21 July 2006

we are failures! big big F

so we both just failed our first attempt at passing the driving test in the ol' GB. those of you who know us know that we drive. we have driven for many many years. we are very competent, safe, and well-rounded drivers. I was even going to take one of those fun BMW driving schools at one point to get to know my car a bit better--that kind of driver. and yet.

reasons for failing are even more frustrating than, well, failing. (oh, and the £50 each time each of us takes this thing isn't helping at all with the frustration levels)

reason #1: no MSM. what is MSM you ask? well, it's a mineral that is often included in supplements for women to help joints and bones. oh wait, no it's not--it means: mirror-signal-manoeuver. every single time. think about it. any time you signal, you need to be looking in the mirror first. so, you are in the left lane of a road (remember, you're driving on the wrong side of the road, here, for those in the non-GB/Japan/Australia/India ROW) and you are about to turn left. before you turn on your blinker to indicate this left turn, you must look in your mirror. you're not moving the car anywhere, you're just indicating your imminent left turn from the left lane. fun. and not in any way safe, either. you're in the roundabout now, and you want to make sure that you exit at the correct exit, which is the next one. should you: (1) keep your eye on the suspicious car trying to edge into the roundabout, (2) look to your right to make sure the car at your right side isn't also exiting and potentially about to cut you off, or (3) look in the rear-view mirror. answer, of course, is (3). aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

reason #2: parking brake. one must use this all the time apparently. when you are stopped at a traffic light, you are required to put the parking brake on. this is so that if something should happen, it will take you a full extra 5 seconds to move the car to escape whatever is happening. right. that makes sense. I think that one shouldn't be in control of the car at all times. right. got it. and the $3 parking brake works so much better than the $500 worth of disc brakes I've got on the car. sure. aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!

reason #3: we're american. der. nuf said.

reason #4: milking the public for loads of money. thus far the cost has been (this is each, not both):
£38: to apply for the provisional license
£25: to take the theory test (that one we both passed with flying colours)
£48: to take the practical test
and now, another £48 to take the practical test again
oh, and the only way to know the MSM crap is to pay over £200 for 12 weeks of driving school. to learn what we already know how to do.

in principle, I'm totally behind actually making people, oh, learn to drive, say, before getting behind the wheel. but they are testing us on MSM and use of parking brake, not how we drive. I managed to avoid two reckless drivers on my test, as well as three guys getting a washing machine off of a truck on the main road; Sam had about the same.

what can I say. aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!


Transient Gadfly said...

As my father-in-law says in regards to all such topics, "Games have rules."

markos moulitas said...

MSM doesn't mean mainstream media?

Number Three said...

Markos reads secondamericano? I'm jealous. (When I clicked on the name, it took me to dKos.)

My favorite part is "manoeuver." When I make a lane change, I don't think of that as a maneuver. I think of it as a . . . lane change. But how vigilant must one be in terms of the rearview mirror check? Will a quick "head fake" work, or do you need to stare longingly into the mirror?

I guess what I'm trying to say is . . . fake it.

But you can't fake not being American, I guess. Oh well.

Sam said...

Would have responded sooner, but I've been seething with anger and trying to overcome it.

TG: can you explain what your father-in-law means by that? Seriously, you're over my head here.

Emery: A) how thrilled were we about our MVP commenter, and B) evidently you can't fake it. I swear I checked my mirror more than 75 times over the course of my 40+ minutes of driving. I looked in the mirrors constantly, but I failed specifically for failin on 3 or 4 occasions to look into the rearview mirror immediately before putting my turn signal on. See....still seething.

Transient Gadfly said...

"Games have rules" means to point out that the thing in which you are participating (either willingly or unwillingly) will have arbitrary rules that are, in many many (many many many) cases, utterly ridiculous, pointless, dangerous, and clearly designed only to generate revenue for the powers that be. It is, in these cases, best to remember that you really are playing a game, and that if you object to the rules, your only other real option is not to play.

Bono said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure you can fake any identity you want.