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From the Editor | Taylor Kirby

Photo credit: Bobby Jones

SHIRKING BLAME

Nobody ever taught me how to drive. I was reminded of this void of experience last week when, having forgotten that my Prius doesn’t do a thing called “accelerate,” I barely completed what was already a risky pass on the highway. And whenever I almost kill my passengers, I do what most people do in times of stress—I blame my deficiencies on my parents.

When I got my permit, my mother outright refused to get in a car with me. Not even once did she give me the chance to prove that her fears were valid. She danced around the issue and asked her partner to complete the task instead. In theory, this wasn’t a bad plan—he was a driver for the Department of Transportation, and he could share his wealth of professional driving experience with me. In practice, however, we shared a mutual dislike for each other, and we called it quits after maybe three hours of practicing in dead silence.

I faked the other 47 hours of my written driving log and managed to get myself to a DMV. I had no real expectation of passing the driving test, but it was worth a shot—I was nearly 18, and I didn’t see how my situation would change before I moved away to college. It was time to put my bullshit skills to the test.

Only one person was working at this branch of the DMV, and she made it very clear my appointment was getting in the way of her completing her other tasks. She locked up the building, and we got in the car.

“Turn left,” she said. “Left. Left. Left. Park.” The test took less than 10 minutes, and my instructor licensed me to be a true menace on the road. One week later, I crashed into my mom’s fence.

She recognized her role in leaving me completely unprepared to turn a king cab Dodge Ram into a spectacularly narrow drive way, and I faced no punishment. If anything, the Titanic-sized puncture through the hull of the Ram—which was over two feet long because I panicked and didn’t even attempt to brake—distracted from the Confederate flag bumper sticker my mom’s partner placed on the rear window against my will.

But all of this was happened over five years ago, and at some point, I’ll have to accept that I’m an inherently bad driver (though I could move on to blame my mother’s Taco Bell pregnancy cravings for my lack of spatial reasoning). However, until that day comes: Thanks, Mom.

Taylor Kirby
Taylor Kirby

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