#1030: License to Drive

RECORD STORE TALES #1030: License to Drive

I was re-watching Mike and Bob’s Cross Kitchener Adventure the other day.  This old film that we made in highschool chronicled an afternoon of touring Kitchener in Bob’s car.  (Haven’t seen it?  Check it out.)  One thing that came up, repeatedly, was the fact that I didn’t have a driver’s license.  I was 18 years old with no license.  Bob teased me pretty hard about that.

I had no incentive to learn to drive.  Much like today, I didn’t really go anywhere!  Everything I wanted (except Sam the Record Man) was with walking distance.  (And I walked downtown to Sam’s once!)  School was a 10-15 minute walk.  The mall was 10 minutes.  The only incentive I really had was for Bob to stop teasing!

I can remember when I turned 16, my mom paid for driving lessons through the highschool.  I never went.  Why?

The truth is, I was scared of driving.

I remember having a dream one night that I owned K.I.T.T., Knight Rider’s car, a high-tech modified Trans-Am.  But in my dream I didn’t know how to drive either, so the car went into reverse out the driveway and hit somebody.  It was a really realistic dream.  I had another dream where I literally killed someone!

When driving classes started at school, I skipped (or “bagged” as the slang of the day went).  I had a lot of anxiety about it.  I had no idea what classroom it was in, so it was pretty easy to avoid.  My mom was pretty unhappy with me when she found out.  Which was long after the fact.

Getting in shit and getting teased didn’t change anything, but in the fall of 1991, I had to make a choice.  I had just started university up in Waterloo.  My choices were these:  1) Learn to drive, get a license, and drive yourself to school in dad’s old car.  2) Take the bus.

I chose 1).  Busses were a far worse option!  So I sucked it up and got lessons, and learned to drive.  And like anything else at that age, I became a know it all!

I barely passed my driver’s test.  The tester thought I was too hesitant at the lights.  I was really good at parallel parking though!

What I learned first and foremost however, was how awesome it was to have 100% say in the music selection!

I wish I could tell you for certain what album I played on my first solo drive.  I do know that I got my license in November of ’91 and focused on new releases during my first year as a driver.  The new Tesla, Europe, Poison (double live), Queensryche (single live), and Guns N’ Roses tapes were often in the deck.  I put them on my dashboard like a “now playing” sign to show off how cool I was.

I had night classes twice a week.  Sociology on Mondays from 7:00 – 10:00 pm, and Anthropology the same time on Thursdays.  I loved Anthro; didn’t care much for Soc.  The best thing about Sociology was meeting my pal Rob Vuckovich for the first time.  We talked about music a lot and became friends.  He told me of his incredible record collection that he refused to part with.  He would tape a track or two for me, but would not sell a single record.  Later on, when he decided to sell, he would only do so if I bought the entire collection.  Which I could not.  But he was a good guy.  He didn’t live far from me, so I drove him home after school.

I thought I would impress him by playing my newest acquisition from Columbia House:  Purple’s Perfect Strangers, featuring non-LP bonus track “Not Responsible”.  He was only mildly impressed.  He said something about how it was better than Bon Jovi or Poison.  Driving Rob home was something I looked forward to and I always chose the Monday night music specifically for him — to get some kind of reaction, positive or negative.

It’s funny how much I avoided driving until I absolutely had no choice.  My parents complained that I always left the stereo on reaaaaaally loud, but that’s just how I made the drive worthwhile!

 

55 comments

      1. Only once though because it was borrowed. Maybe I need to bring it back again. Would be kind of dark though if the owner who got the infinite bottle of scotch died because of that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe Tee Bone Man needs a catchphrase. Something like “It’s scotch time!” (No, no he doesn’t need one. Please no catchphrase). He needs more cool allies and enemies.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Well we do have a plan for Edie Van Heelin’s allegiances. Rob would make an excellent villain. He could even be the Shark King. A certain Man from Mars could also be a fine villain, come to steal all Earth’s vinyl records.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. If he wasn’t already written in as more of a hapless bystander. But there’s also 8-Track Man, and we need to get Hawaii in somehow.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I’d disagree, but I’m keeping those reasons why close to the chest. Bit would spoil things knowing it. Nothing huge but still fun.

          Anyway, gotta get some more nemeses for our supporting cast of heroes. As far as I know only Deke has one.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. We can do anything. I might not be the most qualified to write in the fantasy genre but I’m sure you’re up for the task. I’ll stick to my specialities: sci-fi and playing with Tee Bone Man’s sanity.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Well there you go. You don’t even need to go into your barn to get a cowbell for that Scorpions song. Just make your daughter go in there and get it for you. I assume you have her milking the cows while you plow the fields, right?

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I remember how angry I was that you cancelled your school driving lessons. Driving lessons through the school were a fraction of the cost of private lessons. I was so angry that I made you pay for your lessons when you finally decided driving was better than busing. And that Sundance was MY car!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s how it happened for me: basically, I returned from a month’s trip to France where i turned 16. The very next week, I was in a crash course at Laurentian Driving School, lol. By September 11, 1990, at 11:30, i had my license. My mom wasted no time getting me driving.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bagging off! That was Elmira slang, too. It was not Toronto area slang. I learned that when I went to school there. The looks I got when I said that. I think they thought it was something sexual!

    Like

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