well hello once again weblanders, it is I your favorite venom-spewing ranter here to relay to you all another harrowing slice of adventure cut from my life to be inspected and dissected for your amusement.  Now, I know it’s been a long time, so I pray that you’ll bear with me while I warm up and rev up my satirical, ironic and sometimes just plain mean engine of hatred.  Today’s is a cautionary tale about the perils of a common rite of passage among young males and females throughout the United States and abroad—but since I don’t live abroad, I don’t really care what they do, so lets just stick to the topic at hand shall we.  I’m referring of course to the sacred art of driving, more specifically, the art of learning to drive and obtaining your very first car. 

            Like everything else I seem to do in life, I waited quite a while longer than most to obtain what most people do in their teens.  My first venture into the world of driving when I was a teen did not go very well.  I couldn’t keep the car straight, I hit the brakes way too fast and I almost crashed into a fire hydrant—yeah, that’s right, you heard me right, I said an f’ing fire hydrant.  And to top it all off, I lost partial vision in one eye for no apparent reason other than my luck sucks.  So needless to say, I was reluctant to try my hand at driving as a younger man. 

            Flash forward almost twelve years later, I haven’t been behind the wheel since I was a teen and one day, my wife—who herself waited quite a few years beyond the norm to attempt to drive—obtained her permit.  Every time a friend or family member took her out for a spin, I was asked if I wanted to try.  Well apparently, years of sitting on my ass, not driving, playing Grand Theft Auto—and, did I mention, not driving—had done something to me in that I drove BEAUTIFULLY; okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration—alright, it was a bold face, nose-growing, polygraph-failing, drug-dealing lie, are you f-ing happy now?  The point is, I drove well, better than before, better even than anyone else in the car thought I could.  And you know what?  I liked doing it.  So, ego stroked and curiosity piqued, I decided to give this new ‘driving’ thing a chance before the fad disappeared for good and everyone went back to horses and bi-planes like God intended.

            I went for my permit, which was a lot easier in this brave new world than it had been way back in the Dark Ages when I’d first obtained a permit.  However, back then, it was acceptable for a licensed driver to teach the learner how to drive, something which, I’m told, is not acceptable anymore.  So I had to go to a driving school.  A note of warning about driving schools: they’re like morticians—you have to go to them eventually, so they are able to pretty much provide you with the crappiest service and charge whatever they want.  And boy did I ever get buried in a cheap, toilet-paper coffin,  on the south side of a compost heap with mayonnaise spread over my rotting corpse just to give my body that extra special rancid stink. 

            This driving school—let’s call it the Beagle Driving School because the owners were such rare bitches—continuously scheduled  my lessons on days and  times that I specifically told them I was unable to make, sent the instructor to my house when I wasn’t home, lost all of my papers, refused to reimburse me for the lessons I did not need to take, would not allow me to take my driving test in the location of my choosing, and generally blocked every avenue I tried to take to expedite my driving experience.  In the end, I got my test, past it and moved on to getting my first car.

            My first car was a brand new, cherry red, 2008 Porsche with power steering, power locks, a built-in GPS and a convertible top.  Did I mention that it flies, transforms water into wine and can go back in time when it reaches 88 miles per hour or when it gets hit by lightening?  Okay, that last part was a bit of an exaggeration—okay, that entire thing was a load of crap.  My first car was a 1996 Plymouth my mom gave me and boy was it a piece of crap.  Nothing worked, least of all me, ‘cause I don’t know spit about cars and couldn’t check the oil without being shown how to do so repeatedly like the dipstick that I am.  So, while I loved my new license and my ability to drive, I really hated driving a big metallic block of unworkable dog sh*t that spent more time with some strange mechanic’s hand inside it than Paris Hilton—yeah, I know the joke doesn’t make sense, but it was the only name I could think of at the moment. 

            So when I had to chance, I dumped the car, and got a brand new—1998—Kia, only slightly less used and sh*tty than my last car.  But it runs and it’s small and I can actually almost—almost—park this one—almost—sometimes—if the street is completely empty.  In fact, my best parking job actually occurred after my van’s battery died and I had to push toward the curb while turning the wheel at the same time—go fig. 

            So now yours truly is legally capable of and allowed to drive in the city of New York.  So how do I like my driving experience, you might ask—well even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you anyway, so deal with it.  I love driving, absolutely, without a doubt, undeniably, love the crap-smelling hell out of it.  I only wish that cars never had to be repaired or maintained, traffic lights would always be green, highways would be completely devoid of traffic save for whatever car I happen to be driving, squirrels stayed on the trees where they belonged, parking three feet away from the curb was acceptable—cause that’s a close as I can seem to come to the curb on my first attempt—and, most importantly, that pedestrians would keep their idiot asses at home and away from my vehicle at all times.  It’s not that I don’t think they have a right to go where they want to go, I just think that they shouldn’t do it if it means that I have to slow down or brake or pay attention to the road.   

Why do pedestrians upset me?  Well, it’s because they have no respect for the fact that my car—however small—can inflict bodily harm upon them—severe bodily harm.  The worse their puny, flesh and bone bodies can do to my car is mess up the paint job.  Yet still they act as though I’m required to stop for them…which, I guess I am, but they don’t have to rub my nose in it.  It’s fun to drive—walking sucks.  Why would anyone choose to walk when they could drive---I don’t trust people like this.  They scare me a little, and that annoys me a lot.  What do they have that makes them so special that they don’t need to drive?  But what pisses me off the most about pedestrians are the ones that cross the street, looking every direction but the one that I’m driving from.  It’s not like I would run them over, but it would be nice to be considered a potential threat. 

Anyway, that’s my experience with driving in a nutshell.  I love it; its fun and relaxing, even if driving on the highway at night makes me wish I had thought to buy and wear adult diapers—it’s still the most fun I’ve had in a while and I hope to continue to do so for many more decades.  Thank you all for listening to my pointless ravings about something with which I’m sure you are all very familiar and with which you have long since grown bored of.  Enjoy until next time my fellow drivers.  And to you stinking pedestrians…get a car, you lazy demons!!  


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