Confessions of a Bad Driver

Recently a fire engine was poised to leave the station with lights flashing. I sped up to get past the driveway and out of the way but the fire engine turned left and began tailgating me. The driver’s vengeful honking rattled me into swerving back and forth across three lanes, accidentally slowing his progress. My passengers were too judgmentally incredulous to even listen to my justifications. Unfortunately, I have never been able to learn from mistakes because of an allergic reaction to medicine for my RAMBO (Rarely Admit Mistakes, Blame Others) medical condition.

Tuesday’s traffic snarl was caused because the Seattle Mariners were playing a meaningful game in September for the first time in decades. So I rushed out early for a dinner party with my toothbrush in my mouth while talking on my cell phone. I buckled my seat belt with my right hand while maneuvering the steering wheel with my forearms and elbows. Everything was under control for the minute we slowly drove down our quiet street. But I could not hear the person on the phone because my wife was screaming to be let out of the car and something about divorce. No way a witness could be allowed to exit the vehicle in her hysterical condition, so I tossed my cell phone in the backseat, demonstrated my buckled seatbelt, and explained through toothpaste foam that everything was totally under control thanks to my almost 60 years of driving experience.

My wife threatened, “What are our sons going to say about you driving while simultaneously brushing your teeth, using the phone, and buckling your seatbelt?” It sounds bad when she says it like that but I am hoping for: “Wow, Dad, you are amazing!”

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63 thoughts on “Confessions of a Bad Driver

  1. They have Carlos Santana for a designated hitter. Who cares if his avg is only .240 if he hits it out of the park every time? However, choke is franchise genetic, we know all about that in Dallas, and Seattle lost to the worst team in baseball a couple of times… Keep an eye on Carlos. If he points his guitar at deep left field, back up.
    On the driving side, knew a guy in my youth who could eat a hamburger, roll a joint one handed, drink a Coke and drive at the same time. The way we learned that was by riding with him, it wasn’t like “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat while I change lanes with my knees.” Never argue with a fire truck.

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    1. Seattle and the local announcers are celebrating a little early. I have watched the Dodgers, Phillies and others blow it at the end. One of the few playoffs the Mariners made in 1995, I think was partly a gift from the Angels. Even if you did not know such a driver Phil, what a great creation he would be! By coincidence, today I was jogging by the same fire station when the engine was heading out. I thought about sprinting past him except I was afraid he would run me over.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those fire trucks all think that just because they have those funky lights and extra loud horns that they can do whatever they want like they have the right-of-way or something.
    You are almost as amazing as the woman we saw eating a large, sloppy hamburger while smoking a cigarette, putting on her makeup and talking on the phone. She turned around to yell at her kids as we got past her. waaaayy past her.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. My wife would never let me leave the house in the car if my seatbelt was not buckled first, my phone was holstered far from my hands, and since she says I use too much toothpaste each time I’m certain she wouldn’t even let me take it out of the bathroom. Oh well, I can live vicariously through your exploits. I do have a friend who eats cereal out of a bowl while driving with his forearms, but I don’t live near him so it’s not my problem. I think those Mariners are making the playoffs!

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    1. I have a hard time finding my toothbrush and toothpaste because I carry them around the house, mostly because we keep procrastinating on fixing the bathroom sink. I worry that the Mariners will still figure out a way to blow the playoffs!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Is there some reason your wife can’t drive? My husband maintains that he’s a safer driver, using his knees to steer while eating a bowl of cereal, than I am with two hands on the wheel, pretending to listen to him tell me how to drive.

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    1. My wife is a better driver than me even with macular degeneration in both eyes. But after about four years into our marriage in 1973, she famously asked the same question and demanded to drive us to the movies one Wednesday night. She backed the car partially over the concrete embankment while exiting the driveway (which she had navigated many times by herself). We missed the movie while waiting for help. I never insisted on being the primary driver after that but we settled into traditional roles. I drive, take out the garbage, get the mail; and she refuses to let me in the laundry room and forbids me to do grocery shopping.

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    1. When I was younger, I used to be a relatively bad driver for my peer group but I was better than old people so I did not notice as much. But now that I am relatively bad in the older people peer group, people volunteer to drive. My primary hiking partner always drives. Tomorrow my wife and I leave with another couple on a trip to Oregon. And I am just realizing that the other husband (whom we have known since high school) has never ridden in a car I was driving!

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  5. Haha! I loved this entire piece. “My wife was screaming something about a divorce.” 🀣 I think it was, “I could never divorce such an incredible driver!”

    Liked by 4 people

  6. What are our sons going to say about you driving while simultaneously brushing your teeth, using the phone, and buckling your seatbelt?” It sounds bad when she says it like that but I am hoping for: β€œWow, Dad, who knew you had three hands?!”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was twice sitting in a snarl traffic at night because of my ignorance of the schedule of the Rutgers University football games. Thank goodness Rutgers’ ambition of getting into Big Ten was crashed by the pandemic for the time being and there is no longer fear of getting stuck in the traffic for the foreseeable future.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t a sandwich and a bottle of water on deck once the teeth were brushed.

    I have seen ladies applying makeup and someone reading a book while driving, though I would have been more impressed if they had been done simultaneously. Fortunately there’s almost always insurance.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I once overtook a woman who was driving on a 3-lane motorway at only 45mph. As I went past, I could see that she had a Wordsearch puzzle book spread across the steering wheel, and a pen in the hand she should have been steering with. I wasn’t sure whether to notify the police, or give her a round of applause.
    Thanks very much for following my blog, Geoff.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

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