Thursday, July 23, 2009

Driving Me Up A Wall

I had the displeasure to be in the passenger side of a newly licensed 17-year-old driver. To put it in perspective, I could have taken two busses, a horse and a refugee boat from North Korea faster than this kid would get out of the driveway.

Ok, maybe US experienced drivers take this for granted. We get in, we turn car on and we GO. Including the seatbelt, I’m counting maybe five steps before I’m cruizin’ down the boulevard looking for some road rage to make my day.

But this young Mario Andretti apprentice with “especially bought for the occasion new sunglasses” took the Art Carney art of driving and adjusted everything except his attitude. I sat with little control watching his seat move -up.back.down.forward. and back again-.lumbar support stiff-lumbar support normal-lumbar support recessed. The moon roof open……shut…halfway open, tilted and then up again for venting.

By the time the car even was started, the battery in the car was drained from finding the right song on the radio station to match his driving experience (think: repetitive and without talent). I truly felt like a dog walker who is watching the canine sniff for hours determining the right spot to relieve himself…as I screamed with controlled determination. “JUST GO!!!!….We are only driving to QUIKCHEK, not preparing for the INDY 500.”

Seriously, does anyone really need to sniff the TREE air freshener before you back up? NO! If it isn’t working, you would know if you got the car moving. I’m not asking for much, I just want to be going faster than A/C that he is now adjusting … for each…and…every…..vent angle … “Dude, it’s AIR, not chocolate or beer coming through those vents…what are we waiting for…the new model to come out?”

I understand the over caution, the newness and the fear of young drivers. I even appreciate the fact they focus their hands on the 10 and the 2, align proper mirror adjustment, etc.. , but I will bet NASA has less check points than this kid and three shuttles were launched and returned to Earth before I ever moved away from the curb.

After cup holders were checked for proper alignment and the trip odometer was set at -0.0000….AGAIN, I lost all patience and decided to do what any adult would do in my situation. I bribed him. “Get me to the store within FIVE minutes and I will pay any speeding ticket, plus buy you a BIG GULP of Mountain Dew and a Snickers bar. However, if you don’t move this ½ ton piece of aluminum and glass in 10 seconds, your next adjustment will be prying your body off the pavement as I will push the one part of this car you haven’t touched yet….. the EJECTOR BUTTON.”

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