Friday, 12 March 2010

He's still with me...

Does anyone else have their driving instructor’s voice in their head when they drive?

Good Old Rod from 17+.

He’s not there all the time (that would be ridiculous, I need to let other people in the car) but just odd moments like:

• When I go up a hill, I can sometimes hear him saying, ‘you need push that throttle – it’s a hill you know – you need more gas for hills.’
• There’s a bridge (in Cringleford) we often crossed on a learning route and every time I go over it I hear, ‘you can fit two cars at the same time, if they drive carefully across this bridge, but not a van and a car, and certainly not a lorry and a car.’ If my passenger is lucky – I actually say it our loud. Funny that a bridge can turn one into a manoeuvre bore.
• ‘That wasn’t left.’ To which I would reply – how am I meant to know which left you mean? Chap has taken over this role. When I get the wrong left, I think of Rod.
• ‘You only need a car and a half’s length gap to parallel park. People think going in front wheels first is easier, but if the space is not big, back wheels first is much easier because the back wheels are dead and they need to be got in position first.’ (It was before this was even in the test but he taught me to parallel park as a bonus – lucky me). This pops into my mind every time I am tempted to plough in front first. He was right.
• Brake, brake, brake – you’re still going forty and the roundabout is only THERE. Stopping distances – what have I told you?
• ‘I don’t think hesitation will be your weakness Molly.’ It was snide.

He should have been awarded sainthood. He got me through first time. It was a meaningful relationship with a purpose and then it disappeared…..but he’s still rattling round in my grey matter. Long live Rod (and therefore a little more safety on the streets of Norwich.)

P.S. The picture is from when I drive around North Carolina. (Of course)


  1. I can't remember any of my comments. I didn't pass first time because I used to get in a bit of a tizz with the gears and steering (they expected me to do them at the same time). After thus failing I switched to Mr Mudd and his automatic. Never looked back; however, it does mean I can only drive automatics but why would I ever want to bother with a manual car anyway.

    My dad taught me to parallel park but it is still something I prefer to avoid.

  2. I can still remember my driving instructor way back when. Especially the time his knuckles whitened on the dashboard and he slammed his feet onto the pedals on his side, eyeballs popping, face burning and steam coming out of his lugs.
    hmm, what WAS his name?
    i do hope he recovered eventually.

  3. Mmm... trouble relating here.

    When I had a bash at age 40, Jim thought I was very very good and confident at roundabouts until he discovered I just didn't know the give way to the right rule and thought you drove onto them when there was a gap.

    Scarey. Best off the road. I just hear mum in my head, "You'll regret it when you're old you know and Jim's dead and you need to go to the hospital." Nice.

    I have no intention of letting Jim die first.

  4. My driving teacher was an Andy Rooney looking sort whose daughter I went to school with. Ah, Sonya W., so beautiful... And wait a minute, why was her dad so old??? Dirty old man...

  5. I can't say I remember anything mine said, except once when I did a particularly chaotic road move on the North Walsham Road, he grabbed the wheel veering into a bus stop, slammed on the dual control break and "growled "get out of my f*cking car" "pardon?" "get OUT OF MY F*CKING CAR" so I did. He drove off... abou a minue or two later he came back and quietly told me to get back in the car. so I did. I can't remember what I did wrong.

  6. Clipster – I wonder if any child says, ‘when I grow up I want to be a driving instructor.’ Mine used to lose his cool quite regularly and then I was aware of him trying to calm himself down...oh the stress. Still they have dual controls...the ultimate power. I know i couldn’t do it. I’d rather offer to drive for must be about patience and fear control.

    Claire – With love, it’s probably best you stay as a non-driver if as a genetic clue, my driving is anything to go by. Jimmy’s a bit scarey. Best not let him drive alone too much if that’s your plan.

    Isn’t the result of waiting for a gap and giving way to the right the same effect? That’s assuming you were looking right. The right right. Sometimes I think red means go.

    Eric – more focus needed! X

    Mr T – did you have Rod too? I'd say that his role-modelling could do with some improvement.

  7. Jen's first instructor was called Rod, small, high blood pressure, he was "not a people person" shold we say, so she had another one called John who didn't shout, she passed.

    I can't remember my instructors name, I think it was hyphenated and was something along the lines of ducking-aunt. He was pretty vile, but then he was 45 and wore a suit and tie, and I was 18 and had a mohican type haircut, We were never going to be going to be best of buddies unless he suddenly professed a love of CrAss and Killing Joke, or I had a haircut and put a tie on.

  8. Well, in a few years I'll let you know....I'm going to be learning this summer!!

    C x

  9. Mr T - My memory of my Rod was slightly gingery hair. He was a bit shouty...but always trying very hard to keep it under control!!!
    I wonder if they are attracted to the job because of their personality or the job turns them vile? Chicken or egg? There must be nice ones out there....John didn't shout - so he's the best we have so far!

    No I couldn't see Rod and I going to the Jacquard together.

    Carol - Oooo exciting/scarey/challenging. In fact you appear to be one for filling your life with challenges! xxxx


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