True Love and Tire Tracks

Some people think that I married the Captain for his charm and savoir faire. Some think I married him for his tech smarts and the free computer maintenance that goes along with it. Bill is convinced of the charm theory, and as someone whose random access memory stopped accessing years ago, I certainly didn’t turn down the fact that he could zap the blue screen of death like a Texas gunslinger at high noon. But the truth is I married him because I knew that someday I would need somebody to teach the kids to drive.

My theory is that once you give birth to something, it is unnatural to allow it to get behind the wheel of a car where you are a passenger. Even with helpful accessories, such as an extra brake pedal or drop down oxygen mask, someone who never asked me to cut the icky parts off the bread needs to be in charge in case of emergencies such as a four-way stop or sudden loss of radio station.

It is traumatic enough to teach a teenage boy to drive without having to do it during a period when oil sells for more per barrel than the movie Titanic grossed during its entire run—including endorsements, action figures, and Leo DeCaprio’s autograph on a commission check. We had to take out a loan to teach him to parallel park.

When this kid put his size 17 foot on the gas pedal, he burned $27.50 of premium unleaded and left a skid mark in my driveway composed of the entire collection of memorial state quarters. When he revs the engine at stoplights, the smell of burning presidents fills the air like fake butter scent at a movie matinee. If Abraham Lincoln’s only claim to fame had been to make it to the face of the five dollar bill, he would have lived in vain.

All in all the driving lessons went well. Son One, the Highway Patrolman’s retirement plan, got his drivers license on the first try.

As for the Captain, prescription medication and another round of shock therapy should help. The sudden outbursts of screaming, “Oh God no! Stop or I’m cutting the power to the television forever. STOP! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP!” are a hit at parties, especially the ones attended by psychiatric patients or parents of teenaged drivers.

So, it turns out the Captain has charm after all. Because if someone’s willing to take the speeding bullet so I don’t have to, that’s good enough for me.

(Come vist me at Mind over Mullis. Today I'm using my new friend, the Jaws of Life, to help me try on swimsuits.)


  1. *Snickers* This was cute! I remember asking my mom to teach me since she wouldn't explode at me like my father did. One time, my father immediately screamed at me, thinking I (somehow) didn't see the truck in front of me. His sudden outburst scared the whatnot out of me and made me jump in my seat, causing the car to swerve. Thats when I had to pull the car over to the curb and order him to get out before he caused an accident. (He promised to keep quiet after that.)

  2. So funny! I haven't taught my second teenager to drive yet because I'm still recovering from the first. (BTW, the first is 21!) I've still got four to go, and I don't think there's a hair color product that will cover all the gray from this experience!

  3. Learning to drive an automatic was a breeze. Having my dad try to teach me to drive a manual...not so much. I wound up stopping the car a block from home, getting out and forcing him to drive back. I didn't learn to drive a manual until I was in my late 20's and my ex-husband's dad took pity on me.

    And I take comfort in the fact that I will never have to teach a teenager to drive...

  4. LOL! To me, manual means opening the door with a key instead of a button.

  5. Teaching kids to drive?! Pass the Prozac, please. :)

  6. ROFL!!! Oh, I know this one well. Too well. I think parents ought to get awards or at least special therapy discounts for teaching kids to drive. Son #2 thought it was a terrific idea to watch his feet instead of looking through the windshield. His reasoning? "I want to make sure I'm hitting the right pedals." :head desk:

  7. Brings back a lot of memories. :)

  8. I feel your pain. Been there once, doing it currently, two more to follow.

  9. There's a special place in heaven for parents that taught kids to drive. And in heaven, prescription medication is free.


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