Thursday, June 01, 2006

Eau de Joy

That title is NOT about a variety of perfume. It is supposed to be pronounced OH THE JOY and is a reference so obscure that I can't bring myself to mention it (except in brackets. Here it is: Many eons ago, when my niece M was a young thing of 17 and had recently returned from Australia, she had with her a cassette filled with cheery Aussie songs. On some occasion, when she, I and my sister G were all stuck in a car, in Madras's Pondy Bazaar, and M was in a towering bad mood, the three of us were all made to suffer a continuous loop of Aussie songs, in the sweltering heat -- and the one we all remember from that time was some ghastly thing with the refrain "Oh the Joy ..." in a powerful kangaroo accent)(so -- got it? OH THE JOY refers to something BEASTLY UNPLEASANT which is also idiotically funny).

Anyway, so here's the thing: I took a written test to get a Learner's Licence to drive -- and FLUNKED. Aarggh. Aargh. Guh-fooey. YUCK. And so on. This is NOT the Driver's Licence Test which most people fail at least once -- this is just the every-dumb-twit-can-do-it test for merely getting a LEARNER's PERMIT and I was assured that it was so simple, I could do it with my eyes closed. Well ... I couldn't. It is especially annoyingirritating because poor Sz (this is to distinguish her from St, my co-host in Vermont) had to detour from her son's piano lesson to get me to the location of the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles -- and I probably don't need to add that it is HALF AN HOUR away, in the direction of the piano lesson, but still NOT actually next door to it) where I could take the test and wait while I flubbed out. It is somehow immeasurably worse to tank at something if it means that another person is going to have drive me out to that location YET AGAIN next week. And she was supremely kind and unbothered by it! There ARE saints amongst us.

I have kicked myself so thoroughly, I am feeling a-glow with masochism.

And because I am helplessly inclined to look for reasons-to-be-grateful (I'm convinced it's got something to do with neuro-chemicals. I believe I have a chemical mix in my brain that ensures a sunny disposition REGARDLESS of my actual circumstances. This is not really a good thing, though it sounds like it might be. It means that even in the ultimate hell of the Inferno, I would be saying something like: well, it could be worse -- I could be in a better place but living in terror of being HERE!) I've decided that it's really for the best coz ... ummm ... most things come so easily to me that I don't value them. In this case, for instance, I glanced at the questions and thought, Ooo! I can DO this! Whereas now, on account of this ignominiosity the next time around I'm going to be crazy with anxiety!!

Right. And now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to that nice warm whip ...


FJ said...

Good to know that there is somebody like me...who failed the driving test..:)

maddy said...

hey, as they say there is a time for everything. I guess it is your time to drive.

nevertheless, two comments
1. presuming u are in the US, two feet should be sufficient for two pedals brake and accelerator, right? no clutch out there.
2. your situation is infinitely better than what I went through, after 25 years of driving experience around the world, i moved to UK recently where of course you have to get a NEW UK licence. and the driving test is like no another, written test, hazard perception test, look see under the hood and a one hour driving test..

NOW all this is a bigger pain for someone who has driven for ages..

especially so since I got the licence only after 3 attempts.

Dont worry you will get it

Marginalien said...

Thanks fj and maddy -- I am totally delighted to get encouragement!! Yes, I was in the US at the time of the test and YES, there were THREE pedals: my friends in Vermont are purists who prefer Real Cars.

Everyone assures me that it's best to learn on a manual-drive car, but personally I'd be only too thrilled to drive something clutchless, gearless, wheel-less and (preferably) in a country with no other drivers or pedestrians.

Still. Your story allows me to feel a little less idiotic, thank you! While I am very sure that I really AM losing neurons at a seriously unprecedented rate, it helps to know that even those with all their grey matter intact can fail a driving test. I'll try to ignore the fact that your test was in the UK, which, as everyone knows, is Driving Test Nightmareland -- and yes, I'll persevere ...