Who’s in that small silver pick up truck driving around town?

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It’s my son John! Another driver added to the household. My driveway is beginning to look like a used car parking lot. Oh, hold on, the mailman is here, I’ll be right back…did you miss me? O.K. let see what he brought. I’ve been approved for 6 new visa cards, Ed McMahon’s annual letter is here, another time share offer to Las Vegas, and what’s this? It’s a letter from my insurance agent (who also happens to be my brother in law) let’s see what it says…what happened? I must have fainted! I remember  opening the letter from the insurance company…Oh crap, I fainted again! Get a hold of yourself Scott! Sit down and read the letter.

Those of you who have teenage drivers or have had teenage drivers know why I fainted. I thought it was bad for a girl to be added to the policy, but a boy, WOW, what a shocker!

I’ll be taking donations to help pay for this incredible bill. I will even do a little dance to boost donations. If you’re lucky (actually Unlucky) on Thursday’s I’ll be dressed in a nice ballet outfit.

John is actually a great driver. If he can get through lessons with me in the passenger seat, he can handle any driving situation. He even remembers to use his turn signal. On the day this article is published, we will be at the D.M.V. (Department of Motor Vehicles) getting his license. Nothing welcomes you to adulthood like a day at the D.M.V.

I’m actually happy he’ll be driving soon. I’ve spent years playing taxi cab. It gets old after a while. So I get to send him to do some of the running around. What’s amazing is that he likes that idea.

Am I nervous? Sure I am. Not because of his skills, just nervous about all the graduates of the “Helen Keller School of Driving” out there. You know, the “Bump and Turn Method of Driving.” My sister had this course and her certificate is still in the hall of fame trophy case. She hit everything, both moving and stationary. Guard rails, parked cars, the garage, the light post in front of our house twice. What’s amazing is that this was long before cell phones. Her excuses usually revolved around putting on her make up or adjusting the radio. My Dad had serious nightmares for years. Traumatic Stress Syndrome I guess. He spent more time on the phone with our insurance agent than anyone.

I wasn’t perfect either. I was involved in a pickup game of “Demolition Derby” in the parking lot of my high school. I remember it like it was yesterday…(insert flashback music here). Mike (now Michelle, but that’s another story for another day) was parked in front of me in his $200.00 Electra 225. A real looker, that Buick. Everyday a new part would fall off of it. I was driving my $100.00 Volkswagen Beetle because nothing says chick magnet like a VW Bug. There was a hole in the floorboard big enough to identify anyone I had run over. If I hit a puddle and someone was sitting in the passenger seat, they got a free bath.  Mike was in his car when I got in mine. I pretended like I was backing up and went forward and hit the front of his car. Then he returned the favor. Each time in happened, the hits got a little stronger.

My friend Dave, who was driving a Mustang, (also suffering a slow and painful death due to rust), saw what was going on and decided to get into the action. He whipped around the parking lot and hit the side of my car at a breakneck speed of 5 mph. We were all laughing so hard none of us saw Tim in his Cordoba, with fine Corinthian leather, sneaking up on us. He hit Dave and me at the same time. At this point, Mike drove forward once again and hit the front of my car. Those of you familiar with the late model VW Bugs know that the bumper has some vertical parts to it. Mike’s bumper got hooked to mine and he proceeded to pull me around the parking lot like we were conjoined twins. When the derby stopped we got out of our cars to assess the damage. Everyone in the east side of the school facing the parking lot was looking out the windows laughing like hell. Even the teachers. We quickly went on our way to try to escape the wrath of the deans. They got us the next day. We were on parking lot clean up for a week.

When I got home I had to explain what happened to my Dad. I told him when I came out of school, the car was like that. I still can’t believe he bought it. Or maybe he didn’t care about it. The car was worth less than a meal at McDonalds.

So, I’m assuming that the reasons a 16 year old’s insurance is as high as it is has something to do with the demolition derby we had in 1980 in the parking lot at Tinley Park High School. I’m hoping that John has better sense than me. I’m sure he does.

See how things you do as a youth can come back to haunt you?

Scott

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