Warrior Words: Remember that parking brake!

From the dog days of last year to the present day, I continue to perfect my driving abilities. For many teenagers, driving is the ticket to freedom, the pass to a new future, the finger to turn to the next chapter in life’s ever so changing biography.

I must say that it does come easier for some people and for others it may take a few signaling or over-braking miscues. I have always found it amusing how teenagers always want to experience the open road by always wanting to take long road trips the distance of Augusta, Maine, to San Diego or from Seattle to Miami. Adults, on the other hand, wish they had a chauffeur for all of their travels.

I can understand why someone driving for 40 years would get tired of it. Seeing that available parking spot right in front of the door in a busy lot can make you feel like you just won mega millions, only to find out it’s a deceiving handicapped spot, can get old after a while. Or seeing a spot in a good location that looks available from a distance, but once you get closer, you see it’s occupied by a sneaky little Mini Cooper or a Smart Car whose main purpose for existence is to dupe other drivers in that exact circumstance. Man, parking lots are cruel! Teenagers, on the contrary, feed off of exciting situations like that.

Matters behind the scenes like going to the Department of Motor Vehicles, for example, is another fun part of the ability to drive. Sitting in that room along with the whole town for half the day, the atmosphere full of enthusiasm and life. Teenagers don’t mind aspects like that, but if you have been doing that for years, I know, it can get tedious.

Learning is an adventure in and of itself, but it’s even more adventurous when you’re learning with a third pedal and five gears. I learned to drive on a standard vehicle, which can make you go crazy after a while. Anyone who has ever driven a standard car can unite in saying that they have experienced that vrooom noise (from the failing to balance the clutch and the gas pedal perfectly) that has filled my ears ever since I started to learn.

We can’t forget about the marvelous world of stalling either. Don’t you just love when your car decides to turn off right in the middle of the road, giving the long line of cars behind you an invitation to have a horn-honking frenzy.

But ultimately, I must say that after learning on a stick and making various mistakes with shifting and the clutch, I am glad my parents have taken the time and confidence to teach me a skill that may be helpful in everyone’s future.

Although this column has been amusing and enjoyable (I hope), I do just want take a moment to say that driving is not a game and it requires extreme caution, so readers, please be careful out there on the road. But anywho, if you love to drive, enjoy, be safe and remember that parking brake!


Christian Lovallo is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.