© 2018, Mirror Image Edutainment, Alan John Mayer
EDITOR’S CAVEAT: This post has not been edited. The author offers no apologies for punctuation or typos.
HOW TO DRIVE A CAR FROM A to Z ™
© 1911, George James Mayer
My father was the quintessential 20th century American man, born in Sugar City, Colorado, on George Washington’s birthday, in 1896. He remembered New Year’s Eve, 1899, when the world was lit up en masse for the first time.
The first car my father drove was an open air Ford Model T. One could say George James Mayer was among those who established the rules of the road, back when there were no roads to rule over yet.
Listening to my father when I was a nine year-old boy occupying the back seat while he prepared my sixteen year-old sister in the front seat for her driving exam, has kept me out of accidents for nearly fifty years*.
You can save yourself, both financially and spiritually, by learning, following, and respecting these simple guidelines that were established by the grandfathers of it all.
A. Always find the ignition keyhole first. Always familiarize yourself with your vehicle before leaving the “P” “P”osition.
B. Before even trying to crank the engine after consuming alcohol, wear it off first. To not follow this rule can result in backfire, a broken arm, even death. Always secure your body firmly to the left fender first, before cranking the engine.*
C. Cordially have someone walk three hundred feet ahead of your vehicle with a lantern to warn oncoming horses of your approach.*
D. Don’t put the car in “D” until you can stop on a line, over and again.
E. Everything needs to be in it’s place in the “N”eutral position before putting the car in first gear. This includes children, animals, and your purse. “N”ever proceed until you have “N”eutralized everything, are comfortable, and relaxed.
F. Look left, then right, then left, and if it’s not your driveway, then right again before making your turn. Unless you are diving a semi, or live on a parking lot, no reason to take three lanes to back out of your street.
G. Never back up or change lanes without first looking in your mirror, then OVER YOUR SHOULDER, then proceed in “S”low. Never back up or change lanes without first establishing the position your vehicle occupies (your body, your skinbag). Ask yourself, what space do I occupy and how much breathing space do I have?”
H. It was 1964 when I was that nine year-old boy, so my Dad neglected to teach me this step. Always wear your seat belt, secure your cell phone and other electronics, away in your purse, the glovebox, the trunk, back seat, or a compartment. I know it’s called a “Handi” in European but do not have it handy for use while driving.
I. If you need to talk or text, PULL OVER and STOP, LOOK, LISTEN. I will forever be grateful to my first grade teacher, Miss Joi Dyer, for teaching me these three steps.
J. NEVER text or talk while driving. People have been killed by texting drivers doing “only” five miles an hour. When you step behind a vehicle, not speaking here necessarily of your skinbag, are guiding a loaded missele, a two ton killing machine. It is not the hands that need to be free. It is the MIND.
K. MIND THE ROAD. Keep two hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road at all times.
L. Keep your eye not on the vehicle ahead of you, but on the vehicle ahead of the vehicle ahead of you. Driving is like skiing downhill moguls: You have to keep your eye three moguls ahead of you and plant your pole one mogul ahead.
M. Keep your windows free and clear of obstacles. There must be a reason why blacked out windows are illegal. My question is, why this law is not enforced. It can’t be money.
N. AAA was not around in 1911, when my father started driving, so I forgive him for his lack of insight. Learn the basics of the internal combustion engine and how to change a tire.
O. When parallel parking: pull up to the vehicle ahead of the empty parking space, as close as you safely can, your wheels in alignment with the rear wheels of the vehicle in the space ahead of the space you intend to occupy. Turn your wheel sharply and reverse, until your front wheels are in alignment with back wheels of the vehicle ahead of the space you intend to occupy. Turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction, back to the position you had it in when all four wheels were in alignment, then ease into the space.
My father taught me this in the boondocks when I was ten years old, while preparing my 16 year-old sister for her exam. When she got her license, he put me in the driver’s seat on top of two phone books, ‘Daddy’s Little Squirt’. As one who is completely lacking in mathematical ability, it never occurred to me until today, there must be a mathematical equation to this method that someone else can solve. All I know is, it works when I work it.
P. When parking, entering or leaving a driveway, or preparing to turn at an intersection, PULL OVER to the right. Rather than to take up two or three lanes, taking the right of way away from drivers already on the road, blocking traffic, and just plain being a jackass without a brain in control of a two ton killing machine, turn your steering wheel tightly. That is why you have it.
Q. After many failed attempts, many experienced drivers have given up trying to read minds. Your blinkers, turn signal indicators, perform a function. Use them in good health.
R. DO NOT count on beeps when reversing. STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. Use your rear view camera, look, and proceed only with caution. Thanks again to Miss Joi Dyer.
S. Always treat others as you would like to be treated. Dad didn’t say this because the thought was unthinkable at the time, but never flip off a driver who seems to be asleep at the wheel. They may be reloading to shoot.
T. Never pay more than 2c a gallon for gas.
U. Bless the driver ahead of you.
V. Bless the driver behind you.
W. Bless the driver beside you to your left.
X. Bless the driver to your right.
Y. Bless your passengers. They could be you.
Z. Observe these rules of common courtesy, and all honking on the road should subside. As the probability of this is not so high, there is a three second rule to observe: give pokey drivers three seconds to finish sending their text, finish loading their weapon, or finish the cigarette they might toss into your lap through the open window as you pass. It happened to me.
I am lucky I am alive. You can be too.
• it’s a joke but true in its day.
* “Accidents” I have had to claim fault at = none. I’ve had three cars totaled by other drivers while I was in them, and was taken to the hospital once. In all three instances, all three drivers were talking on their cell phones. One was talking hands free. Hand Free = Mind Free.
And NOW to prayer.
There is one road.
This road is God.
There are many drivers on God’s road, and I have to accept and bless them all.
This road is bumpy. It has potholes in it, crumbling bridges, falling rocks, threats and scares. With God’s guidance, I take the path and know He shall guide me to arrive safely, knowing I am in His hands I pull my vehicle out of the dead ends and cul-de-sacs, and tread a new path to my trust, American Values Restored / Glad2BHad.
As I drive along this road of life in one vehicle within another, I take the time to savor the sights, sounds, scents, feelings the Lord has placed within my reach, outside of this cage I have contained myself to.
I need only halt at the stop signs,
keep my eyes and ears open for the yield signs,
look out for green lights, as I again thank my first grade teacher Miss Joi Dyer.
Red, yellow, or green, they all are of the same light, different perceptions of the One. He is the Lord within, the little light within scientists have now pinpointed to a central point in the brain that sends out all directions via the spinal column.
I bless this column and the spirit within me that knows I know.
I strive to remind myself as I move on, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time until Time no longer exists in my world, and I will be Time Itself.
I accept there are drivers on the road who need regular help keeping alert. To them I say “toot! toot!”. I allow them to drive their vehicles as they may, with hope some may find value in Father George’s “Rules of the Road,” whether from 1911, 1964, 2013, or any date beyond.
Thank you Lord for guiding us along the path.
I release. I let go. I let the Spirit run my life. I am free in the spirit. I am only here for God.