Tag Archives: Dmv

Take This Job. . .

by Richard

There’s an old saying that goes something along the lines of “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Turns out that’s pretty good advice.

For a while now, I and my wife, known to the young dudes as She Who Must Be Pacified At All Costs, have been urging (read screaming at them) Sarcasmo and Zippy the Monkey Boy to get a job. It’s not because we can’t afford to feed them — yet. More like we think that a job will help them become a bit more self-sufficient, learn to be more confident and help them understand responsibility.

And also get them a few extra bucks in their pocket.

Well, now we’re well and truly hoisted on our own petard. Zippy the Monkey Boy turned out to be listening and then went out and got a job.

Here’s the problem, though. The job he got? He’s a delivery boy for a Chinese restaurant. Yeah. Zippy the Monkey Boy. This is the young dude who, seven minutes after getting his learning permit and driving the both of us home from the DMV, ran over a dog that darted out into the road.

This is a young dude who’s a pretty good driver. Unfortunately, he knows he’s pretty good, which means he’s not driving around in the state of paranoia and desperate fear that I like to cultivate in young drivers.

And he’s out on the road, looking for places he has never been and then taking food there.

Those nights when he’s out on a delivery can be sort of nerve-wracking. We know he’s getting all the good stuff we want him to get from having a job, but the idea that he’s running around out there in a car most of the night, and interacting with people who might not have his best intentions in mind. . . well, that’s a little scary.

It got worse when he said to me after his second night on the job, “Dad, I want to get a really big knife so I can keep it under the seat when I’m on the job. That way I can protect myself.”

Yeah. Not a great thought that. More on that Monday.

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If It Weren’t For Bad Luck. . .

by Richard

There’s bad luck. There’s really bad luck. And then there’s Zippy the Unlucky Monkey Boy luck.

Zippy, gods help us all, is the second of my little dudes to be officially allowed on the road when he’s behind the wheel. He and I went to the DMV on Friday, me nervous (mostly because he hadn’t studied anything about driving since his class ended in May and, of course, because I knew he’d pass and then be allowed to drive. And I would have to be with him.) and him positively smug and self-confident. He was right, don’t you know? He passed with flying colors. Manifesting all my manly courage, I asked him to drive us home. I know. I’m real brave. Anyway, he sets off and he’s doing great. And then we hit the 3-minute mark. Let’s make sure you understand this. He’s been officially allowed to drive for all of three minutes.

That’s when he hit the dog. Yes, really. We were driving the speed limit down a four-lane road. We had another car right next to us going the same speed. There was a curb and a number of trees on the right. This big black dog, about 50 pounds, appeared in front of the car on our left and then began running across the road and in front of us. We had about .5 seconds to avoid the dog. It didn’t happen and that was the right thing. If Zippy had swerved, we’d have hit another car and tossed it into ongoing traffic or we’d have gone up the curb and hit a tree head on. Instead, we heard that sickening crunch from the front left of the car.

Zippy completely freaked. “Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god.” I had him pull over in a school parking lot and then told him to wait. I got out of the car and went back, completely expecting to see a very squished dog in the road. Instead, what I found was the dog’s collar. The dog had limped over to a yard on the side of the road and had laid down. He was awake and alert, although obviously in pain. Considering that dogs can be dangerous even when they’re not hurt, I decided not to approach it.

I had the dog’s collar and it had a phone number on it. I called the number twice and was sent straight to voicemail. I let the voicemail know who I was and what had happened and how to reach me. I didn’t hear back from the phone number so I called animal control and asked them to come get the dog and take care of it.

Eventually, animal control did get the dog and take it to the pound to care for it as best as possible. They said they had the phone number of the owner and had been trying to contact the dog’s owner.

While we were waiting for animal control, I had Zippy come out of the car so he could see that the dog was not dead or squished. Thank the gods.

When we headed back to the car to come home, I asked Zippy if he wanted to drive home. He just shivered and shook his head. I drove home. I figured I didn’t want to push him. Later that afternoon, I asked him if he wanted to go to Walmart and get a computer game. He said, of course. But then I told him that he had to get back on the horse, drive that car and understand that not every drive ends with a car hitting a dog. He did a great job driving to and from Walmart and seems to have recovered. Thankfully.

This was one of the hardest lessons I have never imagined having to teach my little dudes. I mean, I hate that we had to hit that dog, but it was the best of three bad choices. It was something Zippy had to learn. I just wish he’d had to learn it on an academic level, rather than the first lesson ever served up by a mean world.

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