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Thursday, July 28, 2005 

My drivers license

How many times did it take you to get your drivers license.
It only took me once. I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I was 15 years old looking forward to the day I would be able to tool around in the family car. I had studied the book for the manual test for weeks. I had practically memorized it. I had practiced parallel parking and the dreaded and feared three-point turnabout until my parents started complaining about the price of gas. I was ready.

I went to the local DMV office. In the small town that I live in, a man named Ralph ran the testing portion of the DMV. My Mom drove me up to the office and let me out. I walked the long hall to Ralph’s office. I saw his cowboy boots propped up on the desk. As I arrived I realized he was reading the newspaper and smoking a pipe. He had a large glass of iced tea sitting on his belly; there was an osculating fan on his desk blowing directly onto him. I had not met him before and Jabba the Hut came to mind.
I said Sir I am here for my driving test. He said, “Damn boy what else would you be here for”. This was not a good sign.
Without speaking he handed me a test booklet and pointed at a table and chair in the corner. I spent 30 minutes using perfect penmanship (which is a task for me) to fill out the test. I am sure that I did not miss any questions. I walked up to him and handed him the test. He glanced at it briefly and said, “Damn fine job boy you passed”.
Then he said, well I guess that you will be needing the road test now. He heaved himself up and grabbed a set of car keys off the wall, pulled a bandana out of his hip pocket and mopped the sweat off of his face. He turned around half way down the hall and said to me “aw hell boy you can drive” he then took my picture handed me a temporary license and told me to stay out of trouble.
I then went out and showed it to my mother. I told her to scoot over and I will drive.
When she got through laughing I knew that my prospects for tooling around in the family ride were about the same as me floating in the air like a red balloon, but my first car is a story for another day.