Got your attention? This blog is not about naked car driving. But it does sound like fun, doesn’t it?
Do you want to know what I had for breakfast? Froot Loops and a Dr. Pepper. That’s one great thing about being a grownup. You can do whatever the heck you want and no one can tell you not to. You can slowly murder yourself with sugar and no one can do a darned thing about it. When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to be a grown up. One notable milestone was turning 16 and getting my driver license. Independence was a huge goal then. I was so excited that I counted down the months, days and hours until my sixteenth birthday. At that age, reality usually takes a back seat to fantasy. And all of my friends were talking about what car they were going to get, as was I. Mine was between a convertible Mustang and a Yamaha street bike. Instead, I was given a used gold four door Delta 88 Oldsmobile. My parents paid a total of $60.00 for it. The skirt of the car was so rusted out, you needed a tetanus shot just to drive it. This car was no Mustang. Well, at least I couldn’t speed in it. It got zero to sixty in about three hours. And 60mph back then would have been speeding, anyway. So, I wasn’t ecstatic about it. But it was wheels and wheels means independence. Looking back, my parents were freakishly intuitive. They didn’t make me drive their car, but got me my own. A junker that could afford a few dings and a little curb-hugging from an inexperienced driver. Due to it’s age, the insurance was low. It was not quite the size of a barge, but was about the size of the boat that tow’s a barge. So I was safer in that big tank. Gas was cheap then. Thank God, because it was a gas and oil hog. And, the most brilliant thing that my parents may or may not have also factored in? I was so embarrassed to be seen driving that piece of junk, I hardly drove it. Only in emergencies, to school, to work or to bail my friends out of jail. Otherwise, it remained parked and I had friends pick me up in their cars. I even nicknamed my car, as most young girls do. Her name was “The Embarrassment”. A fitting name for how I felt about her. Although I hardly drove the big “E”, when she went off to the scrap yard, she was smashed in on all four sides. She was like a Mini Cooper when I got finished with her. She certainly was more compact…easier to park. Yep, looking back, my parents were a brilliant team. Even when we’d go camping, my Dad would make us slather down with mosquito repellent. And the smell would also repel the boys. Yes, he is most certainly a brilliant man, indeed.

Most young people don’t get their driver license now until they are 18. Drivers Education school is very costly. Gasoline is very costly. The price of a car and insurance for that car are also very costly. So, some have no choice other than to wait. Perhaps being even two years older will put a more mature individual behind the wheel. There is no substitution for experience, true. But maturity also plays a large role in being a responsible driver.  Especially in regards to swift decision making, controlling your temper (road rage) and knowing that you are now at the age where you will have to cough up the money for that expensive traffic ticket.

Until next week.  As someone said to me recently, “Thank you for making every day April Fools Day.”  What does that mean?

Daun Thompson