Saturday, January 1, 2011

Little Brother Win, Part I

My Little Brother has had trouble getting his driver's license. He's a fine driver, for a noob, but our state has very strict regulations about what kind of car one may test in. Since my parents don't have an emergency brake where the passenger can reach it, their minivan is out. So my sister agreed to let him use her car, with Kentucky plates. He showed up, and was asked for proof of insurance. Oops - it was at home: Fail. Reschedule.

This time, he asked me for use of my car (also out-of-state). I said "sure", but didn't check everything out until Christmas Day. Oops - my registration expired a week ago: Fail. Little Brother was distraught when we arrived, until a friend of the family's answered the phone and said, "Sure, you can use my car." The night before the test, we got a call from the friend, who said, "Why was it you needed to use our car again?" Because it has a middle e-brake. "Oops - we got rid of that car. Our new car has a foot-pedal e-brake. Sorry about that." Fail.

So the night before the exam, my dad got one of his colleagues to agree to let us use his car. Perfect, thanks, that's great, you're a real pal! We showed up at his house an hour and a half before the driving test, so Little Brother could practice his parallel parking. We looked at the car's documents... all in order. And we looked at the e-brake... right where it should be, next to the manual shifter.

The manual shifter?!? "Hey, bro, can you drive a stick?", I asked. "Oh no, are you serious? It's a stick-shift? I've never even tried to drive one."

So Little Brother and Dad spent the next 35 minutes learning to drive stick, and then drove up to the exam place. He stalled out 3 times during the test, prompting snide comments and laughter from the examiner. But: he passed. Little Brother Win. Happy New Year!


Carol L. Douglas said...

That's a wonderful story.

I taught one kid to drive a stick, and after a half hour she was only qualified to stall--couldn't have moved forward on a bet.

Mom said...

Credit needs to be given to Dennis Bernal, teacher extraordinaire, who used the experience of teaching his own three kids to give Barn his stick-shift crash-course!

Barnabas said...

How exciting! I can't wait for part 2 of this exciting series.