The Very Worst Driving Instructor In The World (Me!)

6 Dec

The teenage boy is learning to drive.

I’m not helping.

At all.

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.


Yabba Dabba…slow down we are going to hit that car!

Sample conversation:

Me: OK, make sure you look left, right, behind you, straight ahead…watch for cars just suddenly pulling out…watch for helicopters…

Teenager: OK.

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.

This parking lot is a little too full of cars for me to take the teenager to practice in.

This parking lot is a little too full of cars for me to take the teenager to practice in. We will have to find somewhere else.

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.

Where the hell is Disney?!

Where the hell is Disney located?! I don’t see a castle anywhere on this map!

I learned to drive in the great winding empty country roads of Ohio.

*singing* Country Road, take me home, to the place where I belong, no teenage drivers, mountain mama, take me home!

*singing* Country Road, take me home, to the place where I belong, no teenage drivers, mountain mama, take me home…

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*

47 Responses to “The Very Worst Driving Instructor In The World (Me!)”

  1. 1jaded1 December 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM #

    Funny. My sister used to live in Windermere. Driving advice was stay in the right lane. All of the slow people drove left and center, especially on I4.

    • Christopher De Voss December 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM #

      All the slow rich people live in Windermere.

      • 1jaded1 December 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM #

        Do they? Hmm. Maybe that’s why my sister and family moved back up north. They are neither slow, nor rich.

      • Christopher De Voss December 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM #

        You have to drive 35 there or you get a ticket. It’s bad.

  2. The Vanilla Housewife December 6, 2013 at 10:37 AM #

    Hahahaha! Thanks for the laugh, and don’t worry, women are great driving instructors. Or so I heard 😉

  3. Blogdramedy December 6, 2013 at 10:45 AM #

    You see “errands.” He sees his friends jammed in tight on a Saturday night. Have you told him yet about the car-cam system you installed?

    I hear you about the driving in Florida. A couple of years ago I bought a Mustang in the Naples area and had to drive it across the state up to Melbourne to meet the Mister. I got across to Ft. Lauderdale okay and made it to the highway heading north…then it began to piss rain so hard I couldn’t see the front of the car. Did anyone slow down? No. Did everyone speed up? Yes. Would anyone let me change lanes to I could pull over? No. I still have nightmares.

  4. whiteladyinthehood December 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM #

    This was HILARIOUS!

  5. NotAPunkRocker December 6, 2013 at 12:27 PM #

    I only have a slight reprieve because the kid failed his learner’s permit test. I am dragging my feet on finding a day to take him back to the DMV. Maybe in a few months…

    • Christopher De Voss December 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM #

      It’s hard to see your babies driving.

      • NotAPunkRocker December 6, 2013 at 2:57 PM #

        Especially because I would be trying to hide my eyes behind my hands….;-)

  6. Maddie Cochere December 6, 2013 at 12:40 PM #

    You did great – by letting the wife take over. 😉

    I taught our boy to drive. I took him to an abandoned KMart store. Put him behind the wheel and told him to have it. He tried every maneuver he could think of (multiple times) and only came close to backing into a light pole once. It wasn’t too bad then once we got on the road. Have fun with your new driver!

    • Christopher De Voss December 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM #

      Thank you. He is doing good. We just have to work on judging distances.

  7. floridaborne December 6, 2013 at 6:34 PM #

    You laid it out perfectly. My parents had different driving styles. If I followed their instructions when both were in the car, I would have one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas.

    I remember the nerve-bashing near misses, too, when teaching my kids to drive.. Like the time my son put the car into reverse instead of 1st gear. I slammed on the brakes and the tire was inches away from a 10-foot drop-off. To make things harder, they were learning on a stick-shift.

    • Christopher De Voss December 6, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

      Oh wow! That’s crazy!

      • floridaborne December 7, 2013 at 12:05 AM #

        I didn’t mention that my son learned to drive in San Francisco and my daughter learned to drive in Houston. Crazy is right.

  8. The Bumble Files December 6, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

    Ah, man, Chris! I feel your pain and your fear. I don’t want to have to teach my kids to drive! Yikes. Orlando would be difficult, too, with all those lost tourists looking for Disney. I bet the teenager will be a skilled driver soon. That’s one advantage to learning in a tough place.

  9. Southern Sea Muse December 6, 2013 at 10:49 PM #

    O. M. G. This is SO my life right now. I have NOT been the same since Mr. 15 year old got his permit on Halloween. I told him there was no coincidence with the date – I continue to be filled with untold fright (even though he’s mastered the scariest of tunnels in our area – I don’t think I breathed for the entire length of the narrow thing and kissed our clamshell driveway when he got us home in one piece). Come to think of it, that’s about when the doctor diagnosed me w/high blood pressure…Allow me to reblog this gem!

    • Christopher De Voss December 6, 2013 at 10:51 PM #

      No tunnels here, thank god! I would be honored.

      • Southern Sea Muse December 6, 2013 at 10:56 PM #

        Consider it done. We have 2 tunnels here, both are scary. One is Interstate 10 under a river on my commute with treacherous turns going both in and out (bad engineering!) and the other was built by the Egyptians about the time of the pyramids and is so narrow that King Tut couldn’t even fit in it. I feel for your nerves in Orlando with the tourists…thanks for letting me reblog. Too funny!

      • Christopher De Voss December 6, 2013 at 11:05 PM #

        I’m so glad we don’t have those here…

  10. Southern Sea Muse December 6, 2013 at 10:54 PM #

    Reblogged this on Southern Sea Muse and commented:
    Dearest Readers, I introduce to you Mr. DeVoss…who happens to share a slice of my reality right now, with a new teenaged driver in a subtropical climate. Except he’s WAY funnier than I am. Enjoy!

  11. ParentingIsFunny December 7, 2013 at 1:14 AM #

    Very awesome. P.S. I also learned to drive on the winding roads of Ohio. In fact, I lived on one. What are the odds?

  12. Let's CUT the Crap! December 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM #

    Ha ha ha. My father took me to the gravel pit and to empty mall parking lots to teach me to drive but that was at another time. The number of drivers has multiplied a hundred fold, I bet. 🙂

    Wonderful story.

    • Christopher De Voss December 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM #

      I bet the gravel pit was loud and unnerving inside the car. You are right about the number of drivers.

      • Let's CUT the Crap! December 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM #

        No the gravel pit was quiet because we went when it was empty. It gave me the opportunity to experience dirt road and compare them to blacktop.

      • Christopher De Voss December 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM #


      • Let's CUT the Crap! December 9, 2013 at 5:39 PM #

        I should have been more precise. 😀

  13. silkpurseproductions December 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM #

    It was tradition to use the cemetery when a parent was teaching you to drive, where I come from. I’m not sure if the theory was if something bad happened you would already be there or if it just gave our parents things to point out along the way. “That one died in a fiery crash”. “They forgot to signal and got T-Boned.”
    It didn’t take me long to quit my Dad. He taught everyone else but me. I just came home and said, “Thanks but no thanks. I will pay for my own lessons.”

    • Christopher De Voss December 7, 2013 at 3:39 PM #

      That’s spooky! I’m sure my son is over me as well.

  14. rayworth1973 December 7, 2013 at 1:36 PM #

    I took my granddaughter on Nellis AFB to the area where they tore down old base housing and let her drive. When she finally got daring, she got all the way up to 25mph! I let her do loops in a nearby parking lot, over and over again to develop her steering skills, all with no other cars around. She did pretty good. Only problem was I picked up a few nails, which I didn’t find out about until I took a trip to Calee’fornia to see my mom and had to make two trips to Wal-Mart to replace tires so I could get back home. I’m pretty sure they came from those streets where they tore down those old houses. Not the kid’s fault. At least she didn’t hit any cars. A few curbs, but no cars.

    • Christopher De Voss December 7, 2013 at 3:40 PM #

      We started in a parking lot as well. He is doing good. I just have to learn to let go of the driver’s seat.

  15. December 7, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

    Orlando has some of the worse driver’s in the world only preceded by Ireland and Miami..yes Miami is a country now

    • Christopher De Voss December 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM #

      I believe it!

      • December 7, 2013 at 9:16 PM #

        I know it learned to drive in one and have driven with my son-in-law in the other, his driving is better than most.

  16. herdthinner December 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM #

    I knew it! Orlando is a state now!

    Thanks for the hot tip about its drivers. I’ve been trying to figure out when I can make pilgrimage to Orlando and join the lost Disney tourists. But then, I’m rather hoping to avoid my own driving.

  17. Mrs Fever December 8, 2013 at 1:07 AM #

    Gawd. *Both* my parents were hideous when it came to teaching me how to drive. I survived them though, despite their best efforts to keep bipedal mobility my only means of transportation.

    Likewise, your son will survive *you*, daddy-o. 😉

    Meanwhile, someone might want to issue a traffic alert to tourists… 😛

    • Christopher De Voss December 8, 2013 at 9:13 AM #

      The problem is the tourist don’t care. If your a tourist in Orlando you are allowed to make u-turns from the center lane of a busy three lane highway. It’s in the tourist handbook.

  18. unsolicitedtidbits December 8, 2013 at 11:14 PM #

    Ha! Best of luck.

  19. David Stewart December 9, 2013 at 5:17 AM #

    That’s why my parents were happy when I learned how to drive. Then they could send me to get my little sister from wherever.

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