It was the summer after I’d turned 16 and I still didn’t have my driver’s license. This was mainly due to the fact that my parents are the only two people who have ever read the Florida “Jesus Christ, Your Kid Is About To Start Driving” Manual, which recommends that each teen complete 50 hours of supervised driving before becoming licensed.
RECOMMENDS. The manual actually uses the word “recommends”, as in, “our chef recommends the 2007 New Zealand Pinot Gris as a pairing for the salmon” or “ma’am, we recommend that you put your pants back on or you’ll need to come down to the station”. In no place does it say that a parent will need to provide a signature or even a verbal statement that they’ve followed the recommendation- “I solemnly swear on my life that I have allowed Asjhlaiie to chauffeur me around in my Chevy Malibu for 50 hours”- but all of my well-planned arguments about recommendations versus requirements fell on deaf ears.
That’s how I ended up in a week-long Driver’s Ed course at my high school, taught by the girls’ basketball coach, who went by Coach (of course). We spent our days driving Coach in lazy circles around the parking lot; driving Coach and 3 of our peers in lazy circles around the slower parts of town; and, when it was too hot (in Florida, this is every day except select occurrences of January 11th), watching Coach’s bootlegged version of “Anaconda: Hunt For The Blood Orchid” in a musty portable classroom.
I consider myself an incredibly capable driver, thanks to Coach and also the fact that I am fucking fantastic at most things. I’ve only been involved in one minor fender-bender, and I wasn’t even driving my own car, which- according to a Florida statute that I just made up- doesn’t even count. But everyone else on the road in our great state appears to be operating an automobile for the very first time.
After being forced to merge onto the expressway behind a DairyPure semi truck traveling 35 mph but somehow also managing to cut me off 4 truly incomprehensible times, I got to thinking: what if Driver’s Ed was mandatory? What if Driver’s Ed taught us real skills about how to not be a buttmunching shitwaffle on the road? What if every person with the desire to drive in public had to demonstrate proper execution of these skills? I recommend that the DMV withhold all future licenses unless the applicant can show a thorough understanding of the following:
1. Four-Way Stops: An (Anal)ogy
A four-way stop is like a gangbang. Don’t go unless it’s your turn, but when it’s your turn, GET IN THERE! Do not awkwardly plunk yourself at the front of the line and say “no no, you go ahead” to everyone around you for 47 minutes. Why are you even here if you aren’t trying to ACTUALLY GET to work/home from work/off?
2. Honk If You Love Jesus
Also: honk if you think someone is about to kill you with their vehicle. That douchecanoe in the Hyundai Sonata cannot here you screaming “???? HELLO!!?” from inside a mostly-soundproof aluminum box. Your horn is your friend! Maybe not in all situations, but definitely on the road.
3. Tailgating Is For Football Games
Get out of my ass, you passive aggressive dickface. Get in the other lane! If there is no room in the other lane, it is because everyone else is going the same speed and you have absolutely nowhere to go. You are not Dale Jr.; you are driving a Dodge Neon. Know your place.
4. Old People = Old Cars
In Central Florida, over 93% of our population is over 93 years old. It should be illegal to sell a brand new car to a person who took his or her driving exam on a brontosaurus. To surrounding drivers, a brand new car says “Hey, fellow competent adults! The person inside me definitely knows the difference between the gas and the brake!” and it is lying. Aunt Millicent, if you must venture onto the roadways, PLEASE stick with the gray-blue 1984 Chevy Caprice. That way, other drivers can plan accordingly for the slight weaving between lanes, general largess, and potential sudden sleep that we may encounter when driving behind you.
5. Green Means Go
This is an easy one. When you are stopped at a red light, and it turns green, all you have to do is go. Hit the fucking gas. Just hit it. Just… put your foot on the pedal… and press it down. Go. GO! WHY AREN’T YOU FUCKING GOING??!?
6. Littering Is For Dickless Morons
Even if you throw your bag of McShame out the window as soon as you’re done, you still ate the 3 Big Macs, 2 SooperDooper-sized fries, and complimentary apple pie that it once held. “But I don’t want my car to smell like McDonald’s!”, you whine, face covered in grease as a seagull chokes to death on your McShit-covered napkin. Totally gratis life tip: don’t put your mouth on anything you can’t stand to smell for five minutes afterwards. It works for dating, too!
7. Is That A Vespa
Here’s something we’ve all said before (twice a day for those of us who live in a college town): “No. No no nononono. Please tell me that’s not a- FUCK.” *slams on brakes, starts frantically checking all surrounding lanes for possible escape route because, even when he or she makes it almost physically impossible, it is both morally and legally frowned upon to mow down a scooterist*
Even if they’re going 25 in a 60? Even if they’re not wearing a helmet?? Why? I’m just trying to help. #Hope #Change #MakeAmericaGreatAgain
8. Take Me To Church: The Left Lane, Most Sacred Of Places
A quick and dirty guide to using the left lane correctly:
-Are you going at least 10-15 MPH over the speed limit?
-Are you passing someone in the right lane who is going slower than you are going?
-Are you the only person on the road so you can do whatever the fuck you want (short of stabbing a guy, but honestly, it’s so dead out here that if you need to stab a guy, maybe now would be an okay time to do it)?
Congratulations! You may live.
When I am elected president, the following left lane infractions will be punishable by an extremely slow and painful death or, for particularly egregious offenses, as many days in solitary confinement as it takes for you to watch every single episode of The Big Bang Theory:
-Driving slower than 5MPH over the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is 60, it will drive 65 or faster in the left lane, or else it gets the hose again.
-Behaving as though you are The Supreme Ruler Of The Expressway, and have been tasked with setting the acceptable speed for everyone behind you. “Calm down, now, sweetheart, I’m going 65! You don’t need to go any faster than that!”
-Not getting over when someone is behind you who would like to go faster than you, because she has places to go, people to see, and goals to accomplish, but mostly because work starts in 4 minutes and she’s 7 minutes away.
If this is too much information to process, or seems too complicated: Donate your car to Goodwill, and stay in the right lane for the duration of your trip there. Someone out there will use it to do the right thing.
9. Check Your Privilege
White men with BMWs, before you ask: unlike most other rules in America, YES. All of these apply to you.