Aug 19, 2009

On the Road: My Youngest Son Gets His License

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It was a bittersweet moment as I saw the broad grin on my son's face when he walked back in with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles road test employee. I knew immediately that he was successful in his latest attempt to score that holiest of teenage holies: the driver's license.

In his previous four tests, my son's nervousness caused him to handle the car at a level something less than the expectations of the examiners. These were always goofy mistakes, and truthfully he frightened me less than my other children did when they were learning how to drive. One daughter used to drive me crazy with the cell phone, seemingly more concerned with talking about vintage wholesale clothing than the semi directly in front of us.

Or maybe I just became desensitized to brushes with death at the hands of inexperienced teenaged motorists: who knows?

So, my son, I offer you the following advice, even though you will give me that "sure, Dad" look that tells me you have already tuned me out: drive carefully, drive defensively, and drive like you want to keep this license forever.

And put away that blasted cellphone until you arrive at your destination.

4 comments:

Mad Jack said...

Previous four tests? Four? Please tell me this is hyperbole. The driver's license exam is so simple anyone can pass it. Even a half blind demented senior citizen can get a license the first time out and merrily threaten my life and well-being twice per week.

Mad Jack said...

I suppose this could be worse. This could be the 60s and the nervous young man could be the proud owner of a new Hemi Cuda, complete with a 500 HP engine and low fuel costs. I remember back then there was a lot less traffic, too.

historymike said...

I think that they are getting tougher on the road tests with teenagers, Jack. Of our three previous kids who took the road test, the number of taken tests were three, two, and three - none of my kids passed on the first try.

With this particular kid, he got dinged for things like "too slow around turns" and "turn signals too far in advance." These are problems, of course, but hardly make him a danger.

When I received my license in Michigan in 1980, I didn't even have to take a road test since I completed an approved driving school.

Mad Jack said...

Too slow around turns? Are they nuts? The business about turn signals is stable dressing. The way you describe it, it sounds like the DMV hired my older, grumpier brother to give the exam.

Seriously though, if none of your kids could pass the exam the first time out there's something wrong with the examiner.