SoCS — Driving Lessons

“I hate you!” Lizzy screamed at her father. They were sitting in his car in an empty parking lot as he was trying to prepare her to take the road test for her driver’s license. “Why can’t I learn to drive in Mom’s car. It’s an automatic. All you have to do is put it in drive and step on the gas. But no, you insist on teaching me on your stupid stick shift car.”

“Lizzy, it’s good to know how to drive a car with a standard transmission,” David, Lizzy’s father, said. “Just in case.”

“Oh my God, Dad,” Lizzy said. “Just in case what? In another five years most cars will be electric cars and electric cars have a single gear — drive — plus reverse. And in another ten to twenty years, most cars will be self-driving, autonomous vehicles. I don’t need to learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission and to know how to manage three pedals with only two legs.”

“It’s still a good idea to know how to drive a car with a manual transmission and how to use a clutch,” David insisted. “It can’t hurt.”

Dad, I love you, but you are such a luddite,” Lizzy said. “That’s like saying it’s good to know how to use a fax machine. Who sends faxes anymore? You need to join the twenty-first century, Dad.”

David sighed. “Fine, Lizzy,” he said. “Let’s go find a pay phone so I can call your mother and ask her what she thinks.”

Lizzy shook her head, took out her iPhone, and sent a text to her mother. It just said, “Help me before I commit patricide!”

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where the assignment is to use the word “drive” in our posts. Photo credit:

19 thoughts on “SoCS — Driving Lessons

  1. Sadje June 12, 2021 / 4:32 am

    It’s so tough teaching kids how to drive. It ages you by five years at least.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Sadje June 12, 2021 / 9:20 am

        I survived teaching my two daughters to drive. But it was such a stressful time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Shweta Suresh June 12, 2021 / 5:32 am

    Haha. This reminds me of the lessons my dad used to give me. I used to hate manual Transmission too but with great difficulty, I managed to master it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor June 12, 2021 / 7:27 am

    I can’t remember the last time that I used a pay phone.


    • Fandango June 12, 2021 / 1:53 pm

      Thanks, Christine.


  4. Melanie B Cee June 12, 2021 / 10:26 am

    I was forced to learn to drive a stick shift. I did not enjoy it, although over my life I’ve had two vehicles that were stick. I can drive those kinds of cars, it’s just such a P.I.T.A. to do. Especially if one lives in a place that has a lot of steepish hills. I swear my hair first went gray when I had to drive up a really steep incline and I had some asshole tailgating me up the whole thing. Don’t know how I didn’t roll back into the creep either. My sympathies are with Lizzie. BUT. As to the Luddite business and the whole ‘you must assimilate’ thinking of these times, my sympathies are fully with dad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango June 12, 2021 / 1:55 pm

      I used to drive manual transmission cars most of my life until we moved to San Francisco, which is rife with very steep roads. Since then, my cars have been automatics.


  5. Marlapaige June 12, 2021 / 2:24 pm

    I learned manual well after my dad taught me (I would probably have killed him!). But I still fax things every day at work and use new dangled typewriters that the call com-poo-ters, I think. 🤣😂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Terveen Gill June 12, 2021 / 6:34 pm

    David’s clutch seems to be stuck in the past. Hope he can shift his gear and accelerate out of the eighties. Nice one! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 12, 2021 / 6:52 pm

      Well, you know what they say about old dogs and new tricks.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Marleen June 13, 2021 / 1:27 pm

    Faxing is still seriously used by doctors, pharmacists, and legal offices. Probably more, but I’ve had specific experience with these various realms recently.* (I don’t have a fax machine or function, so, I wasn’t using this, but they were employing this terminology. And I’m pretty sure a prescription was sent via fax without my involvement in the choice of communication.) I like the faxing concept and wish for it not to disappear.

    * I’m remembering that insurance offices, financial offices, and others still regularly using faxing as well. One example is that I’ve been dealing with my mother’s auto insurance company. Again, I don’t bring it up; they do.

    I taught all of my five sons to drive. I didn’t, however, teach any of them to drive manually. I had enough other things on which I needed to focus in our lives. Only one of them was slightly stressful to teach. I rode with him about a year ago, and he’s still scary. All the others were pleasant experiences who picked up on everything quite quickly. Amazingly, though, even the scary one has never once had an accident.

    My youngest one had someone (a big corporate truck) bump into the back of him DURING the driving portion of his driving test to get his license. It was the other guy’s fault, and my son passed the test to get licensed.

    My oldest son figured out, under his own initiative, how to drive a stick. When we had that cash for clunkers program, he bought a Cube; he still has it. Also, he has needed to drive a moving van. Plus, the only vehicle available at the time was the biggest they’ve got. I was with him, and I wasn’t going to even try driving that thing. He did fine. He was twenty or so. He takes everything on like he knows he can do it.

    I’m not sure how many used unusual land equipment on my dad’s property. All of them would take anything on and don’t find themselves intimidated by machinery old or new. I have driven a stick, early on, with stripped gears.

    As for newer and newer tech, I’m getting overwhelmed with the fact that, sure, I can follow the directions. Yesterday, we were supposed to set up new passwords for various accounts that had been hacked into. But we don’t really know what is secure. And the televisions had to be entirely reset because I have apple tv. It’s a little bit weird, is it not, that we have to use passwords for television viewing when we used to just put the thing on the stand, plug it in, and turn it on? I liked, near the end of the show called West World, that knowing how to drive a car at all (rather than ride in an automated AI vehicle) was helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen June 13, 2021 / 2:26 pm

      I just remembered the oldest son learned to drive standard/manual before he had the Cube. He had a vintage Volkswagen Corrado sports car for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. leigha66 June 20, 2021 / 10:10 pm

    A pay phone…. do they still exist? Great story. I let my ex-husband teach my daughter, I knew I would be a basket case and drive her crazy. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.