Not legally, anyway.
That’s right kids, I am an awesome 26 year old who cannot legally drive. It’s shameful. Seriously seriously shameful. And because it’s SO shameful I, of course, have a bevy of excuses.
Let’s start with the fact that I moved to the UK just before my sixteenth birthday. I got my G1 (that’s’ Ontario-speak for a learner’s permit to my out of town readers… hah hah like you even exist) my first trip home. And I believe I started driving school that very summer, and I even passed! But then something happened. I stopped caring, or didn’t bother booking a road test, or just became generally apathetic. I was also in England for the entire five years my G1 lasted. So that’s probably a contributing factor.
When I moved back home, I booked some refresher lessons with my old instructor, and booked my road test. He said I was fine, I just needed to boost my confidence with buttloads of practice. Which was entirely true. I could drive, I could even parallel park like a god, but my downfall was driving with other cars. Cars that obviously wanted to kill me. Obviously I should not have been allowed to watch Christine when I was nine. I was like a paranoid, white knuckled, crack addict on four wheels. So that was awesome.
But on an exceptionally frigid January morning I drove myself and my mother to the Drivetest centre (recently privatised – hello profit making!) at Downsview park, and welcomed a ridiculously irritable, cranky-pants, bitter young tester into my mom’s mazda. And off we drove!
Things were going swimmingly until moments after he asked me to make a left-hand turn at a freaking 8000 lane intersection. I missed my chance at the yellow as there were cars in line turning before me, so I had to make my turn on the next green. And I did, without death or injury. And this is when my fabulous tester piped up from his angry silence and said “You took that turn too slowly, that’s illegal.” And I was all ”Pardon?” And he replied with “You were going far too below the speed limit. You were impeding traffic.” I guess I was supposed to go from zero to sixty during my turn? So that’s when I knew I had failed, and decided to not give a shit and fuck up the rest of the exam.
Sadly I was quite near the end of the exam anyway, so the only awesome thing I got to fuck up was parking. So like a champ, I backed up into a the indicated parking spot at the test centre, leaving mere centimeters in between the passenger door and the car next to it, and turned off the car. I turned to my formidable tester-man, big grin and said “Oh? I guess you need to get out. Sorry! Let me adjust!” And grinning ear to ear, because frankly it was the only thing I could do to hold back the tears of epic failure, I adjusted, let the guy out, and he promptly filled out his form ticking off the box for GIANT FAILURE mistake (impeding traffic) and my minor act of asshattery (shitty parking job) and failed me on the spot. Yes people, I failed my driving test for taking a left-turn too slowly.
Now, let me assure you that I do realise that no one had any business granting me the legal ability to drive solo. NO ONE. I was a terrible, fearful driver. BUT somehow I managed to stuff that all deep deep inside me, fake it so good, and actually drive like a regular human. And this guy was desperately grasping at straws when he failed me. And for that I was not only pissed, but decided I didn’t really give a shit anymore. I lived down town. I bought a bike. I hate the ‘burbs. I didn’t need to drive. Especially when my license had expired and I’d have to start from the very beginning, and that was a very unsavoury idea.
But five years have passed right on by since that fateful day, and it has been a horrifying ten years since I was issued my G1 in the first place. So in honour of my decade of being inept, I will endeavor to learn how to drive. I think the past five years of riding my bike amongst terrifying traffic has cured my fear of other drivers. Why, today I was almost smooshed by a garbage truck going through a red light backwards. That was charming. So if I can mentally deal with dicing with death on a daily basis (holy alliteration), then I think being surrounded by several tons of steel, and having a horn that people can actually hear, will be a slight comfort. And thus driving amongst idiots, my peers even, will be slightly less frightening.
Either way, if Rob Ford gets elected, I’ll need to at least pretend I can drive a car so I don’t get deported like my reprobate, socialist, unemployable brethren. Hah.