My first born is now old enough to start driving, so lucky for him he can learn from me: The Greatest Driver in the World.
How does he know I’m the greatest driver? Well, because he rides with me, of course. He knows all other drivers are pure idiots.
“Look at this guy. He thinks he’s going to turn left at this intersection…. Idiot.”
“WHAT IS SHE DOING? WHY IS SHE IN MY LANE?.… Idiot.”
And because I tell him with no uncertainty: I am the best driver ever. If they gave out the Conn Smythe award for driving, they’d have to re-name it the Marshall Jones award. If driving was a golf course, I would be a young Tiger Woods.
I am the Traffic Whisperer.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that I know everything about vehicles because I know precisely nothing about them. I don’t mean that I could qualify for stunt driving school, because I can’t even reverse with a trailer attached. I don’t mean that I follow every traffic law because my goal is safety, not compliance.
What I mean is I pay attention. I leave myself room. I communicate with my turn signals. I make room for others trying to get into traffic. Most times I even let people pass me. I make my intentions clear to those around me. I don’t sit in the blind spots of other vehicles. I watch the rear view mirror as much as the windshield. When I see you texting and driving, I will ensure you stay behind me.
I watch you in traffic and I judge: By the make of your vehicle, by the state of your vehicle, by the accessories on your car, by the bumper sticker, the licence plate, the tires — any bit of information that might inform me about the likelihood that you will do something stupid and impact me or others.
He knows I am good at it, too.
“Oh come on, make a decision. Watch, I bet that’s a. yep, I knew it was an old lady driving that car.”
“Really? You’re going to mount the curb to get around that car? Five bucks says it’s a… yep, I knew it was a young dude driving that truck.”
“Alberta plates. Bet he runs that yellow. Yep, he did it. Idiot.”
The hard part is passing on this lifetime of four-wheeled awesomeness to the next generation. So first thing’s first: The learner’s exam, which, for true validation, I took online.
I broke the news at dinner.
“I failed the learner’s test,” I said. “Sixty-eight per cent.”
I could see the shock on his face. It took a moment to register.
“That’s OK,” he said. “Mom can teach me to drive.”
— Marshall Jones is the editor of infonews.ca