Why couldn’t Helen Keller drive?

Because she was a woman!

I cannot drive either. I failed driver’s education, I refer to the gas pedal as the “fast pedal,” I have been known to hit stationary objects, and I am a woman.

Over the summer, I confirmed what many of my friends have been telling me for years ? I am a bad driver.

My second day back home I was driving in a shopping center, when, all of a sudden, an extremely tall speed bump appeared where none had ever been before. In fact, it was the exact same color as the road. I assume that was its camouflage against unsuspecting woman drivers.

My attempts to slam on the brakes were feeble. All I could do was cringe. But then everything seemed all right. There was a funny scraping noise as I drove home, though. Once I was safely parked on the driveway, I noticed a funny piece of plastic hanging down from the car. I knew the best thing to do in a situation such as this was to not tell my dad.

Instead, I duct-taped the plastic to the car. Every day for a month and a half, I sat underneath the car and duct-taped the plastic back into place.

One day as I was underneath the car taping, I realized it was ridiculous. I was spending as much money on duct tape as I would spend fixing the car! I decided to go to the dealer and fork over a hundred dollars to end my misery.

The mechanic told me all I needed was a new splashguard, and it would only take ten minutes.

Forty-five minutes later I began to worry. I looked into the body shop to find four mechanics underneath my car pointing at something.

Crap.

They motioned for me to join them. From their greedy gazes, I could tell something was wrong. The mechanic told me I dropped the radiator, and he could not put the splashguard on without first installing a new radiator. A new radiator would cost $850. I almost died.

The mechanic took one look at my face and tried to reason with me. “Let me guess, this is your dad’s car, and you thought you could take it in here and fix it without him knowing?” I nodded. He continued, “When I was fifteen I stole my dad’s car and drove it off a cliff. That was a lot harder to hide. You should just come clean.”

There was no way I was coming clean. This man had no idea of the magnitude of my dad’s wrath. I worked like nobody’s business for the next few weeks and found a sketchy garage that would fix the car for a few hundred less.

I spent ten hours sitting in a pee-stained chair watching the mechanic fix every car but mine. It was not until five in the evening that he wheezed at me, “What did you hit?” His voice shocked me back into reality. “A speed bump.”

Somehow, I do not think he believed me. “A speed bump? You must have hit it pretty damn hard ? you shattered the entire radiator. People like you shouldn’t even be allowed to drive cars!”

I managed to meekly ask, “What type of people are you referring to?”

He snarled and grunted, “Women.”

Thus ends the story of my summer. My dad still does not know about the car! And if there is anything I learned, it is that women should not be allowed to drive ? oh, and Albertson’s should paint their goddamned speed bumps!

Haber can be reached at bhaber@campustimes.org.



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