Pain of driving mishap multiplies when a teenage driver is in the house

March 20, 2013 

Here is a little bit of advice. Never do anything dumb driving your car while you have a teenage driver with a driving permit in your household.

Over the years, I have had a knack for finding items with the bumper of my car. Nothing very serious, just embarrassing -- and costly. But it has always been when I was going backward. Backward for me seems to spell trouble, from knocked over trash cans to mailboxes and sometimes even other cars. So when I can, I try to go forward.

Parked at the edge of the McConnell-Talbert Stadium parking lot, I was leaving Scotty’s baseball game one night last week. The area in front of my car was grass so I decided to go straight and bump the curb.

Except in front of my car was a hole the size of a bathtub. I hit the gas and my car hit the hole. Stuck with the front of the car pointing down, I couldn’t back out of the hole.

Several members of the Warner Robins High School football team and two dads pushed my car up and out of the hole, and I drove home. The next morning, I was at the auto repair shop, where I should get some kind of frequent flyer discount. My husband shook his head at the bill, and I thought that would be the end of it.

Except I have a teenager named Scotty at my house.

Scotty received his permit last year on his 15th birthday and since then has become an expert on all things relating to cars and my driving. He finds no need to hold any of this knowledge in, and the few times that I am able to wrestle the car keys away from him, he critiques both my driving skills and my choice of radio stations.

The one thing I had managed to do in all my backing up escapades was not to bump into anything while I was supposedly teaching someone to drive. So finding the hole at McConnell-Talbert was not only costly to my check book but to my ego, since every day for the past week Scotty has been on the lookout for a hole.

“Look Mom, there’s a big hole,” he says, pointing out the window. “Maybe the entire front end of your car will fit into it,”

Not only does Scotty feel the need to teach me to drive, all his permitted friends who can’t afford insurance much less a repair bill are experts on my driving as well.

“There’s a red light up there Mrs. Kent. Don’t forget to stop. That way you can look around for any holes in the road,” I am reminded as laughter engulfs my car.

Of course, any instruction I give Scotty when he is driving is now tempered in his mind by the fact that I drive into holes.

So if you feel the need to back into something or drive straight into a hole, here’s my advice: Don’t do it while anyone has a driving permit in your house.

It is hard to tell someone, “do as I say, not as I do,” when your car is in a big, old hole.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or

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