Learning To Drive: The Average Teenage Driving Lesson

Car ExplosionSociety loves status symbols.  That’s the whole reason we have huge SUV’s that each use a Middle Eastern country’s supply of oil just to get out of the gas station driveway.  So it’s not surprising that as soon as teens turn 15 (or younger, for some rural states.  The reasoning here is that the state’s population is so small that it would be impossible for a driver to find someone to hit with a car) they want a driving permit.

Then, of course, come the driving lessons.  The parents of the teen administer these, unless the parents find someone who owns a full set of football pads and helmet and is a responsible driver.  Since these people don’t exist, the parent gives the driving lesson.  From my limited experience, the average driving lesson goes something like this:

Start of Driving Lesson

Setting: an abandoned parking lot.  No other cars, a few lampposts and decorative shrubs.  Overcast.  58 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wind is 5 mph North-Northeast.  The parking lot is approximately at Latitude 45 and Longitude 56.  About 42.7483 feet from the left back car tire is a small pothole .29384 inch deep.

Parent: Seatbelt first.  Then overhead mirror.

Teen: [Gung-ho] Seat-belt. Good.  Mirror [With a sound reminiscent of fingernails-on-chalkboard, mirror breaks off in Teen’s hands.  Teen tosses it in back.]

Parent: Um, that’s fine.  Good. Alright, first put the key in lock, and turn it all the way.  Good.  Now put your foot on the brake and lift up the parking break.

Teen: [With a gut-wrenching shriek, the parking brake breaks off in Teen’s hand] Like that?

Parent: [Getting slightly nervous, but trying to hide it] Sure, that works.  Now you can shift into ‘D’, as in ‘Drive’.

Teen: It’s stuck.

Parent: You have to push in the button on the back, first [slightly more agitated].

Teen: Oh, I see it.  [With a sound akin to that of cutting firewood, the shift comes off in Teen’s hand.  Teen tosses it in the back, next to the parking brake handle and mirror].

Parent: AAAAAH! I mean-quick, put your foot on the brake. [Car had moved 3 inches forward].

Teen: Okay, okay, geez! [Teen accidentally hits the gas; car shoots forward into nearby lamppost, leaving it sitting at a 78.634 degree angle west-west-southwest].

Parent: [Taking deep breaths] Okay, it’s alright. Look, figure out which is the break.  Got it? Now, go around the lamppost.  Good, good.  See if you can make a turn-first put the turn signal on.

Teen: [Hits windshield wipers instead] Ooops… [Then acts surprised and happy that the windshield wiper stick did not break off in Teen’s hands].

Parent: [Points to turn signal] That control. Good.

Teen: Oh, right.  [Pushes up turn signal.  It breaks off in Teen’s hand with a noise similar to that of a paper shredder.  Ends up in the back with the growing pile of controls].

Parent: [After turn is completed successfully].  Good job.  Good.  Okay, see that exit from the parking lot? That street looks pretty deserted, aside from the young children playing in the road with their backs to oncoming cars, the pick-up basketball game, the moving van, the block party, and the sewer crew-oh, and the Rolls Royce on the corner.  Try there.

Teen: [Intensely dramatic silence as teen maneuvers to the exit].  Okay.

Parent: Good.  Now stop and look both ways.  Good, okay, now pull out into street.  Great. You can go a little faster if you want.

Teen: [Still concentrating, hits the gas] Whoa.

Parent: Forget I said that-slow down [Catches breath, as Teen veers over the yellow line in the road].  Stay on your side of the road [Firmly].

Teen: Sorry.  [Checks side-mirror, sees a bus coming from behind].  Uhm, there’s a bus behind me.

Parent: [Practically faints] Pull off the road, now.

Teen: [Speeds into, predictably, a mailbox].  Oh, wow.  This is clichéd.

Parent: What?

Teen: Nothing.  Oh, crap, the bus is still coming.

Parent: Well, move!

Teen: [Hits gas, but car is stuck on curb] Uh…

Parent: Try reverse.

Teen: [Grappling with missing control] Okay.  [It works] Thank God.

Parent: Good.  You are doing great.  Watch out for the bus-!

Teen: [Hits bus as 15.328 mph, severely denting the front].  Crap. [Changes to drive] There we go.

Parent: [Turned around, looking at the bus] Look, that’s all right, it happens to me all the time. Pull over; we have to deal with this.

Teen: [Picking up speed] It’s okay, I don’t think he got our license plate.  If he did I know a friend who can stea-uh, get us some new ones.

Parent: Just go back to the parking lot. I’ve had enough driving for today.

Teen: [Concentrates, drives back to the parking lot].

Parent: Good.  Great.  Fine.  Okay, get out please.

Teen: Sure. [Teen opens car door, and with something close to the sound of a trash compactor, the driver’s side door comes off.  Teen tries to throw it in the back with the other various parts, but it lodges in the door opening.  Teen becomes frustrated and starts shoving at the stuck car door.  It hits the horn, then the windshield wipers, and then, somehow, the airbags.

Parent, coming around the back of the car to get in on the other side, becomes aware of the damage at this moment.  A mumbled “goo..d…” can be heard as parent faints.  Then, local law enforcement arrives, called in by the concerned sewer crew.  They first ask for Teen’s permit.  Teen accidentally gives them a sample American Express card that says “Your Name Here”, which he kept in his wallet as a status symbol.  Then, teen finds permit.  Eventually, after many group therapy sessions, both Teen and Parent will return to their normal lives].

End of Driving Lesson

As you can see, driving lessons can be relaxing events and great for teen-parent bonding.  The health benefits alone, from lowering blood pressure to the overall calm aura, are well worth the time.  In fact, I recommend that you get out and drive with your parent/teen today, because tomorrow, who knows? The world could run out of gas, save the US Government reserves, which, of course, will be saved for one final Daytona 500.

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  1. i could definitely see my dad doing that, except with more cursing. luckily, i'm taking driver's ed this year, so i have nothing to worry about….i think

  2. Jasmine W. says:

    i could definitely see my dad doing that, except with more cursing. luckily, i'm taking driver's ed this year, so i have nothing to worry about….i think

  3. Phil and Ted says:

    Yes, I'm sure that "Parent" would have liked to curse, but, unluckily for him/her, "Parent" was featured in this skit on a clean humor blog. Oh, well; actors with no real first name can't be choosers.

    Good luck with your driver's ed class. If all goes well, it will be nothing like this blog post (hopefully).

    Thanks for the feedback and comment,

    - Phil

  4. Haya Izhar says:

    Thank you for publishing this post. I now have no confusion regarding how to drive. Just chuck everything in the back seat right? Very educational. Once again thank-you :-)

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