Saturday, March 26, 2005

THE DRIVING LESSON


Back seat drivers, Merci and Buddy


THE DRIVING LESSON
Copyright 2005 Janice Price

Buddy is bored. “Hey, Merci, do you want to have some fun?”

Merci, sitting in the back seat of the car with Buddy, knows him too well to automatically agree. “That depends. What do you have in mind?”

“Would you like to go to Miss Mother’s to play in her yard?”

“Yes, but Jan’s busy today. We can’t go.”

“No problem.” Buddy leaps into the front seat of the car and settles himself on Jan’s cushion behind the steering wheel. “Come on up front and keep me company.”

Merci isn’t sure what Buddy has in mind, but she also leaps into the front seat, where she can barely see anything other than the sky over the dashboard.

“Do you think if we blow the horn Jan will bring us the car keys?” Buddy asks.

Merci snorts. “I think if you blow the horn Jan will come outside, but she won’t be carrying any keys.”

“I don’t suppose you know how to hot wire a car, do you?”

“I don’t know what that means, Buddy.”

“It means freedom. If we can figure out how to start the car, we can drive to Miss Mother’s house any time we want to go.”

“I don’t know about that, Buddy. Don’t you need a driver’s license in order to drive?”

“Well, I can get a driver’s license. All I have to do is start driving, fill out a form, and a driver’s license will come in the mail.”

“And what will Jan do if a driver’s license comes in the mail? She’ll think it’s a joke and throw it away.” Merci, ever the practical one, is relieved to end the conversation.

But Buddy isn’t deterred. “You’re right, of course. We’ll use Mr. Doug’s address. Do you know what it is?”

“No, and I don’t think I would tell you if I knew it,” Merci says. “We can get in a lot of trouble.”

“That’s all right. I’ll just email him this afternoon and ask him. He’ll think Jan sent the message and email it to her.”

“I think he’ll get suspicious. Why would Jan be asking him for his address? She sends a birthday card to his house two or three times a year, so she knows his address.”

“Because,” Buddy says, “she’s forgetful. Everybody knows that. She would forget us if we didn’t keep reminding her we’re here.”

“And how are you planning to get the license if it goes to Mr. Doug’s house? He isn’t going to give it to you either.”

“Hmmmm. I know, Merci, we’ll just drive over there every day until it arrives, and take it out of his mailbox. Then I’ll have a license and Jan will have to allow us to borrow her car to visit Miss Mother. And Mr. Doug,” Buddy adds. “He keeps those big peanut butter biscuits for us. We have to visit him more often.”

Merci is still unconvinced this is a good idea. “But you can’t drive, Buddy. And you can’t start the car either, because you don’t have the keys.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll figure out something. Meanwhile, let’s practice.”

“How do you practice driving a car without the engine running?” Merci asks.

Buddy laughs. “That’s easy.” He raises his body and places both paws on the steering wheel, one at five o’clock and one at 7 o’clock. “See, I’m steering.”

“What if you want to make a left turn?”

“I’ll just turn on the turn signal.” He looks around. “Where is the turn signal? Never mind. I’ll just stick my left ear out the window and wave it.”

“Don’t you have to open the window all the way first?”

“Oh, yeah. Where’s the button for the window?”

“I’ve watched Jan drive,” Merci says. “There is no button for the window. You have to crank it down by hand.”

Buddy winds the window down the rest of the way. “Jan should have electric windows. Everybody has electric windows nowadays. She should have considered our needs when she got this car!”

“Jan didn’t have us when she got this car,” Merci tells Buddy. “Now what do you do if you want to make a right turn? And don’t tell me to stick my right ear out the passenger side window.”

“You’re right. That wouldn’t work. Your ears are too small. I know,” Buddy exclaims triumphantly, turning to face the back of the driver’s seat, “I’ll just turn around and wave my right ear out the window. Do you think we would be noticeable if I drive the car backwards whenever I need to make a right turn?”

Merci’s voice rises. She stands and places her front paws on the dashboard so she can see the lawn ahead. “But you’ll crash the car! You can’t drive backwards. What kind of idiot driver are you?”

Buddy stands up on the seat cushion and looks out the back window over the headrest. “Yes, I guess this would only work if we were traveling in reverse. We need a one-seater car. That way I can sit in the front and wave an ear out either window and you can sit on the floor working the brake and the gas pedal when we need them.”

Merci reaches for the passenger door handle. “I’m getting out of here!”

“But,” Buddy protests, “this could work. We’re a team.”

“No, Buddy,” Merci says, "I have a better idea. Let’s walk to Miss Mother’s. Your brain needs the exercise.”

Have a good day,
Merci

1 comment:

  1. ewe dawgs dont knead a licents ta drive a car...we can fix ewe up one reel quik N show ewe all bout hot wirin....

    we just knead ta noe how much ewe way, N itz oh kay ta lie coz everee doez that

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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