The teenage boy is learning to drive.
I’m not helping.
I’m a bundle of nerves every time I give him the keys. I would prefer that the car be like the Flintstone mobile so I could slam my feet through the non-existent floorboard every time I feel like he is getting to close to another car.
Me: OK, make sure you look left, right, behind you, straight ahead…watch for cars just suddenly pulling out…watch for helicopters…
Me: Watch for semi-trucks. Semi-trucks will squash us like a bug.
Teenager: Got it, Dad, semi-trucks are bad.
Me: And taxi cabs. Taxi cabs are dicks.
Teenager: Right, taxi cabs are dicks.
Me: Hey! Watch your language! OK, now don’t get too close to the car in front of us and don’t stay too far behind it either, watch that car on the side of us…are you drifting in the other lane? I feel like your drifting…
Teenager: I’m not drifting, Dad. I’m clearly in my own lane.
Me: Maybe we should drive more in our own lane, like on the sidewalk. The sidewalk is safe. Drive on the sidewalk!
Teenager: I can’t drive on the sidewalk!
Me: No, no…you’re right. Better let me drive now, the traffic is getting bad.
Teenager: We haven’t even left the Target parking lot.
I know, I know, I need to relax. I don’t remember my Dad freaking out as much as I do when he taught me to drive…but then again he might have been drunk. You know, it was a different time…seat belts cost extra in most cars. As a matter of fact, one of the cars my Dad owned didn’t even have a front seat. We sat on the floor and avoided the rusted out hole in it.
The major problem is that I’m in Orlando, one of the worst states for road rage and home to about 50 million lost tourists.
I learned to drive in the great winding empty country roads of Ohio.
I know my screaming like a little girl doesn’t help his confidence. He is actually doing a pretty good job. Orlando is a tough place to drive. Besides the lost tourists, there is a mixture of cultures to contend with, each thinking they own the road, many, many, so many buses, those dick taxis, and a city that grew faster than it’s roadways can handle.
I don’t think I would want to learn to drive here.
I have been kicked off driving instruction duty, the wife is now in charge of teaching the teenager.
I’m also not allowed to cover the car in bubble wrap anymore.
And I’m suppose to replace the headliner of the car where I ripped it to shreds Wolverine style every time we came to a stop that I felt was too close.
I have also been told telling the boy it’s time for his driving lesson if he can find the car keys which I have buried somewhere in the tri-county area is not a good motivational game, and the fact that I created an old timey pirate treasure map to pin point the location of the keys does not count as helpful.
And finally if I’m going to take apart the engine, pretending it’s “broken”, I should learn how to put it back together again.
Truth be told…I can’t wait until he learns to drive so I can send him on errands…so many errands….
*evil laughter, wringing of hands, pulling on invisible curly mustache*