By Sean Pearson
I’m beginning to wonder if my car insurance company is secretly plotting against me.
Those of you who know me, know I’m certainly not the type to come up with unwarranted speculations or outlandish conspiracy theories. I consider myself fairly grounded in reality. (If I could just find reality first.)
It’s true; I have had something of a checkered past with car insurance companies. I think it best to leave specific company names out of this, generally out of consideration to those who may have had to help pay some of my insurance liabilities via their monthly premiums. In my defense, I haven’t actually wrecked any kind of car since the turn of the century. So, I’m not really sure why I continue to feel the beady eyes of a small, pasty-green reptile following me around town.
(I feel it necessary, at this time, to note that there continues to be ongoing debate regarding the accent of the above-hinted-at Geico gecko. Some say Aussie, others British. According to the Web site, the gecko himself says he thinks he sounds like he’s from East End London. I didn’t even know geckos had ears.) And why wouldn’t he know where he’s from?
Anyway, I think it only fair to point out such blatantly obvious subterfuge, stalking and sabotage as what you will read below.
Case in point:
I am driving along Soundview Avenue at a safe and considerable speed — well within the legal limit, of course — when a small pink and blue rubber ball bounces out into the street between two parked cars. I can predict — using my capacity for deductive reasoning — that some sort of small child or animal will be following said ball.
Foot stomps. Brakes engage. Car stops. Lucky Irish setter lives another day. (I swear I’m not making that Irish setter part up just because it sounds good, either.)
I would chalk it up my ability to make such predictions and neurological responses to the incredible educational impact of driver’s ed simulators and burned-out football coaches who got stuck teaching the classes. But, I never actually took driver’s ed. (Apparently, students who were coordinated enough to be in athletics, but also still geeky enough to be in jazz band, were not considered fit for driving.)
Now, I’m sure some of you could jump to conclusions and assume that there is some kind of correlation between my not taking driver’s ed, and my inordinate amount of car accidents.
Trust me, I’m way ahead of you on that one.
My father actually taught me to drive; and I defy any of you to tell my father anything about driving. The man could perfectly parallel park a 1963 Bonneville — with manual transmission — uphill, between a police cruiser and a Rolls Royce, without breaking a sweat.
My first driving lesson consisted of Dad taking me out on the neighborhood streets and explaining the friction point of the clutch, how it disengaged the gears, allowing the car to shift into a lower or higher gear. I was cautioned to not burn out the clutch, always drive with the air conditioner off and never go through really, really deep water, as this could flood your brakes out.
That was also my last driving lesson. Not because I terrified father or caused any damage to the car; we both came out completely unscathed physically — and I’d like to think — emotionally. But my dad was the kind who figured you either got it, or you didn‘t.
(He may have re-thought this whole philosophy after I totaled my first car within a year of receiving my license.)
In hindsight, it wasn’t all bad. I learned a whole bunch about driving from my friends, who always had much nicer and more expensive cars than I — and some killer Styx and REO Speedwagon cassettes. And many thanks to the neighbors who unknowingly allowed me to tweak my parallel parking procedures on their cars.
And I’m really sorry about your mailbox Mrs. Schumacher.
I’m wondering now if I would have been better off skipping jazz band and taking the stupid driver’s ed course. If for no other reason, maybe it would have at least saved me a little on therapy bills now. Who knew I still had unresolved issues revolving surrounding that indecisive chipmunk
in 1982? I think I may be suffering from post traumatic squirrel disorder.
Perhaps driving is just too stressful for me.
Next thing you know, some camouflaged gecko will be taunting you from behind parked cars with a pink and blue ball and an Irish setter.
Man, I gotta get more sleep.
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