Tuesday, April 26, 2011


There was this one time when I took a driving test. It wasn't the real test, just a school test, and I took it in one of those cars with "Student Driver" stickers and brake labeled "in case of student stupidity" on the passenger side.

My instructor seemed pretty unconcerned about getting in the car with a nervous student who had just finished driver's ed. It was probably because I was 18 years old at them time. I bet the instructors fight over students like me, wanting to get paid for doing something a little more relaxing than being terrified for their lives. I can just see a fistfight break out: "I've nearly been killed three times in the last week! I get the next easy one!" one says as she punches another instructor in the gut. "What about me?" another instructor cries, pulling the first instructor's hair. "Yours were all near misses, we actually crashed yesterday!" Come to think of it, I think my instructor did have the beginnings of a black eye...

The drive was mostly uneventful.

"Don't be afraid, just keep pressing down the gas. This car doesn't take hills so well."

"That was a good turn."

"Don't forget to do a head check before you change lanes."

"Okay, now remember to break a little more slowly."

"Um, please stay in your own lane."

Only once did she even need to use the Student Idiocy brake. (I was distracted by a festival.)

We got back to the school not only in one piece, but with the instructor breathing normally and even smiling a little bit. "You did pretty well," she said. "How much experience have you had driving?"

"Well... this was my first time, actually."

She froze. "This was your first time?"

"Yeah. I've been in the church parking lot before, but that was about it."

And that, my friends, is how you break a driving instructor.

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