Wednesday, August 10, 2011

True Story

I don't know why this just popped into my head, but I swear before God and man that it's true.

We had full-on driver's training when I was in high school, and just about every sophomore took it. I remember that we all wanted the smaller Ford Fairmonts, and not the Nimitz-class Ford LTD's.

Anyway, one friend of mine was, and I'll be delicate here, not 100% there mentally. He could have in-depth political discussions, full of facts and philosophy, and sound very intelligent, but had no idea how much a burger might cost at McDonald's. And he wasn't a savant.

Yes, this background information is vital to the story.

Well, this friend, whom I'll call William, was driving the car during driver's training, and a mutual friend, "Joshua", was in the back seat with at least one other student. Joshua told me the story right after it happened, and William confirmed it. Again, this is absolutely true.

As our school was located near a freeway, several streets dead-ended in tall brick sound walls to keep the noise from the freeway from flooding the neighborhoods. William was driving down one of these dead-end streets, and casually started accelerating towards the brick wall. As the wall got closer, and the students in the back seat started tensing, William began honking the horn--feverishly. At what seemed like the last second, the instructor, who had only a seat belt and a brake pedal on his side of the car, quickly but smoothly pressed the brake and brought the car to a stop uncomfortably close to the tall brick wall. His only question of William, asked very calmly as if there was nothing he hadn't already experienced as a driving instructor, was, "William, why were you honking the horn?"

And the answer, spoken as if it were the most logical answer on the planet, was, "To let the people on the other side know we were coming through."


KauaiMark said...

I know you already prepped us for it but...seriously?

Darren said...


Anonymous said...

Too funny, that's one of the stories you look back on with humor because it was too crazy at the time.

BTW, it's a brake pedal, not a break pedal.

gbradley said...

We had cars as well as trainers in the classroom with steering wheels, blinkers, brake and gas pedals.
You watched a movie on the screen, and turned as you were instructed.
This was in 1975.
I learned that you can throw a car into park while coasting to a stop and it just ratchets down until the car stops.
We had a pretty cool drivers Ed teacher. He had us do Chinese Fire drills. In a parking lot, not on the road.
I don't know what I would have done if I was in the car with "William"

Darren said...

We had those simulators, too, in a big trailer they'd pull in once a semester. Then, off it would go to another school....