The only problem with getting older is the fact that more is expected of you. For instance, the fact that you are supposed to start driving.

As I am now old enough to drive (legally), I’ve been taking Driver’s Ed classes.

Basically, the course consists of reading through lessons that say things like “Don’t hit pedestrians,” “Don’t run into stop signs” and “Use the IPDE process (Intercept; Pass; Dodge and Expect to be tackled upon catching the ball again)

At least that’s what I think it is. (Don’t ask why.).

Then, after you finish a lesson (Example: Lesson 5, Don’t pull over for hitchhikers who hold signs saying “Will shoot for car.”) you take a test with questions like this (and I am not making this up):

* * *

Q: Worn pedals or new pedals in a used car might indicate:

A. High mileage

B. Poor pedal material

C. The previous owner was a little old lady from Pasadena who only drove the car to church

D. A driver who was easy on the car

* * *

But tests don’t last forever. Eventually, you’re going to have to put all that good stuff you learned from the book (Ice may be slippery, so don’t go too fast) into actions. Yes, that means DRIVING.

I don’t have anything against driving. It’s just that I have something against going too fast. That may explain why I hate driving the go-carts at All-Star Sports, or even why I hate running. (Well, actually that last one could be blamed on something else). But my point is…. well, I really don’t have one, so let’s keep going.

Mr. Unruh (PE/Health teacher and/or Driver’s/Ed In/struct/or) said, “Are you ready to drive?” and I said, “Are you kidding?”

But I did anyway.

After school a couple Wednesdays ago, a few other new-drivers and I, as well as Mr. Unruh, got together to drive for the first time.

The “Student Driver” sticker was slapped onto the back (of the vehicle, not the driver) and we were off.

Until then, I hadn’t been a very successful driver. I’ve been known to gun a car and jump right over the curb into someone’s flower garden.

However, as I began to drive with Driver’s Ed, I felt more relaxed, and did better than usual.

This may have something to do with the fact that the person sitting next to me was not ready to throw his leg over to my side to hit the break every other second, but he (Mr. Unruh) was sitting back, drinking a Dr. Pepper. (Even though our Driver’s Ed manuals said drinking and driving is illegal.)

I should probably add that Mr. Unruh’s appearance of calm is probably due to the fact that he has a brake pedal on his side of the car, too.

So now, as you read this, I have hopefully passed the final test (driving to McPherson) and have become a more accomplished driver.

Even now, I am beginning to make sharp clicking sounds with my tongue when I turn corners as I walk home from school.

* * *

UFO: Retsina, the Greek wine, is made with pine tree resin. So is turpentine.

Don’t ask why.

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