... continued from part 1
For my second drive with the instructor, I chose an after-school session. No darkness and no snow. Both cars from the driving school were parked in the lot when I got out of class. Who should I drive with? The husband, who had made my very first driving experience... memorable. Or the wife? She was unbearable during the classroom portion but she might be better behind the wheel with a responsible and conscientious student like myself. I scurried to the car where the wife sat and hoped for the best.
We drove around town for a while and I began to relax and become a little more comfortable. The wife seemed okay if a little uninterested. She only overreacted once when I "failed to come to a complete stop" at a stop sign. (Her definition of a complete stop: all the parts of the car settle completely and you wait for another 2 seconds.) We headed downtown to practice some parallel parking.
As I was attempting to maneuver into a parking spot on Main Street, while the instructor maintained her "laissez-faire" to teaching me about driving (read: ignored me completely), suddenly there was a BAM! and the whole car shook. I froze. The instructor looked at me and barked, "A**h***!"
Wait, what? Listen, lady. I'm a student driver. It's YOUR JOB to make sure I'm not running into things. And if I do hit something I'm pretty sure it's NOT in your job description to hurl vulgarities at me. I stared at her and finally squeaked, "What did I hit? Is it bad?"
"I can't BELIEVE this!"
"I'm sorry!" I felt terrible even though I felt like she should have been helping me to not hit things. "You have insurance, right?"
"Huh? No. Hold on." She sprang out of the car and began inspecting the rear fender.
NO?! No insurance? How can you run a driving school and have no insurance?! Visions of indentured servitude crowded into my brain. How many hours would I need to work for her to pay for the damage? And what about the damage to the other car? I felt faint.
She finally returned. "A**h***," she muttered again. I tried to make myself as small as possible. She glared at the dashboard for a long, long time without moving. Suddenly she jolted to her senses and turned on me.
"Did you see him?! Did you?! What was he wearing? Can you give a description to the police?"
"I didn't ... I didn't see... any...one. Did I hit a person? Oh my gosh! I hit someone! Where is he? Is he hurt?" This was a thousand times worse. How long would they lock me up for running over a pedestrian while parallel parking?
She looked at me like I was insane. "The guy," she said slowly. "The guy who crossed the street behind us slammed his body into my fender. There's a big scratch in the paint and I'm going to press charges. I think I know who it is. He and his a**h*** friends are always harassing my driving students."
What. A. Relief. I wasn't going to jail after all. It was just some idiot who probably had to drive in the snow while being verbally abused by his instructor and had held a grudge for all these years.
My final drive was with the husband again. It didn't much matter which instructor I chose. I was going to have a miserable, nerve-wracking time no matter what. Not only were my teachers soulless burnouts, but there was a gang of Placerville thugs out to get me as well.
The sun had just gone down when a car full of guys zoomed past. Two guys hung out the windows and taunted, "HEY, A**H****!" My instructor was livid. "Follow that car!" he commanded. "Just... just don't worry about anything! Don't lose them! Faster! Don't worry about the speed limit! Go go go!"
I couldn't really even tell which car I was supposed to be following but I dutifully mashed the gas and we took off like a rabbit. "Don't even stop here! There's no one around... just go! Go go go!" he screamed. We blasted through a stop sign. "Turn in here! Don't slow down. Go go go!" We rounded the corner on two wheels and screeched to a halt in the Rite-Aid parking lot.
"Stay here," he barked. I'll be right back." He ran off to confront the hooligans. Cars began to pile up behind me. (I wasn't in a parking space. I was in the middle of the traffic aisle.) There was very little room to go around my car since the instructor had left his door wide open. The honking started and I could see other drivers rolling their eyes to say, "Ugh. Student drivers." I forgave them. There was no way they could know the ordeals that I had been through in the last 72 hours.
Eventually, my instructor came back. As he settled heavily into his seat, he apologized. "I'm sorry you had to had to hear that. Those guys are so vulgar."
I refrained from pointing out that his wife had used the exactly same word no less than three times just the day before.
To be continued...