The Eclectic Pen - Driving with Doug


By: Scott W. (Rev)   + 36 more  
Date Submitted: 1/6/2007
Genre: Literature & Fiction » Essays & Correspondence
Words: 889
Rating:


  There are those who will tell you that a Friday night road trip should be a happy, carefree, and relatively safe event. They will insist that it is these weekend excursions that help to relieve the tensions and stress that the daily grind, and should be pleasant excursions that one will remember fondly.

We at the Mongoloid Moose strongly disagree. We often venture out together on Friday nights trips, and we have yet to know a peaceful moment during these fateful sojourns onto the highways and byways of the great state of New Jersey. For when we step out for a night on the road, we do not merely go driving. We go driving with Doug.

It would be a gross generalization to state that Doug is the world’s worst driver. However, I can safely say without fear of reprisals that Doug is, by far, the worst driver I know.

Let us first disclose that Doug suffers from mild epilepsy. While this may not have any relevance in his ability to operate a vehicle, it does nothing for the moral of his passengers to know that their driver could lose control of all motor functions at any given moment. On top of that, his steering and braking skills can often lead one to believe that this has already happened, and his unfortunate passengers will often find themselves in a constant state of confusion where they are never sure whether they should shove their wallet under his tongue or remind him that the light is yellow. It has been rumored that Doug is also tone deaf, nearsighted, wall-eyed, partially blind in one eye (consensus is mixed as to which one), and lacks a fully functioning equilibrium, but none of these assertions have ever been scientifically or legally proven.

For most people, this alone would seem reason enough for us to do our best to make sure that Doug is ever the one behind the wheel. But we are a foolish and adventuresome lot, and so we not only ensure that Doug is always the driver, we also insist that he attempt to reach our destination via the most complicated route imaginable. Parkways, turnpikes, side roads, short cuts, deserted trails, and questionable alleys are often taken and highly encouraged.

Once the destination is agreed upon, the route is discussed, and Doug’s hands are firmly duct taped to the steering wheel, all that is left to ensure an eventful evening is to install Shawn into the passenger seat so he may assume the role of Chief Navigator. Throughout his many years of navigational experience, Shawn has incorporated certain techniques to ensure that the destination is never actually reached. Among his highly honed skills are:

*His ability to confuse the names of streets, towns, and landmarks with ease.
*His knack for failing to grasp the simplicity of a common street map.
*His nasty habit of pointing out turns and exits after they have been passed, sometimes waiting several miles before indicating that the proper route has been missed.
*His unfailing confidence that his directions are, in all actuality, correct.

These, coupled with his constant insistence that all mistakes are Doug’s fault, which leads to endless bickering between the two, guarantees a never ending source of amusement and adventure for all involved. Even passing motorists and pedestrians at red light street corners have been known to chuckle and applaud their navigational hi-jinks.

As much fun as there is to be had, let it not be said that these reckless nights are undertaken without serious contemplation and forethought. Each time an evening of vehicular ventures is planned, certain preparations must be worked out hours in advance. The eldest member of the group partaking in that night’s trek is given the responsibility of contacting the parents or legal guardians of all those involved. Entire towns will often hold all-night vigils to pray for the safe return of the brave passengers. Waivers must be signed, grief counseling need to be prearranged, and insurance premiums are invariably prepaid. Local and state authorities are then notified. Police patrols are rerouted, emergency services are put on heightened alert, and news crews are put on traffic report standby. Federal officials are also put on alert on the off chance that Doug may accidentally stray over state lines. If this should occur, the President will televise a heartfelt plea for Doug to return home, and then prepare the American populace for the eventuality of a Declaration of Martial Law on Moving Violations if Doug remains at large for more than twelve hours. Such drastic recourses have yet to be taken, but you can never be too prepared.

Keep all of this in mind the next time you go on a ‘scenic cruise’, and remember that there are those of us who risk our lives weekly doing what you take for granted. Your memory need not be unduly hindered, either, for there will be stories to come that will keep our sacrifices fresh in your mind. The future holds the promise of many drives to come, and the possibility of hilarity, tragedy, and pathos is always great. As long as there is at least one coherent survivor to relate the experience, there will always be dark and twisted tales that are passed down from one hapless passenger to another. Tales of torture, tales of terror, tales of the impossible. Tales of Driving with Doug.



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Lenore D. (Lenore) - 1/8/2007 11:43 AM ET
Funny, twisted, entertaining. What more can you ask for?
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