Sunday, July 5, 2009

Need a ride?

When I first got my driver's license I drove about an hour to get to school each day so my dad offered me lots of pointers to keep his daughter safe. Like the time when I still just had a permit and he decided that I should drive to school in the pouring rain because the sun wasn't always going to shine just because I was driving. That was a wonderful experience that lasted about 15 minutes and ended with him telling me I drove like an old lady and we didn't have all damn day to get there.

Way to build the new driver confidence, thanks Dad.

Also, there was the time when I went to actually take the driver test and as we were practicing driving in the neighborhood near the exam center, my dad actually told me to run a school bus stop sign because the bus was on the corner of the next street. It just so happened that there was a police officer behind the bus and he pulled us over and told my dad he was a moron for telling me to go and that he would get the ticket because he was the licensed driver (and did not have boobs).

Needless to say I failed the test later that day.

The best driving advice he ever offered was that he didn't want me driving on the intestate too long. Since a large portion of the trip to my school was spent on the interstate my dear old dad devised a different path that had me take the back roads and required I drive right by the local STATE PENITENTIARY. He told me traffic was not so bad this way.

Really, you think? Perhaps that is because the scenery is barbwire and guard shacks and in case we forget, home to lots of murders and rapists.

Good thinking, send you poor 16 year-old daughter down that road. I am sure that I looked really cute flying by every day with the windows down, radio blaring, staring at all of the inmates getting their sunshine time for the day. It was probably a lot like the rabbit on the fence at the dog track.

One afternoon I was heading home and had just exited off of death row onto the highway when I saw a van, otherwise known as a serial killer's trademark, on the side of the road with three men standing there and another one coming on to the road waving his arms. At first I wasn't sure what to do and then I remembered I had a secret weapon that would protect me.

I had a cell phone. Not just any cell phone either. Mine was a flip phone and was very high-tech. It was about the size of a small cooler and had a mouth piece that flipped open at the end. I am sure my service wasn't worth a grain of salt, but I probably could have beat someone in the head with it if the 911 call didn't go through.

So seeing that I clearly thought the situation through, I put the car in reverse and stopped to see if I could help these large and scary men with their situation. I placed my smoking gun, aka cell phone, on my lap so they would be sure to see I was armed and dangerous and I rolled down the window. The man explained to me that their van was broken down and they needed to get the nearest store to meet their friend who could help and asked if I would give him a ride.

Now remember these are called the back roads for a reason, NO ONE lives there and the nearest store was at least 5 miles. Being the smart and sophisticated teenager I was, I gladly agreed to help this poor man especially since he said his other friends would wait at the van so I didn't have to let all of them go.

See, that sounded reasonable, I just let one in the car, what could he possibly do?

Off we went, me and jack the ripper, heading to the nearest gas station when suddenly as a car approached, he started waving his arms like crazy and said, that's my friend, there he is. I honked to get the driver's attention and pulled over like he told me to do.

Really, I might as well have just tied my hands together and gotten in the truck and saved them all the trouble at this point.

He got out and started talking to crazy friend number two and explained that the rest of the crazy bunch was back at the van about a mile back. I really don't know what else was said because smart little me wasn't really paying attention. Obviously, I didn't fit the bill for the catch of the day because he walked over and thanked me for the help and told me to have a good day. So I drove away and didn't even give a second thought to how lucky and how incredibly stupid I was.

Now looking back, I think maybe I should have spent a little more time on the interstate. Who knows, I probably would have helped a trucker to two.


  1. OMG! It's amazing to me all the stupid things we did when we were teenagers and that we are still alive. Good post!

  2. I think I did an unintentional 180 in my mom's car on the way back from the store on a rainy day. Oops.

    I don't think Dad was ever brave enough to drive with me.

    Very funny post!