Things I’ve Learned…

Sort of…


“Yes, officer, I did see the speed limit sign. I just didn’t see you.” ~ Unknown

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

How To Not Get Asked To Drive

~ Ever ~

(Part 1)

Part II…

As I Was Speeding …

With his coffee cup in his hands… my dad escorts me to the backdoor facing our driveway. There we stood.

Ten minutes later.

“Kim, do you notice anything different about the basketball goal?”


“Particularly, the 90-degree slant of the pole?”


Dad’s voice starts to crack. “Or how about the pole indent on the passenger car door?”

“Dad, I rarely walk on that side of the car.”

“Have you today?”

“You know, I did, but I was running. Why?”

“You mean, how?” 

My dad put his coffee down. His hands were free to fly, and… they… were. “How in the world did you do it? Your mother and I are trying to comprehend – how, on earth, you smacked the basketball pole, uprooted it, imprinted the car, KEPT GOING, and you didn’t even look back!”

“How do you know?” …I shouldn’t have asked.

“We were standing right here! You ran past us on your way out. We said, “Goodbye, Kim,” and then you hit the pole.” Dad said in a tone I didn’t care to hear.

“Oh, that. Yeah, I was running late to work, and…”

“KIM!!! You slammed the car into a pole. What if that was one of your brothers? You could have killed someone.” 

(Long pause)

“Kim, you could have told us when it happened.”

“But you just said you saw it.”


(Long pause) 

“All of this happened because you were running late. You’re always late. What’s it going to take to make you punctual and drive safely?

“Probably not grounding,” I interjected.

“Definitely grounding.” (Deep breathing) “And chores,” dad said, ever so naturally.

My dad, head hanging in despair, gathered himself and then looked back up, “You’re familiar with where we keep the cleaning supplies?”

“Yeah. You guys put my name on the cabinet.”

My dad’s facial skin tone was turning back to normal. “You’re grounded for two weeks. We’ll work out the chore list tomorrow.”

“I’ll put it together,” I said.

“That’s enough, Kim.”

“Ah!” I screamed quietly as I made my way to my room, coughing as I grabbed the cordless phone from the receiver. A minute later, my mom came in to receive it back.

“Nice try,” she said.

As my mom walked away, I screamed loudly into my pillow.

Man, this sucks. Always running late. Always grounded. Always… I’m suffocating. I removed the pillow.

The next day I was on time for work. I clocked in at exactly 5pm.

The day after, I was late.

“You know, Kim, being on time isn’t being there when something starts. It’s getting there 10 or 15 minutes before it starts.”

“Dad, that’s called being early.”

In the following weeks, nothing really sticks out from the norm except for a pile of rocks.

“Why do they have a rock fence?”

“Kim, you did it again! It’s because you were running late, weren’t you?”

“Mom, let’s tackle one issue at a time. It’s not my fault they built an invisible fence. How can I possibly see that in my rearview mirror?”

“You can see it, you should see it, and it’s been there as long as we’ve lived here. I want you to go to our neighbors and apologize for entering their yard with our car. When you’re finished, you can restack their rocks. …Seriously, Kim… how many more yards will you destroy before you learn a lesson? I’m worried the neighbors are going to revolt.”

I was listening to my mom, but I kept picturing our neighbors revolting. I could see them standing in our driveway chanting weird stuff – completely out of sync – such as – “Kim scares us – make her take the bus or take away her keys before we lose our knees.”


“Mom, I’m sorry. I’ve been improving…”

“You were on time, once. Why are you laughing?”

“I was just imagining…”

“Kim, what did I just say?”

“Well, you said, and I sort of quote, something about me being on time.”

(Stay tuned for a short series from a book I’m writing called, “Stuff I’ve Learned – Sort of.” We’ll continue with more driving experiences and lessons next week. This could save your life. Could.)

“Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead.” ~ Mac McCleary


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