Yes officer, I did see the ‘Speed limit’ sign…I just didn’t see you!

I have to admit that I am not the best driver on the planet! In fact, I don’t really enjoy driving and fail to see why people get really excited about cars. In Dallas world, a car is to get you from A to B. I’m simply not interested in a car as a status symbol, or anything else for that matter. My ropey old Fiat Punto has seen me through many an ardous journey and I am loathe to give her up; that and the fact that my Lottery numbers have again failed to be recognised by Camelot.

I can also confess that my family members don’t like accompanying me on a drive either, actually my Mum and Dad will do anything to avoid getting in my car. My Dad keeps his car immaculately, mine not so much and when I’m a passenger in his he always asks me to remind him where the speed cameras are. As my Dad never drives that vehicle over 40mph, I don’t think it’s actually ever going to be a problem. In fact, the local council grass cutting machine regularly overtakes him.

When my Dad has to be a reluctant passenger in my car, he’s constantly coughing (fake) and advising me that there’s a speed camera ahead (untrue). He’s repetitively hitting the imaginary foot break on the passenger side and gripping onto the door handle as if he is in fear of his life. I assure you I am no speed queen and in fact the steering wheel shakes on my car if driven over 60mph. God forbid, if I have to drive him down a steep incline as when he alights he’s almost kissing the tarmac and muttering something about me applying for a pilot’s licence.

The other reason I get fairly stressed when I have one of my parents in the car, is that I swear like a trooper. For the most part, I am blissfully unaware that I am doing it; however, in moments of clarity I do feel good about having a good cuss with no-one to upbraid me about my use of expletives. I may be in the minority when I say, that I am still reluctant to swear in front of my parents as I think that might have them reaching for the liquid soap for a reprimanding mouthwash. What can I say you’re always going to be your parents’ child!

My eldest niece received her provisional licence through the post last week and is zealously canvassing family members for driving lessons. As is the case with most teenagers, she has the attention span of a gnat and thinks that car mirrors are for checking her lip gloss. Therefore, I think it highly unlikely that she will attract any volunteers any time soon.

I have offered to drive the entire tribe to Midnight Mass next week, but my Dad has suggested that we all walk and if we’re late, the Lord will understand!

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

George Carlin

My Baby

My Baby

90 thoughts on “Yes officer, I did see the ‘Speed limit’ sign…I just didn’t see you!

  1. LOL – as it is with my mom. She gets nervous when I drive, but prefers that I drive because at her slightly advanced age, she realizes her limitations and relishes in having a chauffeur. Mind you, she goes so far as to sitting in the backseat when at all possible, as if that’s going to help her feel less afraid. lol…

    Love the writing – your stories and anecdotes are a hoot.

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  2. Oh yeah! The slow ones are hazardous to the roads and the fast ones are all crazy. But then, driving fast is almost protocol here. You have to drive like maniac and be an absolute ass to merge and get your way. Crazy Montreal roads..haha…the majority isn’t nice at all. Reason why as we approach the speed cameras, we secretly hope that it flashes to catch the clueless maniac that doesn’t slow down.

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  3. yep I shout at all the slow ones, and think that all the fast ones are going to crash anyway a few km ahead, so good luck to them. We have given up our car in central London and now only use Zipcar (car sharing). I think I am a very good driver, in fact I have taken extra lessons and have got an advance driving certificate ah ahh ahaahha ahhah 🙂 but I don’t like swearing in front of Mum….. 😉

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  4. I hate driving too and I don’t get why people get so jazzed about it. Unfortunately, in the USA driving is a necessary evil since public transportation is a foreign concept here unless you live in New York City. I am such a nervous driver and I talk to myself as I do it. “Should I turn now? Now? Ok!” “Is this a good parking spot? Oh there’s somebody behind me, I’m going to speed up and park over there.” It amuses my sister to no end that I do this. What can I say, it helps me to vocalize what I am doing as I drive and helps me focus. My parents also get nervous when I drive, though they force me to drive since they don’t want me to depend on them forever to drive me places. When I win the lottery, I am hiring a private chauffeur.

    We also go to midnight mass for Christmas but this year our church canceled midnight mass. It’s taking place at 10 PM instead, but I am sure the Lord will understand and not mind since I always fell asleep in midnight mass.

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  5. I rather like to drive and in the past have been considered one of those crazy fast maniacs. But age, and perhaps wisdom, has slowed me down quite a bit, in a sensible, not senile, type of way. With less of my life left, I’m preciously guarding every minute. When I was in England many years ago, I noticed that motorists were considerably more maniac than me, and that I tended to speed up (and race around blind corners on those hedgerow country lanes) just to fit in. We all have our driving stories, don’t we (including the time a man (in obvious road rage) chased me for miles down the freeway and tried to run me off the road. I couldn’t shake him until I was able to get off and head for the nearest police station). Yours, however, are so funny. I love that bit about the grass-cutting machine overtaking your father.

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  6. Here I am once again – were testing the hotels wi-fi earlier. Unlike you I looooove driving (not during the dark hours) and relax. I am also a fast driver (or used to be), but out in India NO driving for me, far too dangerous – so instead I have to sit in the back and swear silently.
    I hope “….the Lord will understand…..” our beloved Cathedral here in Bangkok is closed for renovation until 2014! Ciao, Carina

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  7. I love driving, don’t tend to muck around, and have very little patience when it comes to other motorists! When we were in the UK it was apparent how much faster everyone drives on the motorways there. Trust you will all make it to Midnight Mass one way or another…

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  8. I love our little town where it’s not unusual for two cars going in opposite directions to stop in the middle of the road for a chat. No one seems to mind overly much. I learned to drive in the big city, but driving back there last year about freaked me out.
    Love the quote. Carlin is one of my favorite comedians (I think the only one who isn’t a Brit).

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  9. I think I may have picked up some bad habits here too. Although, maybe I was just not as restricted as I was in the west and I could let my inner driver run free. I’m not looking forward to driving in NL again 😉

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  10. Oh man, I could really relate to this entry. I actually really don’t like driving. I’m a New Yorker, and I’d much rather deal with public transportation than deal with Austin drivers. It’s called a blinker people, use that shit! A couple of friends of mine love driving and cars and they look at me like an alien when I go on rants about how much better Austin would be if you didn’t have to drive so much. I’m actually a pretty careful (probably bordering on timid), nervous driver but man, if I could get rid of my car, I would.

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    • I like the idea of being chauffered everywhere but I also enjoy public transport as I’m an avid people watcher. But working shifts, I need the car to get to work so for those few minutes everyday I can swear away to my heart’s content!

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  11. You know…the next time your dad steps on his imaginary brake button, you should push your imaginary eject button on the roof of your car. (Remember KITT from Knight Rider had one of those to eject the passenger out of the vehicle through the roof?) 😉 when he asks you what you’re doing…you can tell him you were trying to help him eject! 😀

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  12. I think most people in the UK are great drivers compared to Americans. They have to be on those roads! Also, after driving here for 35 years, I had to take the test in the UK – terrifying, but I did pass.

    Have a great holiday CTT. Look forward to more stories in the new year….

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  13. HA! I’m definitelynot a good driver – I’m a speed demon, and driving in LA for four years made me more “aggressive” as the last guy who drove with me said. Good luck with your niece – hope she finds someone to drive her soon! 😉
    And I don’t like to swear in front of my parents either 🙂

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  14. Once you’ve driven in London you think you can drive anywhere. You then try Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Istanbul… and realise that you’re truly naive 😉 Best not to care about your car. As for turning the air blue… if it gets rid of your frustration, go for it, much better than road rage 😀

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  15. The grass cutting machine comment left me in stiches… I can totally see someone driving and being passed by one. I wish you all the best over the holidays and thank you for always putting a smile on my face.
    Your Canadian Friend
    Pamela

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  16. My child, 23, was in a very bad accident and could have killed herself. As her mother, aka a raptor in times of trouble, I “drove” out to the hospital where she was at 90+ MPH. It was one of those rare days (a Tuesday, I think) when there wasn’t a single cop on the road. A drive that normally takes 3-1/2+ hours was accomplished in under 2. This is nothing to be proud of. Now, having said that, my mother was terrified of my driving and I am now the one who clutches the passenger seat handle in my daughter’s car. We are, each of us, scared of being out of (our illusory) box of control when we’re not driving. That’s all it is. I had to laugh when you had a momentary moan about the niece-teenager’s lack of attention to the road; that’s exactly how your parents feel, and it’s gonna be worse when you’re a passenger in your niece’s car, and she’s terrifying YOU. 🙂

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  17. Great post, Dallas, and I so enjoyed reading all your comments too. I would NEVER swear in front of my mom; she would have a cadenza. 🙂 i also must be one of the worst passengers ever. My darling hubby is the best, most careful driver, but I still offer my expert advice, just like Hyacinth with poor, long suffering Richard. 😀

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  18. Awesome post, I laughed the whole way through it! I consider myself like THE BEST driver and take pride in that *fact* – Sometimes, oddly, my passengers don’t feel the same way …. Haha…

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  19. Ah, yes.. driving… Well, I am currently without a licence, as the bad Greek traffic police decided to actually do their job for once, and picked me to bully. One of those nasty cameras caught my little blue Yaris doing 111km (80 limit- that is snail speed on that stretch of road) in March. They got round to sending me a ticket in November, and I had to hand in my licence. One month into the two month ban, I got – yes, you guessed it – ANOTHER ticket, this one dating from October. So when I go to pick up the licence in January I’ll have to hand it right back, till March 🙂 I feel like a teenager having to get lifts everywhere! And the Mister is NOT happy on Saturdays when he has to get up at 0630 to take me riding 🙂

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  20. This so reminds me of my family. Each time I visit my parents (2 hour drive there), when I’m getting in the car to go home, my dad reminds me to “keep my foot out of the carburateur”. I’ve had a few speeding tickets in my time. My dad tells my mom and I that we should both have numbers on the side of our car since we drive like race car drivers.

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