The Time I Learned How to Drive

This  post is brought to you by, so be sure to find more lol-worthy driving memes over there!! HAHA, get it? Women are bad at driving! LOL! Anyway that’s why this image is hilarious. 

In other news, I must have some hidden vagina somewhere about my person because I suck at driving.

I’ve figured out that the main reason I’m not very good at driving a car is that I don’t really know how to drive a car. Not being able to drive a car is, it seems, a fairly big barrier to entry when it comes to being able to drive a car.

“One piece of advice,” my wife offered ahead of my first lesson. “Listen to what the guy says and don’t clown around.”

“Why would I clown around? I don’t clown around.”

“You do clown around. Clowning around when someone is trying to teach you something important is practically your thing.”

“Horseshit. That’s not my ‘thing’. Snappy dressing is my thing. Sweet guitar licks are my thing. Clowning around is not my ‘thing’. I don’t clown around.”

“Remember the time when you clowned  around when that guy was giving you critical advice on how to fly his plane, ten minutes before you literally flew his plane?”

“Yeah, b…”

“With me in it?”

“That didn’t matter. You’re safe up there,” I gestured by pointing upwards, in case she’d forgotten where the sky was. “There’s very little up there to crash into. Roads are a different thing altogether.”

She gave up trying to argue against my infallible logic. “Just pay attention to the guy. Don’t clown around.”

“I’ll pay attention to the guy.”

“And not clown around.”

“And I won’t clown around.”

I met Dave on the first lesson. He’s a nice guy. He knows how to drive a car.

“So forgive me for asking, but you’re 33; what lead you to want to drive all of a sudden?”

“My wife’s pregnant. I’ve got until October 21st to become a proper adult.”

“Ah, okay. I see.”

He did see. And so did I. It makes perfect sense that on the advent of being in charge of the most delicate and precious thing in my life, I should make sure I get a license to strap it into the back of a car and then drive the car at seventy miles per hour.

For the last 33 years the chances of me crashing a car into an oak tree have been literally zero, so by driving a car I technically increase the odds of that happening by infinity. Obviously the aim is to pass my test before the baby arrives so I can be in charge of transporting a heavily pregnant woman at a velocity roughly 67 mph more than we’re used to travelling with our human feet.

My second lesson had me approach a busy intersection with traffic lights.

Dave: “When you get to the intersection, turn left.”
Me: “Left. Sure.”
Dave: “Start to slow down… now.”
Me: “Yep. Slowing down.”
Dave: “Check your mirrors.”
Me: “Checking mirrors.”
Dave: “Signal.”
Me: “I’m signalling.”
Dave: “Right, and now we’ll begin the left turn…”

Inexplicably, I did not turn left. Every other driver around me assumed I was about to turn left. Dave assumed I was about to turn left. For a split second I think I even assumed I was going to turn left, but for whatever reason my brain decided to go on strike when it came to the crucial ‘Let’s Turn Dat Wheel!’ step.

It was a weird moment in which I was painfully aware that everything was going wrong, it all stemmed from me not doing anything, and yet I was still not doing anything.

It was like an out-of-body experience, except I assume they don’t get multi-soul pileups on the sliproad to heaven because this one idiot couldn’t decide which ethereal lane he was supposed to be in.

Dave realised way too late that his student was having some kind of theological crisis which prevented him from turning his hands 30 degrees to the left, so when he actually realised it was necessary to reach over and do it for me, it was too late. We ended up pointing towards the central reservation bit, careering towards a bollard, then abruptly stopping in the centre of the entire intersection.

This was compounded by the guy in a Porsche behind me, who decided that rather than wait two seconds for me to start the engine again and get out the way, he’d try and drive around me while blasting his horn. In doing so, he blocked the other lane and nobody could go anywhere.

I sat in the eye of this traffic hurricane, with thirty other drivers surrounding me, as angry as they were stationary. I didn’t learn much on that lesson, except for the fact that I am, apparently, a wanker.

I’m at the stage now that I understand all the principles of operating a vehicle. That’s fine. The problem is that I can’t get behind why I’m operating a vehicle; in a world where we’re developing AI phones and Mars rovers and keyhole surgery, it simply blows my mind that our main method of transportation STILL relies on technology we figured out at the turn of the last century.

I’m learning how to control a wheeled metal box, propelling myself through the power of exploding dinosaurs, and the only way of letting everyone around me know where I’m going to go next is to use one of two blinky lights.

How can I see what everyone else is doing? Oh, don’t worry about that, there’s bits of mirror stuck all over the car.

“How did you find that?” Dave asked me after my first attempt at an A-road at 70mph.

“I don’t think I blinked for fifteen minutes,” I replied. It seems the stakes for fucking up on an A-road are dramatically raised; make a mistake on an intersection, and you embarrass yourself. Make a mistake on an A-road and they’re identifying you by your dental records. It’s basically like a roller coaster except there aren’t any rails and you’re in control of it and holy shit there’re other roller coasters all over the place I need to pull over and breath into a paper bag let’s just catch a train instead.

Anyway, all this is to say I’m looking forward to getting my license so I can do some vlogging from the motorway.

28 comments on “The Time I Learned How to Drive

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