Driver’s Ed (featuring Hot Dogs)

My brother is turning 17 this year (cue the forehead sweat and the urge to cry.)

He has also just started Driver’s Ed. (Cue the nausea and urge to say YIKES)

When he turned 15, he proudly announced he was 6 months away from being eligible to get his Learner’s Permit.

“5 months.”

“4 months.”

“3 months Kim!!!”

It was an ever exciting countdown that concluded with, “uhh I don’t have time, right now.”

Sure, he was busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but something tells me that as D-Day approached, he figured out that there was more to driving than blasting your stereo and late night burger runs.

A week or so ago the urge returned, and with my dad’s signature (and Mastercard) my brother was one step closer to joining the world of non-blinker-using, red light running, I actually have no idea what I’m doing, drivers. Let us pray.

I’m really not that worried about my brother driving; he has an amazing sense of direction, and isn’t prone to panicking. Plus, I think I’ve taught him the three key lessons you need to survive on the road:

1) Play great music.

2) Always ensure that your windows are rolled up BEFORE expressing your distaste for another person’s driving.

3) Don’t hit stuff because there is no actual “point value” for running into mailboxes, street lamps or old ladies. (Unless you count a point on your license, AY OHHH.)

As far as Driver’s Ed goes, the only thing I’m really hoping for is that he has a better experience than I did…

On my first day of behind the wheel training, a squatty man pulled up in front of my house to pick me up. I was nervous beyond belief, focusing more on the gobs of information I’d taken in during the online course than on actually operating the motor vehicle.

“Check your mirrors.”

“Slow down”

“Speed up”

“Check your mirrors”

As we approached a signal near my old elementary school he told me to turn right.

The light was red, but I remembered a small chunk of the online lesson on turns: if the light is red, drivers turning right are still able to turn…” and so on and so on.

I looked left as we approached the intersection, ensuring no cars were coming, and blew through the light.

“So long suckers!” I thought, “Turning right rocks!”

“Yes, so…that was actually illegal,” the man said, briefly looking up from his paper.

He then reminded me of the “and so on and so on” from the online lesson, and I started to die inside.

After about 6 more right turns, to ensure I understood the whole, “stop behind the line and check thing” he directed me to the house of another student whose lesson was right after mine. We picked him up and then the instructor led me to a Costco parking lot, where I assumed the driving switch would take place, and I would be taken home.

As the new guy hopped into the driver’s seat and I buckled my seatbelt in the back, the instructor told us to “wait one sec” and got out of the car, making his way to the entrance of Costco.

“He must want to stretch,” I said to the driver, who issued no reply.

The instructor disappeared into Costco, and my eyebrows darted the middle of my forehead, confused of his now expanded “stretch.”

“Maybe he’s going to the bathroom?” I said with less confidence, again to no reply.

The instructor was gone for 30 minutes.

30 MINUTES.

When he returned, he acted as if nothing happened. He then held up a freshly made hot dog and a bag of chips and giggled, “there was a long line.”

So basically, all I’m hoping is that my brother doesn’t make any illegal, death wielding right turns and then get left in a Costco parking lot for a half hour in the summer heat with a boy who doesn’t speak English, while his instructor takes some “me” time to get a hot dog and some chips.

2 comments

  1. Also remind Little Bro that, unlike the video games he’s no doubt mastered over the last twelve years and has considered to be ample hand-eye coordination practice for maneuvering a four-door sedan during rush hour, he does not get multiple “lives” while playing the ever popular I Bet I Can MAKE You Merge on the Freeway Game.

    One little brother, one little life. Game over.

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