Monday, October 20, 2008

Baby You Can Drive My Car

My seventeen year old is learning to drive....I just can't tell how well he';s doing since my head is never over the dashboard! For some reason, the very thought of this kid barreling down the road in a metal and fiberglass bucket weighing thousands of pounds scares the bejesus out of me. It can't be that the first thing he does when entering my vehicle is pump up the volume on the radio to distortion levels heard all around the globe...or that the stations he now presets make the car vibrate and jump up and down as if in an old Cheech and Chong movie....I reflect to my own early driving days....I was NEVER like that.......
When your thirteen or fourteen or so, your circle of friends starts to expand with the onset of Junior High...All of a sudden your world gets a whole lot larger with all those buses pouring into one junior high....Friends are no longer limited to walking disatnce only....people you know now know other people who you will now get to know and love....The only question is, how will we get there?

Well, one option (granted, may be not the BEST option, but it seemed like a good idea at the time) well, let's say that someone's brother has a perfectly good car (not a beauty, maybe, but it had tires and ran---what more could you ask for?)...Any way, said brother has a license AND a vehicle.... but being of legitimate driving age, this brother also has friends with those same great attributes...licenses and vehicles, so could WE help it, if this most fortunate brother was a passenger in another vehicle that day, while WE unfortunate underaged (and yes, unlicensed) utes (translate: youths) had a new friend across town and no way to get there.

The plan was simple (aren't they always?) Jimmy (you know, officer, from art class) and I would simply borrow (grand theft auto is SUCH an ugly phrase) the fortunate brother's (hi, Joe) car, take a QUICK spin across town, and return it and the keys to their original spot....No Problem....

Now, this new friend lived in unchartered territory....This was a whole side of town on the opposite side of the high school that we had never frequented before......and us being new?! inexperienced?! completely irresponsible?! teens did the only thing we could be expected to do.....We just winged it.

Some how, by the grace of God, (who by the way must have one hell of a sense of humor when it comes to underage car theieves) we managed to get to new friend on the other side of town's house without a) injuring oursleves, b) injuring any innocent bystanders, and c) not cracking up the fortunate one's car.

Well, after some time of primping and preening and showing off our (ahem) ride, and feeling really really cool about our damn sleves, we decide for the sake of saving our lives by returning that car BEFORE the fortunate one returned home, to hit the highway, you know, cruise on down the road, you know...gotta Hit The Road Jack!
That at least was our intention. Unfortunately, when Jimmy and I were secured in our (again, ahem) vehicle and Jimmy turned the key in the ignition, the car......how do I put this? oh that's right...the car did absolutely NOTHING!!!!!!!! No turning over, no stalling, no puttering, or knocking or whining(that was probably me whining)...it did nothing.

Well, lucky for us, new friend across town was something of a car jockey....He had cars and played with cars(real one, not just toy ones ) all his short life, and he could LOOK UNDER THE HOOD.....(hey, he DID know how to pop the hood)...He even had a brother who toyed with cars, and together they LOOKED under the hood... they tried lots of things that I probably couldn't even describe, most of the ending with "Try starting it now"... Well, if might could move a mountain......and if praying "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE START" actually worked, we'd have flown right home......but alas...that flight was deemed cancelled.

The longest walk ever known to all of mankind occurred that evening, with Jimmy and me and the fortunate but soon to be furious one's keys dangling along.... Forget that we were ALL the way across town (apparently the new kid across town and his mechanically inclined brother didn't have a way to drive us home---do ya think THAT told us anything?????) We walked with such heavy steps...dreading actually getting to our destination...
We pondered what would happen when we actually DID get there.....Would he call the police,? Could you ACTUALLY kill someone for not being able to start a car? Would the circus be in town any time soon and could we join it? "I don't know...where would YOU like to run away to?"

Stall and stammer as we did, we finally DID get back to Jimmy's house...That driveway looked so, I don't know....empty.
Worse than the walk, now we had to wait....Why didn't my parents give me an earlier curfew...and why the heck was I even allowed out after dark for pete's sake!!!!!!! Clearly, we were NOT the responsible kids that could be trusted with freedoms.

Well, it seemed like forever, but it wasn't long enough before that front door slammed and the sweet sweet voice of the fortunate one BELLOWED down the stairs where we huddled together like orphans on a transatlantic journey to be sold into slave labor!!!!! Where was his car? What had we done? What were we, stupid?........

The only thing to be done BEFORE he killed us, was for us to take him to his (damned broken down bucket of bolts) car. The fortunate but furious one's equally fortunate friend (well, maybe more fortunate...he had a car that was actually working!) offered to drive us to the scene of the (sigh) crime. There we sat huddled together again, shaking in the back seat of the car, trying not to do anything else to further enrage our dear host.....Jimmy started to give directions back to the new friend across town's house and ultimately to the little car that couldn't. Unfortunately, it WAS our one and only trip to the wild part of town, and we were sooo nervous walking back, and there WERE lots of twisting and turning streets in that area.....

Well, it turns out worse than coming home without the car, was not being able to find where we left it....
After God only knows how long we drove aimlessly,( but unfortunately not silently!), we magically managed to stumble upon the vehicle I had come to loathe.
Now all we had to do was hope oh great fortunate one was a better mechanic than the car jockeys without cars tag team.

The furious one jumps behind the wheel, puts the key in the ignition, turns it, and Jimmy and I prepare for another round of "those damn kids " comments...but, alas, lo and behold...the car starts...that's right...Just. Like. That. Turn key, start car... that easy.
Shit. Talk about feeling like a couple of inexperienced little kids....(well, that IS what we were.)

Thankfully, the fortunate one was gracioius enough to allow us to ride home with him...Upon returning the car back to it's rightful place in the driveway again... he informed us, that death would be too easy...and instead, he decided to GROUND two kids who had never been grounded in their lives. Every day for a whole month, we had to come back to his house and stay inside.....

I guess it wasn't all THAT bad, but poor Jimmy's dad couldn't figure out "why don't you kids ever get out any more? Maybe make some new friends across town??"

No thanks....I don't mind the ones right here within walking distance!!!!!


In the mean time, I guess it's time to climb out from under the dash board when the kid is driving....At least I KNOW when he's driving my car.....don't I? Where did I put those keys.....

4 comments:

Christine said...

Very funny! So, let me see if I've got this right... It's really Jimmy's fault that all that auto theft was going on... yes? Cause I can get behind that, seriously.

MYSUESTORIES said...

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of it being the fortunate one's fault......He DID leave the car AND the keys home!

Jill said...

Moral of the story is...we learn from our 'mistakes', 'mistakes' our kids will never get away with because we know ALL the tricks? Stay strong girls...our boys are growing up to be fine young men!!!!

MYSUESTORIES said...

Do you mean fine young men like "OUR" boys in junior high? Mothers hide your daughters!