The Pastor loves to drive. More accurately The Pastor loves a captive audience. When I first met The Pastor, I thought he was so romantic, with all of his long drives in the country. About two years into our marriage I realized that he didn’t love long drives in the country as much as he loved my not being able to get away from his monolog.
Sometimes, while The Pastor is talking/driving, we happen upon another driver who is slightly less “skilled” than The Pastor. This does not happen often because we do not drive in Minnesota very often but when it does, The Pastor gets to practice his colorful creative encouragement. Loudly. I, being the perfect, sweet natured angel that I am, am far more understanding of bad drivers. That is because I have been a bad driver also, and I’d be willing to bet you have too.
Admit it. You have at some point cut someone off on the freeway. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks a Prius should come standard with one of those six foot tall orange flags that kindergarteners put on their bicycles. I have also, once or twice, caught myself waiting at an intersection for the light to turn green even though there is no light at that intersection. Nor has their ever been a light at that intersection. Or even a stop sign.
We can’t all be perfect drivers all of the time. First of all, car manufactures are trying to distract us from the fact that driving is a chore by making us feel like we are in our living rooms. The Pastor recently had to buy a new truck. The one he brought home had heated LEATHER seats that embrace you in a soft, warm, leather hug when you enter the car. It also has a sound system (not a radio, folks, a sound system) that would put a nightclub to shame. It has an actual touch screen control panel for crying out loud! Let me follow this up by saying that no, The Pastor did not rob a bank. He got a very good deal on this car. An incredibly good deal. An insanely, incredibly good deal. Mostly because the previous owner was a Genesis 1:29 kind of guy and THOROUGHLY enjoyed his seed bearing herbs in it. Even after eight thousand pine scented christmas trees have been strategically placed throughout the vehicle, people still open the door, inhale, and say “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude…”
Another reason we may not always be the best drivers is that we are taught to drive when we are teenagers. TEENAGERS! Whose brilliant idea was this? We are giving them all the important information on how NOT to kill people with a four thousand pound weapon of mass destruction at a point in their life when they HAVE NO BRAIN! Trust me. The moment a child hits puberty half of their brain falls out. I think it’s to make room for all of the hormones. It appears we don’t get that part of our brain back until sometime in our mid to late 20’s. That’s when we should be teaching people how to drive.
The driving instruction I received was a little sub par too. It consisted of my dad taking me to the church parking lot in the dark of night. He made sure I was strapped into the driver’s seat and then he proceeded to clutch the dashboard and scream things like “ONE FOOT AT A TIME!” and “MERRY CHRISTMAS, ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL US?!” (Merry Christmas is my dad’s favorite swear word) Finally I had to just break down and ask him to stop until I at least figured out how to get the car out of park.
Another thing that makes it hard to drive is the way that every town seems to have it’s own set of driving rules. When I lived in Moorhead, MN they had what was called a Moorhead stop. You never really stopped at an intersection, you just kind of rolled through. In Chicago if you turn on your blinker on the freeway, a spot will open up next to you that is exactly the size of your car. You change lanes now, you change lanes carefully, and you change lanes at a speed that would make Dale Earnhardt pee in his pants. The opposite happens in the Minneapolis, St Paul region. The moment you turn on your blinker, you signal the beginning of a race to fill in all empty road space near your car. In the little town I live in, you are not allowed to back into parking spaces. I found this out the hard way when a police officer pulled up next to my car and said “You ain’t from ’round here are you. ‘Round here we don’t back into parking spots.” I kid you not, that’s what he said. I laughed and said “You’re teasing me, right?” He was NOT teasing.
With all of this stuff working against us it’s a miracle anybody drives well at all. Yet somehow, for the most part, we all manage to get where we are going. Me listening to long winded monologs, The Pastor loudly and colorfully encouraging, and my dad “Merry Christmassing” all the way.
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