And we give them licenses

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel by Steve Estes

I’m really beginning to wonder if it’s possible for someone to get half a driver’s license.

I know it’s not, but if the driver has half a brain, why should they get a whole driver’s license?

This comes to mind after the last couple of weeks as I’ve watched folks just seem to only half finish the job of driving.

Let me explain.

Last week during a trip to the shopping center on Big Pine, I wanted to turn up the aisle from the grocery store side to a parking space about halfway up.

There’s that pesky half again.

I wasn’t in the Jeep, so there was no really tight turning circle. I had to overshoot the aisle I wanted because a large sedan was parked in the middle of the travel lane, half on his side and half on mine, leaving no room for me to get past him.

I tried making a partial turn so he would get the hint. No luck. I hit the gas and went to the next aisle, swung into that aisle and found a spot about halfway up that one.

I looked over just to see if half-brain had actually gotten the hint, only to see him hanging half out in the primary traffic lane waiting for someone to stop and let him out of the aisle.

Half a brain. Should only qualify for half a license.

As I walked up to the grocery store (I hate afternoon trips to the grocery store for many reasons) I passed a small car jammed into a parking space. I say jammed because the person driving must have thought they didn’t have enough room to park there because the back half of the car was inside the lines and the front end of the car was halfway into the spot next to it. Rather than back up a few feet and straighten out the car, the driver just left it there.

If the car had been some exotic sports car, or the ride for a handicapped person, I would have thought nothing of their inability to park like a normal, full-brained person.

But the small sedan fit neither category. The half-brain driving the car simply was too lazy or too inept to park the car in the proper fashion.

Yet I’m sure he had a full driver’s license.

People who can’t see the far half of the car should only have half a driver’s license.

We’ve all seen these folks. They drive on the middle yellow line because they can’t tell how far from the white line they are and wind up pushing other drivers off the far side of the road. A right-hand-curve is nearly impossible for them to make and stay between the navigational beacons. They are continually curbing the tires on the right side and griping when they pay the alignment bills and buy the new tires twice as often as normal.

But those who lack the ability to see the far half of the car are more dangerous in driveways than anywhere else. I particularly detest running into one in a two-lane entrance that comes right off the highway.

Because these half-brains can’t judge distance on the far side of the car, they tend to sit right in the middle of the entrance drive, making it near impossible for anyone who has to turn right to get into the lot to get past them. So what we wind up with is some car (me) zipping along at 45 miles per hour on the highway and needing to make a right hand turn into a driveway, only to find some half-brain sitting in the middle of the driveway.

My options become severely limited in a hurry.

I can try to whip past them in the tiny space they have left me. I’ve gotten pretty good at estimating how much room I need to slide the Jeep through tight spaces like that, and more often than not, I’ll try to do that. If nothing else, it scares the snot out of the half-brain.

Or I can slam on the brakes and wait until half-brain realizes what they’re doing (fat chance) or hope they get the hint (fat chance two) and scoot over if room allows. Or I wait until they pull out of the driveway.

With any of those options, I am left figuratively holding the bag because chances are that the butt end of my vehicle is still hanging out in the traffic lane while I wait for half-brain to do something to extricate us from our predicament.

When I get stuck like this I always wait with some level of trepidation for that half-brain on the highway to not realize I’m stuck half in and half out and continue rushing at me pell mell while texting, talking with their hands, or just plain not paying attention. At which point I figure they’ll give me a case of permanent whiplash by plowing into the butt end of my vehicle.

The final option for me is simply to keep my foot on the accelerator, whack half-brain out of the way and continue on to my destination, hoping that the responding traffic cop can sort things out to my liking at a later time.

And then along comes what I really hope was a visitor earlier this week, driving as though the license had never been invented.

I had to get into a limited egress parking lot. Said tourist was in the same parking lot. And lost. Yes.

Lost in a parking lot. Don’t know. Don’t care. Didn’t ask.

My stay was brief (I was actually there to turn around) and the half brain was still in the exit lane when I got there. Remember, he was lost. And where he was from, you could actually own a parking lot, so he thought.

Unsure of his next move, he put the car in reverse and started to back it into the parking lot, right where I was waiting. And he didn’t care.

I did something I almost never do and I laid on the horn, long.

When he finally looked up into the mirror and stopped before he crashed into the front of my vehicle, what he saw was a dual single-digit salute.

Couldn’t help it.

And I figured, if there was only half a brain there, and I didn’t know which half, I would be best to fly them both to make sure the functioning half picked up the symbolism.

No Comments »

Leave a Reply