Monday, 10 November 2008

Crash! Bang! Wallop!

I'm not gonna lie to you.

The truth is I am not a very good driver.

I didn't even make any attempt whatsoever to learn to drive until I was 26, (not so uncommon here with the extortionate pricing and terrifically fabulous public transport systems, in fact lots of people never ever learn to drive).

I was not a fast learner. Throw some organic chemistry my way and I can figure that stuff out no problem, clutch control? Reversing around a corner? Not so much.

It took 20 months and 4 test attempts (one of which I kept a secret from everybody because I couldn't bear to confess I had failed again!) before I actually finally passed. At which point I was convinced I would remain in learner status forever. One of my tests I actually managed to fail whilst pulling out of the test centre in minute 1 of my test (not as easy as it sounds you know), apparently it is dangerous to set off on a road without indicating first. What's the big deal? Nobody got injured.

I stopped keeping track at 40 lessons when it just became too soul destroying to keep tally any longer, which sadly was only about 5 months into my driving tuition marathon. At £18 a lesson it takes no Einstein to figure out I spent literally thousands of pounds learning to drive.

My driving instructor was even a guest at our wedding. How many people can claim such a thing? But it is the sad truth. I spent so much time with the lovely Jo that around the time we got married she and I were firm friends. She probably knew more about me than most of my close friends and of course she was more than happy to attend considering I was probably her main source of income at that point in her career.

It really should come as no surprise that right after I finally passed my driving test my instructor got herself a brand new car and expanded her business to employ 2 more people. I'm telling you, I totally funded her expansion plans with my incapability to master the skill of driving. I hope she is appreciative.

In the time since I passed my test and could legally drive. I have had numerous incidents with posts in car parks, all of which have been yellow and have resulted in me having to scrub the evidence off the car before Rob saw it. Once I even did this kneeling on the pavement in the rain whilst 8 months pregnant.

Now though it is a different story altogether, if I hit a post I leave the paint on my car. My car is 11 years old. Streaks of yellow paint are the least of my cars problems. Plus I like to think it adds a little dash of character.

I once had the misfortune of a bus not seeing me overtaking and pulling out into the side of my car, leaving just a couple of scratches. I was pregnant with Eli at the time and bus drivers happen to be notoriously grumpy and rude and the outburst from that rather antisocial one sent me over a hormonally charged edge to crying wreck-dom.

I have been known to stop at traffic lights on green. Initially it only happened when I was pregnant but it would seem the brain decay has worsened of late because I caught myself doing so a few weeks ago and pregnancy was definitely not responsible.

Today though I rear ended a car on the way home from the supermarket. The first accident involving another car that was 100% my fault. He braked. I slammed on my brakes. My brakes did not engage, not even a tiny bit. Resulting in me bashing right into his cars backside. So I guess officially it was my brakes fault not mine. I wish that made me feel better.

Miraculously no damage occurred to either vehicle which leads me to suspect my car has super powers of some kind because at 11 years old plain good luck is the only thing holding the pieces of the car together. But she will not die. She is a fighter.

Ironically the car I hit turned out to be a driving instructor teaching a (most like terrified now) pupil to drive. I can only hope the victim of my failing brakes turns out a better driver than me.

And lets face it that really wouldn't be a terribly difficult accomplishment to achieve.

14 lovely comments:

Melissa said...

Carol, Carol, Carol.... YOU MAKE ME LAUGH!!!! LOL!

Sorry to hear about your accident, it must have been really scary at the moment! But the way you tell your stories is just so funny, that I just HAVE to laugh!

I didn't start driving till I was 17 and it took me two years to get my driver's license. I failed my driver's test once and that made me put off taking it for almost a whole year cause I was scared to fail again. Then I had to do it all over again when I moved to WA, since my Canadian driver's license was no good here. That test was a breeze though and I passed with flying colors. I did put it off for 6 months though cause I just didn't want to risk failing, since I had been driving for 7 years, and it would be very embarassing to fail a driving test!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sis the good thing is you are ok, and some might say that worse things happen at sea (so dont be going to buy a boat) As for the bus, if you ask any driver if its happend to them they will tell you yes it has, I was passing the bus, and the bus started to pull out. It happens all the time, I dont know if they mean it, but it can be bloody scary. As for todays episode. you realy need to bring your car down hear so that I can give it a good service, and have a look at the breaks. Free of charge of corse (just dont tell Anyone, i do it for free) Any way sis dont let a little bump put you off driving, it happens to the best of us. But hear is a tip for you, Go out like I did and buy a seventeen seater bus in bright yellow, people dont seem to hit that for some reason.

Mandy said...

Oh my! Too funny. I am glad that you are ok. I have had my fair share of driving included flipping my car three times. I actually walked away without a scratch on that one! My car, however, was totaled.

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

How ironic is that? hilarious!!! So glad that no damage was done. Car accidents are the pits. I've had a couple minor ones fun at all. :P

Hope you guys are all doing well!

Barbaloot said...

Car accidents are the worst!!! I'm glad your okay...and I hope one day the car trauma is far behind you:)

the rogers blog said...

You lucky banana!! I'm glad your not hurt lovelly or that you had to pay out tonnes for the cars.
I'm finding myself wandering off mentally here because my car, sorry tank is an automatic which requires no driving effort or ability to operate. Also the roads are so big and straight I catch myself looking at all the scenery. So it'll likely happen to me at some point.
I'm hoping stu's on holiday somewhere far away if it ever does!!

Elaine A. said...

So glad that your accident wasn't too bad and that everyone is ok.

But now to the funny stuff...

You're driving instructor came to your wedding?? Funny.

You hit a driving student? Funnier! ; )

AMY said...

Wallop is serioulsy one my favorite British words.

As for driving, I will never understand how they let ME legally drive in your country when I been there for one month (for free), yet you must pay a fortune to learn.

Too bad you weren't with me in Bedfordshire, I would have shown you the ropes love. Like how to go the wrong way around a roundabout. Or how not to paralell park. Luckily Ruwward wasn't use to being in cars and no idea her life was in serious danger. It was so much fun!

Lauren W said...

Oh dear... I'm so glad that your car is all about holding herself together. I was in a very similar collision a few years ago. The other car didn't even have a scratch, but the front end of mine crumpled. From that point on, the hood never closed properly, so it was tied down with a bungee cord (not kidding). Trust me, I would've traded many yellow streaks to not be the driver of the car whose hood wouldn't close.
Anyway... I'm glad you're all ok. Have a happy day!

anti-supermom said...

Th entire sotry is too funny, seriously funny.

But, I'd be a horrible driver too if I lived in pretty much anywhere overseas; the roads are narrow, the cars are tiny. Me driving would not be pretty.

Thanks for the laugh :)

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

No way! That is funny--and good that everyone is OK :)

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about your accident. I actually did THE SAME THING about 2 weeks ago while I was on the way to the dollar store. Finally, after the car was in the shop for 1 1/2 weeks we finally got it back this evening. I was so pissed, I couldn't even blog about it. Everyone makes mistakes...I'd just say I'm glad we made it this long before rear ending someone!

Laural Out Loud said...

So glad everything turned out okay! LOL.

I have been an excellent driver until recently. My husband made a criticism and ever since I've been making awful mistakes. He totally jinxed me.

Heidi said...

Ah, love. I love that you are such a bad driver. It makes me laugh.

For the record, I'm an excellent driver. However, Rhett insists I'm terrible (despite all evidence to the contrary--his THREE speeding tickets, and one RECKLESS DRIVING ticket). Whatever.