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Come to think of it, I've never been a great driver

10/18/07

It was reported this week that a six-year-old boy from Colorado was hungry, so he got in his grandmother’s car and tried to drive himself to Applebee’s.

Amen and pass the Jack sauce.

In order to do this, the boy moved his booster seat from the back to the front seat of the car and climbed into the driver’s seat, presumably using a Little Tykes “My First Stepladder.”

He then started the car, threw it in reverse and backed up some 47 feet, hit a curb and traveled another 29 feet where he ultimately came to rest tail-end into a transformer and communications box.

His intended trip to Applebee’s ended with people in the area losing phone service and electricity.

I did this once, only I was seven at the time , and I wasn’t hungry for Applebee’s, I was just a badly-behaved kid who was in need of a beating, I later found out.

My dad had a standard transmission car that he parked in a driveway with a fairly steep grade on a residential street that, at the time, had roughly 4.2 rowdy kids per household.

I climbed into the car, a make and model no one in my family can now recall, and pushed the clutch down with both feet to see what it would do.

I was not a rocket scientist.

What it did was roll down the driveway and come to a rest with the back wheels on our across-the-street neighbor’s curb, effectively blocking traffic from either direction.

Which is what happens when the brake can’t be found in the midst of hysteria.

The little boy in Colorado got out of the car and told his grandmother of his unfortunate misdeed.

I sat in the car, paralyzed by fear about the butt-whooping I knew I was about to receive.

Then, because my butt prompted me to, I tried to push the car back into the driveway.

What happened between that and the corporal punishment that followed is fuzzy now. My older brother and sisters were probably blamed for part of it and hated me for years proportionately.

Luckily by the time I was seven my family had perfected the art of making sure I put on clothes before I went outside. If not for that, the spectacle that day would have taken on a completely different flavor with a police report that would have read “lone, crying naked child pushing a car across the street...”