Saturday 16 December 2017

I think I am a good driver... I've just never passed my test!

By Justine O'Mahony

Justine O'Mahony
Justine O'Mahony

I WAS due to take my driving test this week.

Thanks be to the Baby Jesus it was cancelled at the last minute because according to my 13 year old son I hadn't a hope in passing.

The Driving Instructor was more diplomatic. 'You're a capable driver, you just have a lot of bad habits.'

That's it you see! I think I AM a good driver, I've just never passed my test! I don't speed, I've never had an accident-unless you count the time I bought my first car-a Nissan Micra, and was so proud of it, I tried to get it as close to the house as I could the day I drove it home and knocked down my mother's garden wall! AND I'm great at three point turns and parallel parking.

In my defence the last time I did my test was the morning after I lost my job. I was still in shock when I rocked up to the driving test centre at 8.15 the next day. I blurted out my bad news to the examiner in the hope he'd give me a few sympathy points. Didn't work. I knew by the look of him flirting wasn't going to help me either so I just got in the car and gave it my best shot.

My best shot obviously wasn't good enough because he failed me, the fecker, on the grounds that I was 'coasting' and not looking in my mirrors enough. According to my driving instructor this time round, I should be 'sweeping my mirrors' every 12 seconds. I disagreed.

'Sure if I was looking in my mirrors every 12 seconds, I wouldn't be looking at the road and isn't that what you're supposed to do?' He maintained you could do both. I disagreed. He also informed me I can't go from fourth gear to second in one go and I need to have my hands on the steering wheel at ten to two. In fact he was giving me so many instructions, he was putting me off my driving.

'Will you stop telling me what to do!' I shouted. 'I can't concentrate.' He looked miffed. 'Well if you shout at the examiner like that he'll definitely fail you.' We reached an uneasy truce after I perfected a reversing round a corner manouevre. 'I still think that is a stupid thing to ask me to do. When am I ever going to reverse around a corner in real life?'

He ignored me and told me to pull in while he tested me on theory.

'When can you overtake on the inside?'


'Wrong. You can overtake on the inside if there is a filter light and traffic is moving more slowly in the right lane and it is safe to do so.'

'When do you give way to pedestrians?'

'If they're old, you allow them to cross.'

'Wrong. If they're on the Pedestrian or Pelican crossing.'

'S****. I'm not going to pass this am I?' I asked him.

He tried to look positive.

'You might...'

I'd say he's not holding his breath.

Wexford People

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