Friday, July 20, 2007

Relearn To Drive

Last time I was traveling I noticed this odd advertisement in the airport. It was an ad for a website titled I honestly couldn't tell if it was supposed to be some kind of joke, or some kind of wacky business idea.

Turns out, it was a joke - and quite a funny one at that.

The site mentioned in the ad is a series of videos where you get schooled on driving from various characters. Some sample advice: yielding is for quitters, seat belts are for sissies and never drive faster than your age.

The whole site is a campaign by BMW. Itis well done. Just interactive enough to keep your attention, but not so interactive that it's all noise.

As for who taught me to drive? Well, that would mostly be my Mom. She deserves some sort of award for doing so. Turns out, I didn't like to be wrong. No matter how egregious my mistake was, I would argue vehemently that I was indeed in the right. Man I was a pain. Sorry about that Mom.

I also took driver's ed in high school. My teacher was Harry Duckworth. To this day, any success I have parallel parking belongs to him. In fact, I still hear his voice in my head as I line up the car to start backing in.

Mr. Duckworth had the most calm demeanor of anyone I've ever met. Seriously, this guy could disarm a nuclear device without breaking a sweat. I recall one time when I was a passenger and we were in the driver ed car. Note, the car was rigged with a peddle that Harry could press to activate the car's break - that was the only protection he had against his students poor decisions. As we pulled out into traffic Harry slammed on the break. A car or two whizzed by. He slowly and calmly looked at the student and said, "OK, let's try that again, except this time let's watch for traffic."

Thanks to Adverblog for the tip.


  1. I must say that mom was a pretty good teacher. You left out the fact that we learned to drive on the old Crown Vic, a stationwagon so big it could take on an abrahms tank and probably win. It was great for lessons though, and makes driving large vehicles much easier now.

    In addition, I also had duckworth, and man did you get his personality right. He used to take us to the top of cobbs hill and tell us to let the car roll down. We were not allowed to use the brakes until he said so, and when he gave us the okay, we could only stop using the emergency break. The guy had ice water in his veins, since we hit some pretty good speed before screeching and sometimes swerving to a stop.

    Although it was the best course in brighton.

  2. Editor's comment:

    So Ben makes it sound like he was like any high schooler: took driver's ed, had a few interesting holy crap moments in the driver's ed car, blah blah blah.

    What he left out of this idyllic picture was that Ben did not actually get his license until well into college. It's not that he took the test and failed, he just never felt it necessary to take the test in the first place.

    But let's just say, that it's a good thing that I'm a control freak who gets car sick and drives everywhere, because who was the one who did all the driving on our dates??? It was me, and it wasn't because I was a control freak, it was because I was the one who actually got my license at 16.