License wars: driven to competition


Megan Beh

Sophomore Jackie Lawyer failed her first drivers test after getting too wrapped up in the competition.

Jackie Lawyer, Staff Writer

Turning sixteen means one thing: driving. Fifteen-year-olds turn into calendar robots, calculating the exact day to take their permit test so it falls precisely six months from their sixteenth birthday.

This especially affects the male species. What they lack in personal hygiene, they make up for by being extremely diligent in scheduling their driver’s test. The only way to boost my ego in gaining a license would be to channel my man-voice and call the Plymouth driving center every day for a week.

One fellow in particular, known as Competitive and Annoying Person #1 (Matt Arnason), boasted of his NASCAR driving skills, proclaiming himself the next Jimmie Johnson. His birthday also falls two days before mine, giving him license––no pun intended––to mock me before receiving my own freedom card. Fortunately, Mr. Competitive planned his test late, thus giving me the opportunity to take my test a day before him, on my sixteenth birthday.

Despite my efforts at annoying the Plymouth center, I found that the only opening was in Duluth. I convinced my mother that this would be an excellent bonding trip for us, sharing in my glory of beating Competitive and Annoying Person #1.

On the three hour drive, I went through all the annoying driving tips and acronyms to better prepare myself. Then it dawned on me: I hadn’t practiced parallel parking, an important part of the test, in over a month.

With chattering teeth, I saw the test observer waddle over to my car. As the old man hoisted himself into the car, I noticed his strong resemblance to a walrus. Meanwhile, he gave me five instructions, two of which I actually understood.

The test I spent countless hours preparing for lasted seventeen minutes. Surely I had passed with flying colors; he was furiously scribbling notes to praise my future in bus driving and chauffeuring for celebrities.

“Well…you can park,” the walrus-man mumbled. Clearly, he was insanely jealous of my superb parallel park and ninety-degree back in. “However, you failed to identify your brights or look over your shoulder, drove at a quarter of the speed limit…oh, and you drove down the wrong side of the road. But hey, like I said, you can park.”

I sat staring at the windshield for a solid twenty minutes. Then I realized I was in Duluth, making my drive of shame even longer. I posted my tragedy on Facebook, hoping my internet friends would sympathize. This was somewhat cleansing, until I realized Competitive and Annoying Person #1 liked my post, gloating in his victory. I suppose I now claim the title Competitive and Annoying Person #2.