Tuesday, May 20, 2008

10 Driving Points

1. I love driving but I don't mind that I don't drive very often.

2. If money were no object one of my dreams is to take a race car driving course, or better yet a stunt driving one.

3. Despite being a good driver and loving to drive fast I am not a big lane changer or merger. I need plenty of room to pull over into a new lane.

4. Stick is better than automatic. It's a skill everyone should have.

5. I can't park for shit and am continually embarrassed by it. When I was 16 or so the hotel parking lot at work was very crowded. ChemE was driving her car and she was worried about parking. I reacted badly to her worry and said I'd park in the one tight space left. I fucked it up and scraped the car next to us. It was horribly embarrassing and I still hate that I did it.

6. The first time I was ever summoned to a police station was because I tapped another car in a parking lot at the mall and didn't leave a note. There was no damage to either car and I was young and ignorant and it never occurred to me to leave a note. (It was the sort of tap that happens every day in a place where there is a lot of parallel parking and no one ever reports it because if they did there wouldn't be time for anything else.) Some busybody watching took down my plate and left a note on the car and I had to go to the police station and get a lecture. That's right, they called me in just to lecture me not to give me a ticket or anything, couldn't do that over the phone.

7. My first traffic ticket was because I pulled out in front of a cop and Chili was in the car with me. She threw attitude at the cop so he ticketed me. It was a classic moment in our friendship and it spurred me to get my first job since I didn't think it would be a good idea to ask my parents for money to pay for a ticket that was, in all honesty, my fault.

8. The most expensive ticket I ever got was $237 for going 83 in a 55 in CT. I wasn't paying attention and I love to drive fast. This is a deadly combination in CT.

9. The biggest vehicle I've ever driven was a 24 foot box van for a freelance job I was doing in NYC after I got back from London.

10. Had to take my driving test twice. I failed the written. You've never seen my mother so pissed.


  1. HANG on - WHY don't I remember THAT!? I mean, I don't doubt for a second that what you say is true, I just don't remember the incident at all. What happened?

    (and not that it matters a damn now, but I'm sorry....)

  2. Anonymous6:20 AM

    If you have time the next time you come up, I'll take you to the go cart place. It's not race car or stunt driving but it is FUN! Those little things go like 50 mph. You have to wear a suit and helmet and take a short class before you can do it. Wicked fun!

  3. In solidarity, my secret shame is that I cannot parallel park in a tight space even though I've spent my adult life in cities with super limited parking.

    I drive way out of my way to find a place to stick the car where I won't be forced to parallel park.

    I know the way to get better would be to practice, but I can't stand the shame of being honked at or driving away in failure while struggling to master the skill. :-(

  4. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Stick shifts? I have no idea what the supposed virtue of stick shifts is. Mr. Chili swears by them, too, as I recall. I certainly have driven many of them, but, basically, found them to be an unnecessary distraction.

    Continuously variable automatics are my favorite.

  5. I can't drive a stick, but I'm pretty good at parallel parking.

  6. Chili, we were headed up that hill where the library is now and you're supposed to yield at the top but I had an old clutch so I used to check the traffic while I was at the bottom and just gun it up and to the left. I missed the cop sneaking out of a cross street. You were just generally huffy and indignant and muttering of uncomplimentary things. I'm not saying that pork-related food items were mentioned but they might have been. The ticket was a whopping $33.

    Auntie, the go cart things sounds AWESOME! I'd love to do that.

    Liz, better to find a roomier place to park than to try it anyway on a narrow street and have some asshole try to pass you and then blame you for hitting him. I parallel because I have to, I'm getting better but not much. I'm told you have to "learn your car" and it will "come to you." I'm always borrowing or renting so...

    Gypsy, I'll do all the stick driving for you (dirty!) if you'll do the parallel parking for me. I'm embarrassingly bad at it.

  7. Okay, I know FOR SURE that I never mentioned pork related food items. I won't deny that I was exuding attitude - I did that a lot in my youth (hell, I do that a lot NOW), but I never, even in my fuck-off-and-die days, called a cop by a porcine reference. I never understood that kind of name-calling, and even as a kid, I knew better than to say something THAT stupid.

    Still, I'm sorry, lo these many years later, for playing a part in your citation. Shall I send you a check?

  8. Absolutely no need to send a check. Technically I sort of made money off the deal since it inspired me to accept a job that someone was offering the next day and I kept that job seasonally for a couple of years.

  9. Nothing better than hitting the open road and riding the trail with a nice bottle of rum and some great tunes...
    until DUI.
    And now I am at home with one of those little Fisher Price Drivers and a fan to blow my hair.
    Nothing like a safe drunk driver.
    Honk. Honk.