Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Butterfly Does Driving

If there was anything I’ve desired more in the last year, it has to be driving again (legally), even if playing dumb and engaging road bends with humility is a staple for the next month or so.

Yes, finally and I stress, FINALLY, I’m at my practicals. In simple math, that’s over a year of public transport or 15 months of ignorance to the discounts at Caltex. There is only one problem…

I don’t know if I’ve signed up for driving lessons or stupidity classes. I swore the air-con was blowing idiocy right at me. Despite telling him that I have a 6yr driving experience, I had to sit through 1 hour of basic driving education, which included,

1. Learning how to shift the gear.

For nearly 10mins, I was toggling between moving the gears sequentially from 1 to 5 to reverse and when I managed to impressed him with enough fluidity, he made me reverse the movements from 5 to 1.

If I had my hands any longer on the gear stick, I'm pretty sure I was going to ejaculate it just so that I can bukkake myself with redundancy.

2. Move forwards and backwards. Repeatedly.

If you see depression marks on the ground, that would be me.

The instructor had me do a routine road tarring. It had to be so, how else can you justify making an EXPERIENCED driver inch forward and backwards repeatedly over 10 mins. I only needed the car to be fitted with a suction infront to qualify as a litter remover.

3. Explaining the interior of the car.

This included having me try out the wipers, the horn, hazard lights and handbrakes. I briefly flicked the wipers through the various speeds and he made me do it again. Apparently, he wanted me to actually wait for the wipers to do one cycle. If you saw me nodding and smiling, you’d have given me an award for ‘Greatest threshold of bullshit’.

Wow, learning the wipers. Now THAT’S going to be a life-saver.

He quickly followed this up with a ground breaking progression of pace by explaining to me the speedo and tachometer and closed with a quiz on the fuel guage.

Instructor: "If the needle points to 'F' it means...?"
Me: "Full?"
Instructor: "And if it points to 'E' it means...?"
Me: "Empty?"
Instructor: "Correct."

I don't know if I should shout for joy or for a cab. Do people even get stuff like this wrong to begin with?!

I was well prepared for this. I knew I had to start from scratch, but this? No one said anything about starting with half a brain. When they said I had to learn all over again, I didn’t realize they actually meant learning EVERYTHING.

I always imagined that they’ll honour previous driving experiences, cut the bullshit, have me do a lap of the estate at 100km/h and we’ll even do the mandatory girl whistling at traffic lights. Guess not.

Only idiots need refresher courses.

1 hour later, I stalled the car whilst trying to move off in 3rd gear. Twice.

The only thing that stood between me and a certain effrontery of an accelerated license, was habit. Bad habits, if we’re being precise and I’ve already made a credible effort of not turning up for sessions inebriated.

The resolution of a matter is always rigid between conflicting perspectives. I think it’s perfectly ok to drink and drive but I’ve been faulted on that. They say stop lines have to be observed, but I think it’s road hogging.

Having an experienced driver retake driving practicals is far more than an ego bruise of sporadic critiques; it’s a blatant setup to tell you that you’ve been driving wrong all your life. Putting a driving instructor and I together, is like having champagne with high heels. Someone has to suffer.

1. I dropped the clutch once.

Instructor: “Wow, Jay Chou are you!?”

2. Stop lines.

Everyone with a license knows that stop lines are for pussies. If you stop before the line with no car in sight, you will be horned at. Mandatory spitting at, if you did that abruptly. The correct way to engage a stop line is to ignore all traffic and remember that you always have the right of way.

Apparently, the instructor didn’t seem to share my sentiments.

3. One handed drive.

It’s a habit to drive with one hand (hands up if this is you). One free hand is ALWAYS essential just in case you need to pick your nose or grab boobs. If you have to choose between gear changing and any of the pre mentioned, you should know that all good drivers are smart drivers. We go for carnal pleasantries, gears can wait.

I’m constantly reminded to keep both hands on the wheels and I’m not allowed to drive even with my hand rested on the gear knob. I’ve obviously been getting a lot of bad pointers from cabbies.

4. Never brake in neutral.

I’d be perfectly honest. Only sissies use engine brake. Real men just fly through windscreens or put airbags to the test. Look, if you buy a car, you’d at least want to test your airbags once. People who invented engine braking obviously never tried braking in neutral. It’s so much less tedious to execute.

5. No waving ‘thanks’ to motorist

I waved thanks to this guy in a BMW for giving way to me and I got corrected on it.

Instructor: “I’d do the waving, YEW just drive.”

And we complain all the time about absence of road propriety when the very institution we’re being educated from isn’t inseminating the right etiquette. Rather than sit back and be catechized with their brand of proper driving, I’d educate you on this,

Always give way to expensive cars. While its good to be hit by one, it’s not good to hit one. And, if a QQ tries to cut you, throw a coke bottle at it. It probably costs more anyway.

6. Fiddling with the air-con

Apparently, air-con adjustment is not part of the pre-drive check and I have a proclivity of regular adjustments. As my instructor simplifies, I spend more time adjusting my air-con than I do for the mirrors.

It’s pretty obvious. Why bother about the mirrors when you have someone next to you that will constantly warn you of danger. What’s paramount, is not perspiring. If you perspire while driving, you’re better off going public.

Now I ust need to bribe the testers...


At 9:02 AM, Blogger sÞ¡ηηєє said...

hahaahhaha i forgot when's the last time i've stopped at the stop line... =\

anyway!!! you just STICK as close as possible to all the rules first during lessons/tests!

after passing the test, u can forget EVERYTHING what he says, i mean..most of everything. ;)

At 12:14 AM, Blogger The Horny Bitch said...

Driving lessons are crap!

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