Driving Mr Daisy

In South Africa kids have to be 18 before they can get a driver’s permit.  And even if they get it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can drive, it merely means that they passed an assessment that tested their ability to parallel park without any other cars present, not stalling the vehicle and keeping the car on the road at the required legal speed.  This test doesn’t teach them the subtle nuances of driving that a person acquire over many years.

The important driving skills like how to flick a bird at the stupid driver who cuts you off and which are the appropriate swear words to use when the driver in the fast lane is either looking for parking or just simply prefers to drive at the speed of a dying snail.  Not to mention the important ability of selecting a great playlist in preparation for a road trip.

Irrespective of what Dude may know or doesn’t know about driving, he still managed to pass the test last week on his first attempt, and no-one was more surprised proud than his dad.  He is now a legal driver on the roads of the world because contrary to popular belief, a South African driver’s permit does allows you to drive ANYWHERE you want to.  Except on the pavement.  The problem with this newfound ability and sense of freedom is that even though he has the legal document to operate a motor vehicle, he is yet to own said motor vehicle.

Now just calm down and here me out before you start blaming me for not providing the child with a car.  The reality of him reaching the legal age for driving in South Africa came at me faster than Superman when he hears Lois is in trouble.  And then the actual date for the test came even faster.  I’m not stupid, I knew he was going for his license, I was the one who had to pay some poor driving instructor who had to sit through the terror and anxiety of teaching him how to drive.  We did the basics but due to the fact that an instructor who leaves claw marks on the dashboard and has difficulty in releasing blood-curdling screams every three minutes should rather quit whilst he is ahead.  Which is what I did. And then I got a professional. And it worked.

Back to the fact that I have a serious problem excepting Dude is growing up.  Wait. What?  Yes I do.  I have a really hard time accepting that the Dude will be leaving the house at the end of the year.  There are so many things happening, very quickly.  He calls these achievements milestones and I call them landmark heartaches.  It’s just easier to ignore them, to be like an ostrich with its head in the sand.  Avoid the inevitable.  I’m trying to ignore how much I am going to miss that damn kid when he’s gone.

Hence my reluctance in getting him a car. I’m a selfish bastard.  I feel like me giving him a car is just me giving him permission to spread his wings a little more, to explore a little further, to be just that little bit more independent.  I’m giving him permission to go and live his life with less of me in it.  And that is probably one of the toughest things a parent will have to do in their entire life.

For the moment he is basically taking over driving duties in our house.  If someone even hints about going somewhere he volunteers to drive.  It’s weird to be the passenger because I still see my boy behind the steering wheel, not the young man who is chatting, listening to music and having the time of his life, as he is Driving Mr Daisy.

But don’t worry, I’ve agreed to go car shopping this weekend. Under duress of course.

My love, your car hates me.

I’m 6’4″.  That’s tall.  In any country.  I’m proud of my height, I’ve worked damn hard to get this tall.  It took countless awkward moments throughout puberty and then some. My length allows me to be heavier than most people simply because the weight has a wider distance of distribution.   Or at least that’s what I like to believe.  It enables me to do things that normal people can’t.  Like getting the sales items that’s normally hidden on the top shelf of a grocery store.  You didn’t know?  I’m able to spot my friends from a mile in a crowd.  And then avoid them.  It allows me to have a perfect, unhindered view at any concert, whilst people behind me normally start swearing as soon as I stand up.

My length does make certain things a little more problematic.  Like taking a bath or buying a standard pair of jeans or walking around construction sites or being stuck in an economy seat for eleven hours with the rest of the cattle.  My biggest frustration for being tall is having to drive a normal sized car.  Which is why I don’t.  And which is why Wife does. Continue reading

You had one job to do. Just one.

Stupidity is a human condition. A rampant desease that infects people like a zombie virus. No-one is safe. Sometimes it’s only a momentary lapse of reason but there have been reports of severe cases where complete idiots are running around sharing their germs with the rest of us on a full time basis. And just like a zombie virus we run the risk of these infected ones spreading irrational thoughts and actions to the point of causing an apocalypse of intelligence on the planet. We constantly need to stomp out these dim-witted individuals. How about a register?

I receiced a call from our security company a few weeks ago about a parcel that is to be delivered to our plant. Nothing strange except for the fact that I am never called about deliveries. Continue reading

To the lady who was fixing her make-up whilst driving at the speed of sound.

Multi-tasking… I’ve heard it all before.  It’s the one thing men cannot do.  Men cannot listen to a conversation whilst watching a game.  Men cannot drive and also take direction.  Men cannot talk about their feelings and make love at the same time.  It’s an inherent flaw in our design.  It’s been our downfall and our saving grace.  We accept the inevitable.

But woman can.  It’s their God-given talent.  Besides having boobs.  I applaud the mother who is organizing a kids birthday party whilst giving birth.  I stand in awe of the woman who can listen to her best friend complain about an ex and wash the dishes.  Who can cook AND clean.  But why would you want to fix your make-up whilst attempting to break a ground-speed record?  That shit is bat-crazy.

This is what crazy looks like!

This is what crazy looks like!

Continue reading

8 US Cities in 11 Days (Part 3)

I did something I never thought I would,  I rented a car and drove myself from Houston Airport.  It was nice to sit in a car that didn’t have a funky smell.  I miss New York…

The challenge was to drive on the wrong side of the road.  Americans drive on the right side but South Africans drive on the correct side. I got myself a nice big car ya’ll,  so I would be safe in case someone finds themselves on the left side of the road with me approaching. It’s all about self-preservation.  It was dark and it was raining so things got really interesting.  It was better once I turned on the headlights.  The hooting stopped as well. The GPS lady was slightly annoying,  insisting that I’m exceeding the speed limit.  I don’t know what her problem was,  I never even got to a 100.  Oh wait, you guys use miles right? Shit. Continue reading

The oldest trick in the book.

They stood in the doorway, two cats caught in a rain storm.  Emotionally drenched and sad, looking dreadful and borderline pathetic.

“Something happened.”  They said together, almost rehearsed.

And I knew.  Like all men would. An instinctive notion, like having to pee or being hungry.  It’s not so much understanding why you know, it’s just accepting the fact that you do.  Another basic instinct that’s been protecting humans since the days when we still resembled apes and were covering our private parts with fur.

The “something happened” implied damage to the car. Continue reading

Driver’s permit, my @ss.

winter animated GIF

I’m not in to cars.  I get into them, for transportation and such, but I’m not IN TO them like I would be in to Italian food, Red wine, Comic books, Great movies, music and the wife.

I don’t consider myself a conventional male, when conventional wisdom confines men as being motorheads who gets off at any discussion of cars.  (I do admit on having huge appreciation for some of the models used in advertising said cars, but that’s another story.)

As far as operation of cars, let’s play the humble card and I’ll say I’m average.   Continue reading

A stick and a ball

Golf… I don’t play, I rather drink at home.  And Saturdays are for, well all together now, “Doing nothing!”  I have quite a few friends who play.  (Yes I have friends!) They call it the sport of business men, drinking men, serious men.

I will not trash anything that has the potential to create millionaires.  Unless its slot machines and/or casino’s or pyramid schemes.  But I have to admit, as I was typing the word “S P O R T” in the same sentence as golf, I couldn’t control my own laughter.  In my mind sport = exercise, which implies an activity that increases your heart rate and pump blood faster.  It is supposed to create a range of motion that extends further than an elbow and a glass of beer.

A few of my friends have taken up golf as a sport based on the fact that “We need to start doing something.  We need to become more active.  We just sit around and gain weight.”  I have sprayed numerous mouthfuls of liquid and choked on several food items when this specific discussion is recycled.  Especially when they start motivating each other to take up golf.  My point is being outside in the sun, with shorts on, doesn’t immediately qualify as being active.

Golfers hit a little white ball with a club, get in a car and drive as close as they can to where the ball is, endangering numerous lives doing so.  Then they hit the ball again, drive, hit, drive, hit until it is sunk into the little black hole.  Everybody says yeah and repeat the whole process another 17 times.

Now this scene plays out totally different when the late arrivals on the golf course are stuck without golf carts.  It’s swearing and cursing and complaining about the inefficient resources and the demise of good, solid management.  The reason for the unhappiness is evident as these poor players now have to, heaven forbid, walk!  (The horror!)  There will be sweat!  (No, stop!)  There will be heat!  (I can’t take it anymore!)

And the gates of hell opens when there is nobody to carry their golfbags around the course.

Who decided that golf should be classified as a sport?  What was the criteria used?  I mean if using a stick and ball is the only requirement, then we can also include sex in the Olympic games.  (I can hear the support right through the screen!)

For most men standing around a fire; topics of conversation are limited to politics, cars, women, sport and golf.  (Note two separate things.)  I’m always there to correct my friends, and then I end up being bombarded with handicaps and putting and drives and par and birdies and you name it.  I never learn, but if the shoe fits…

Most people assume I play, and it’s probably due to my chosen career as a marketer.  So when I’m asked what my handicap is, my reply: “Golf”.

(Maybe my cynicism stems from the fact that I can’t hit the damn white ball.  No, that can’t be it…)