I'm Not a Bad Driver, Really!
"Are you a bad driver, Dad?" Sally asked me one evening as we watched TV footage of a car that had landed in someone's swimming pool.
"Not on your life!" I instantly replied. "I've only had a dozen or so accidents in 30 years of driving, and none of them was my fault. By my reckoning, I call that an impeccably spotless record."
"Really, George?" my wife intervened to disabuse me, "I know how you drive. And so do many other drivers."
"Sarah, we ignore the lies of witnesses and the antiquated rulings passed down by prejudicial judges who still believe speeds faster than 20 miles per hour will render the driver unconscious," I said defensively.
Immediately I said this I realized I had been baited and trapped. Sally came and sat next to me.
"I feel much better knowing my dad is such a good driving instructor."
"Hold on," I protested, "your mother has been teaching you for months. What's the problem?"
"No problem, George," Sarah began. "It's just that Sally's driving test is coming up and it's a good idea if she receives advice and instruction from someone with more driving mileage under their belt than me."
"OK," I said to Sally next morning as I stepped into the driver's seat. "What do you want me to show you first?"
"Just drive normally, Dad, and I'll watch what you do."
"That sounds good to me," I said, happy in the belief that I was to be left alone.
I started the engine and began to reverse the car out of the driveway when Sally said almost parrot fashion,
"Shouldn't you have first adjusted your seat, fastened your seat belt, checked the positions of the mirrors and released the handbrake?"
"Mere details," I replied. "The seat is just where it was yesterday, the mirrors are loose and tilt every which way when I drive, air bags will protect me in case of an accident and the handbrake was not on to begin with."
Noticing her annoyance, I pulled the seat belt around my waist with one hand and tried to click it into position whilst skilfully reversing and holding the steering wheel with my other hand. As I made a U turn to head for the freeway I noticed Sally's disapproval.
"What now?" I asked with all innocence.
"You didn't indicate your intention to turn," she lectured me.
To defend myself I queried philosophically, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
"What does that mean?" she asked.
"If there is no car behind or in front of me to see my car's indicator, why use it?"
Sally was silent. A set of traffic lights about 100 yards ahead showed green, and I knew I had two options. I could put the pedal to the metal and try to beat the lights or calmly ease off the accelerator and coast to a near graceful stop just when the lights show green again.
Did King "I am wise" Solomon ever face this issue as he perched upon a chariot?
Appreciating that road death can be fatal, I decided on the latter option and removed my foot from the accelerator. Immediately, the car's momentum reduced significantly and the initial speed of 30 miles per hour began decreasing in intervals of about 1 mile per second.
"Why are you stopping?" Sally complained.
"I'm slowing down so that the lights will show green when I get there," I informed her.
As I smugly observed the scenery -I could afford to, at such a slow speed- I was startled by a car's horn. I turned my head and saw an old Ford coming up beside me. The driver was an elderly gentleman, and his attire showed him to be a minister of religion. Incredulously, when we made eye contact he angrily called out, "Road hog" and sped off.
"Doesn't your lot say to turn the other cheek and forgive?" I yelled at him and, as an afterthought, I added, "Thou shalt not commit road rage!"
Embarrassed, Sally winced and slid low into her seat in an effort to become invisible.
I entered the on ramp to the freeway without slowing down and did not see the "Merging traffic. Enter with Caution" sign that Sally read out to me with concern. Moments later I found myself driving parallel to, and slightly ahead of, a semi travelling at the same speed.
As the ramp merged into its path, I blasted the driver with my horn and gesticulated wildly with both hands for him to slow down and allow me safe passage. My protestations only served to provoke him into shrugging his shoulders.
"You think you're better than me?" I called out to him challengingly.
He blew me a kiss, I slowed the car and saw the truck's rear end move away, almost as an insult to my driving ability and to my manhood.
"Dad," Sally said with restraint, "can we go home, please?"
"But I haven't finished showing you what I can do," I replied.
"Oh, yes you have. I've seen enough."
Next morning, wearing my uniform and my badge, I remembered that I have to hurry to get to work on time. Today will be a busy day.
As the chief instructor at the traffic violation school, I am expecting ten degenerate drivers who think they can flout road rules and put the lives of innocent people in peril.
By the time I finish with them, they'll be angels on the roads!