Woman plows her car into a troop of Girl Scouts selling cookies outside the Piggly Wiggly. When asked why, she said, “They were out of thin mints.” Who could fault her for that?
I used to scoff at those people who try to back up when their car is in drive. How could they forget the basics? As so many times in the past, when I look down my nose at others it comes back to bite me in the butt.
Lately I’ve had a few close calls in the Wal-Mart parking lot, and I’ve had to admit that driving is harder than it used to be. When you think about it, there really are a lot of things to remember. Stopping and going and steering require catlike reflexes and nerves of steel. Making a head check requires full range of motion in your neck. Don’t get me started on popping the hood.
Physics and geometry play a large part in acceleration and steering. Unfortunately, math and science classes were a long time ago, so I’m not sure that I could do long division if I had a gun pointed at my head. Intersections with more than one cross street are a real challenge. Do I make a 45 degree angle at the light, or give up, turn around, and go back home?
Recently, I decided to be gallant and fetch the car on a rainy day, with the intention of providing curbside service for my friend. My parking aisle was head-on to where she was standing, so this necessitated a hard left to pull alongside the curb. She had to leap out of the way as I jumped the curb, then I was laughing so hard that I forgot to unlock the door. She would have been dryer running through the sprinklers in the park.
If it hadn’t been raining, would she have had the courage to get in the car with me? My Jeep has four wheel drive, although it isn’t trail rated. Is the sidewalk considered off-roading?
I’m at that awkward age: too old to remember to set the parking brake, but too young to be the scourge of the interstate. If I had to retake my driving test, I know that I could back around a corner and parallel park. I know how many car lengths to stay behind someone and when I should dim my headlights. Heck, I could probably bluff my way through the eye test. So I think I could pass with flying colors, as long as there are no Girl Scouts around.