Followers

Monday, 18 June 2007

Crash, bang, whallop...

I read a post at Kaleidoscope recently where she relates the tale of when she backed into a store front in her car. It reminded me of the couple of stupid bumps I have been responsible for.


I admit I'm not very good at reversing my car, in fact I'd go as far as to say I'm rubbish, but before I tell you about the bumps I'll tell you how and when I started driving.

My Dad started teaching me to drive when I was 17 but I was such a nervous driver I gave up after only a few weeks. The fancy to learn to drive didn't come back until I was 37 when, suddenly, I announced on holiday "When we get back home I'm going to book driving lessons for myself". To say MWM and the kids were surprised is an understatement!

Once home I got straight on the phone and booked my driving instructor - Eric. Eric was a lovely man, mature, very calm, great reputation and I felt very safe with him. I only had one criticism of Eric, it was a bit disconcerting when I was driving along on my lessons to see him gazing out of the side window waving (in a Royal way) to all the people he knew. I kept asking myself and him "Shouldn't you be watching what I'm doing?" "You're doing just fine" he kept reassuring me.

Well I must have been doing something right because I started my weekly lessons in September and by early December I was taking my test.

On the day of my test, as if I wasn't nervous enough, Eric tells me that 'unfortunately' I had drawn the short straw and got the chief examiner who was a b...........rd by all accounts. Thanks Eric I needed that. I was last to leave the test centre that day, asking the examiner if he made allowances for nerves. My driving test didn't start very well, I hit the kerb on the way out of the test centre, but I don't think the examiner noticed because he let me carry on. The first right turn I had to negotiate flummoxed me a little. After I had stopped and positioned the car to turn right, watching for a break in the oncoming traffic, I noticed I hadn't a cat in hells chance of negotiating the turn without driving over the garden of the house on the corner. What to do? I checked my mirror and noticed the lady at the head of the queue of traffic behind me had left quite a gap (didn't she trust me?) so I put the car in reverse gear (the lady behind had a look of abject horror on her face) and slowly reversed until I was almost touching her bumper. I then checked the right turn again and thought I can do this!

Right turn completed successfully, I carried out the instructions of the driving examiner round the test route,wherever that was as it's all a blur. I can't remember doing a hill start, though I must have done as it's a necessary part of the driving test. I remember at one point not being able to get the gear stick into 3rd gear and blastpheming quite a lot. I think I managed the three point turn without mishap, but I probably could have driven to Blackpool in the time it took me to complete it. It all passed in a dream-like state and next thing I knew we were back at the test centre. You remember I said we were last to leave the centre? Well we were first back, and when I checked my watch we'd only been out for 20 minutes. Not looking good I thought, he couldn't wait to get back to safety!

Next came the Highway Code questions, I can't honestly remember what he asked me but I answered as best I could until he asked "when is it OK to overtake on the left?" - my mind went blank! I put my head in my hands on the steering wheel, thought for a minute then said "Ask me another!" Suddenly it was all over. "Well Mrs. Malu, I'm.................pleased to tell you, you've passed!" I just couldn't believe it, I insisted he'd made a mistake because I'd made so many, but he insisted I'd done just fine and after much toing and froing I finally accepted I had passed, after he'd threatened to fail me. We got out of the car just as Eric came out to greet and commiserate with me. I tell you there was nobody more surprised than Eric! Eric said the examiner must have been in a good mood that day as he never passed anyone on their first test.

Anyway, onto the part that's kept you glued to this post - my bumps.

MWM knew I wasn't very good at reversing so for a while whenever I'd been out in the car I would stop at the gate and he would come and reverse the car onto the drive for me. After a few months of this I think he got fed up of coming out in the rain and insisted it was time I did it myself. He should have had more sense.

"Ok" I said "I'll back it onto the drive but move your car further up away from the entrance to the drive, it's in my way".

"It's miles away" he said "just get on with it".

"I'll hit it" I said

"No you won't, it's not in the way" he insisted.

Well you can guess what happened can't you? Obviously I didn't turn the wheel far enough to swing the car onto the drive and I hit the front of his car making his two prize spotlights spring out like those joke eyes on coils! He can't say I didn't warn him!

After that, surprisingly, he let me practice some more and I got backing onto the drive off to a tee. Well that was until I lost my concentration one day and hit the gate. Oops. Drive forward and straighten up and try again. So I drove forward and guess what the bumper must have hooked onto the gate because I heard this scraping noise and when I checked my mirror the bumper was still stuck to the gate! MWM wasn't in at the time but as the garage couldn't do anything about it until the following day I had to tell him when he came home.

You'll be pleased to know that I've got a lot better at reversing since then, I only back into the hedge occasionally these days.

44 comments:

la bellina mammina said...

lol - at least you can laugh about it now. Just so you know, I don't have a driving license. Took the tests twice while I was living in Italy and failed BOTH times - the theory test I mean, so I said, sod it! We had a driver back then and in Singapore, you flag a cab to take you wherever you want to go and it costs nothing like in Europe or the States, plus it's cheaper than buying a car here.

buffalodickdy said...

I drive about 30,000 miles a year, and have had a license for about 38yrs. I used to say I'd seen it all, but every new day brings a new adventure!

Queenie said...

We can't be brillant at everything!

Akelamalu said...

Bella
Ah, I didn't have to do the theory test - it hadn't been invented when I learned to drive!

Akelamalu said...

buffalodickdy
If I had to drive that much I'd cut off my indicator arm! I don't do motorways, they terrify the living **$$!! out of me.

Akelamalu said...

queenie
If only I was brilliant at something! ;)

la bellina mammina said...

Lucky you!!

Mike M said...

I once hit a fire truck and a police car... during the same accident....at the same time....

The judge gave me the Knuckle Head Award.

Akelamalu said...

Bella
When they introduced the theory test I was glad I'd already passed otherwise I wouldn't have bothered!

Akelamalu said...

mike
Tell me it wasn't your fault! :(

Miss Understood said...

I mounted the pavement on my test and almost knocked over a couple of pedestrians. The examiner had to brake...very quickly.

Big black cross....and I'd only been out of the test centre for 5 minutes!

Akelamalu said...

miss u
LOL and I thought I was bad! :0

steve said...

i THINK IT WAS PROBABLY THE BLASPHEMY THAT PROMPTED
THE bA--ARD TO PASS YOU...
BAS--ARDS ARE SUCKERS FOR BLASPHEMY.

Carol said...

My examiner was rather a buxom chap, along with me also being buxom. he sat in the seat beside me and said 'Cor blimey mate, between the two of us we aint gotta lotta room in 'ere' It made me smile and I am please to say, I passed! Anyway hon, it's not the reversing you need to worry about, it's the idiots who can't drive forwards properly that are the problem!!!

Akelamalu said...

Steve
Is that so? I'll remember that. ((wink))

Akelamalu said...

carol
What a picture you conjure up! :)
You're right about the idiots on the road, there are days when it seems they're all out at once!

GEWELS said...

Thank God you love across the pond! No, just kidding! I've had a few scrapes meself.

BTW- great job on the story. Love it!

Akelamalu said...

gewels
I'm happy to report that I've never had a scrape whilst I've been out on the road. It's just the drive I have problems with! :)
Thanks re the story, I can't wait to read the next instalment.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i just hate to drive. yesterday on the way home from w va sarge started to get tired. since we had granddaughter and boyfriend in the backseat i thought, well, let's let him drive awhile, he is a naval jet fighter pilot. well, i think he is a wonderful driver, but boy does he go FAST!!!! ha ha....

smiles, bee

evalinn said...

Good job on the Experiment! I´ll be back to read more of your blog, I like it! :-)

Josh said...

Haha... Great story. I agree with Queenie...

Hey, check out Hairband Idol at Gabbatha!

Akelamalu said...

bee
My son's both drive fast, they frighten the holy bejebus out of me sometimes!

Akelamalu said...

evalinn
Oh thanks honey, your contribution was excellent too. Call back anytime.

Akelamalu said...

josh
Thanks. I'll check out the hairband thing later.

RUTH said...

At last I've found a bonus to being unable to drive....NO PRANGS!

Akelamalu said...

ruth
Well yes there is that! :)

PortraitofPeter said...

Thank you for popping over to my blog and for your comments.

Your wonderful posting here brought back many a memory of my driving test all those years ago.

I cringe every time!!

Akelamalu said...

portraitofpeter
Thanks for the return visit.
Re your driving test - Oh do tell! :)

Josie Two Shoes said...

This post had me laughing... delightful tale, Akelamalu! I once lived in Germany for two years and didn't drive there (the autobahn is pure insanity!), when I came back to the US my license had expired, so I had to retake the driving test before I could drive again. I drove so s-l-o-w-l-y and carefully in our small town, stopping at EVERY intersection, that I even had the examiner laughing. Amazingly, he passed me, probably knew the only risk I posed was bumping into something at 5 miles per hour. :-)

Gledwood said...

You're lucky having learned to drive in the pre-theory test days ... I'm dreading having to do all that rigmorole! The picture at the top was rather entertaining/sobering at the same time ...
Thanks for the message you left at mine!
Take care of yourself
all the best
from
gledwood
"vol 2" ...

Paul Champagne said...

Yup, could see where this was going (and crashing) from the momment MWM said nonsense it's miles away. Didn't see your twist on the experiment coming though ... good job.

julia said...

Yes, I'm laughing. With you, with you! That was a good couple of stories - you have a way with a punchline.

My license expired past the time when I could have simply paid to have it renewed. This was when I lived in Toronto and took the bus and subway everywhere. I had to rewrite the test and retake the road test. You'd think once was enough, but I can't deny myself these pleasures in life.

Elween said...

i passed my dricving test second time. the driving centre in my area practices bribery but i am proud of myself for not getting involve with it :)

Cream said...

I think I got that Examiner of yours but he must've been in a bad mood because I failed my first one.
The worst thing is that if I sat my test now I'd definitely fail!

Akelamalu said...

josie two shoes
I wouldn't even contemplate driving in another country! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Akelamalu said...

gledwood
Good luck with your driving test, whenever it is, but I don't envy you.
Thanks for calling in. :)

Akelamalu said...

paul
I just had to hit didn't I? :)
Thanks re the experiment.

Akelamalu said...

julia
Thankyou, I try!
You're a glutton for punishment to take your test twice!

Akelamalu said...

elween
Crikey there must be some bad drivers there if you can pass a test by bribing the examiner! Glad you didn't succumb - well done.

Akelamalu said...

cream
Aw never mind, second time lucky eh? If I had to take mine again I'd definitely use the bus!

TopChamp said...

My stupidest one was when turning right at a mini roundabout a pensioner with one arm and one leg pulled out into the side of my car, then refused to accept liability. Nice lady that she was.

Akelamalu said...

topchamp
What was she driving with one arm and one leg a sit on lawnmower?

Sarah said...

That's where some refresher driving lessons can come in hand....

We all can do mistakes and driving is just like everything else, you can say you've learned it, you learn thorough your entire live

somebody said...

酒店經紀人,菲梵酒店經紀,酒店經紀,禮服酒店上班,酒店小姐,便服酒店經紀,酒店打工,酒店寒假打工,酒店經紀,酒店經紀,專業酒店經紀,合法酒店經紀,酒店暑假打工,酒店兼職,便服酒店工作,酒店打工經紀,制服酒店經紀,專業酒店經紀,合法酒店經紀,酒店暑假打工,酒店兼職,便服酒店工作,酒店打工,酒店經紀,制服酒店經紀,酒店經紀