At dinner a little while ago, we got onto the topic of learner drivers. You see, my Dad and my Uncle have been responsible for training their fair share of drivers. Patient and understanding {and strong, should there be an accident, they don’t bawl like girls I like did} they undertake a task that would push many over the edge. Some more literally than others.

So collectively we have a lot of learner driver type stories. Stories about the trying, the failing, the near misses and the laughs. Mostly, now, the laughs. Dad tells of the time I stalled attempting to hill start in the middle of a main intersection/steepest hill in Gympie. Cars were backing up and I was getting worse with every attempt. So I hopped out of the car and refused to drive. He had no choice but to get out and take over. In fact, Mum had a similar story. Less of a hill but half a block from the main high school at 8am… Once a quitter, always a quitter.

But not ALL these stories are about me.

Once I was the teacher instead of the student. I was helping a friend practice for her driving test. All was going well until we turned for home. At an intersection only 3 blocks from our unit, my friend stalled the car. And continued to stall the car. Release the clutch slowly, I said, move the car forward. Yet time and time again she stalled.

Soon she was giving a similar performance to mine. With a raised voice she demanded that I take over driving and that we go home. But it occurred to me, that very second, to ask “the clutch, which one is it? Left, middle or right?”. Still frustrated she shouted back at me, MIDDLE. And the problem was solved. Turns out, like most things, think too much and it goes to heck.

Easily my favourite story though includes my sister. My sister had just received her learner’s permit and was SO excited. Dad agreed to take her around to take her friend for a drive. I was home for the night so I jumped in and went too. After picking up her friend, we all loaded back into the car. Her parents, Mr & Mrs M, waved from their front veranda as we slowly pulled away. Smoothly though, I’ll give her that.

At the top of the street there was a stop sign. A wet night, with a full car and a dash of over excitement, my sis managed to do the biggest burn out EVER. The car slipped on the road, the noise was deafening. But my sister held it nicely.Her friend and I were coughing our lungs up as the back seat filled with smoke from the tires. Then it was over. I looked back, through the smoke, to see Mr & Mrs M watching from their veranda. The waving had stopped…

I wish I remembered more of the stories, there were loads and loads of them. So many in fact the staff at the restaurant we were eating at were shuffling around, stacking chairs and generally indicating that we’d over stayed our welcome. And on a school night too. Ha. Good times.

Won’t you please tell us your best learner driver story? Yours, or even better, someone else’s.

  • Strippedbareau

    I remember when I was still on my L’s and I drove with my eldest sister supervising from my parents to the pool. I had been on my L’s for some time so was a little confident. Turns out too confident. Got there no incident went to park turned in waay to fast into the park doing some serious paint damage to the life guards back drivers side panel and smashing the left hand head light… Whoops…

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Haha. Whoops indeed. Love this.

  • Cannot comment. Needs a whole entire blog post…

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      I look forward to reading it. Let me know when it’s done. 😀

  • I laughed out loud at your sisters burnout! HA!

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      What can I say, we’re a family of speed racers. HA.

  • Modernmummymayhem

    Oh my goodness !! I have a learner driver story in Gympie. Your town is a nightmare for a learner driver!! Far too many steep hill intersections. I did a massive burnout at the lights near the big pineapple servo… Then said a very naughty word in front of my mother. My heart was racing and I thought I was going to die!!

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      SOOOO HILLY. And people wonder why I don’t run outside here!

      Thanks for sharing, I know just the place. I stalled it there yesterday and I’ve been driving on these roads for 13 years now. Haha.

  • I have no stories, with a motorbike you tape on your L plate and get out there learning by yourself. In a quiet country town with little traffic, I had no problems.
    Funny story with passing the final test though.
    I went to the police station, a niceSargeant said I should ride here, here, and here , park, u-turn etc, all while he followed me in the police car, then I was to head back to the station. Well, somewhere along the way he got caught up at a stop light while I kept going. When he got back to the station he said I’d made it in one piece and that was good enough for him.  

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Baaaahaha. Sounds like how my Dad got his license. He walked in and police officer said ‘I wondered when you’d come in and get one of these’, they did the paperwork and he gave him his license. All done. Apparently he’d seen him driving around town for years. Old school small town stuff that is.

  • Kylie Purtell

    When my sister was learning to drive she and my 2 cousins went to Bondi for the day. They were looking for a parking spot and as she drove past one my cousin asked her why she hadn’t pulled in to it. She replied “Well the sign says 2P and we have 2 people in the car so I can’t park there”. Needless to say she hasn’t lived that down in almost 10 years!

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Haha. I’m not even sure what she thought it meant! 2P seems a perfect fit for 2 people. And yes, never let her live it down. GREAT moment, thanks for sharing.

  • Amy (MyLifeAsACake)

    I was an awesome driver from the moment they handed me that blue card. Honestly. 

    Well, except for that time when I had first gotten my P’s, and took a wrong turn, it took me three hours and a tank of petrol to drive from Sandgate to Toombul. But that’s not a learner story, so it doesn’t count 😛 

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Sure, sure, that’s what they all say!

      Baaahaha. You’re right, it’s not a learner story, it’s a that is my life story. If I had a dollar for every time this happened to me… Well. You know the rest.

  • Pingback: The week that was | Suger Coat It()