Once upon a time, my friends and family thought it would be a good idea if I learned how to drive. I’d managed to do so many other things that no one thought a legally blind girl could do, why not this? I’m not sure what they had planned for the vision test, but it never got that far. When I got to the actual driving portion of the program, it went a little something like this:
Little blind girl: (gripping the steering wheel) How do I turn this thing on?
Little blind girl’s friend: Put the key in the ignition and turn it.
LBG: OK. Where’s the ignition?
LBGF: Right here. You put the key in like… no, not that key…the really big one…you put it in the ignition here, and you turn it–no, that’s not far enough, a little more…
LBG: I think it’s stuck.
LBGF: Here, let’s switch places and I’ll get you set up.
(Shuffle around, Chinese fire drill style)
LBG: OK, so the car’s on, what do I…oh, my God, we’re moving, I’m not pushing any of the pedals, why are we moving if I’m not pushing any of the pedals??
LBGF: It’s OK, the car rolls a bit. Just steer where you want to go, we’ll get you comfortable with the steering wheel first–no, you put your hands at 10 and 2, just slide them over–how did you get your elbow around your neck like that?
LBG: Which one’s the brake? I really want to push the brake.
LBGF: The one on the left. No, the left, the left! Don’t think about insurance rates, don’t think about insurance rates…you’re doing great. Just ease up off the brake, now.
LBGF: Chris, it’s fine, you’re not going to do any damage to anyone at this speed.
LBG: No. I like the brake. I feel we’ve become very close.
LBGF: Chris, you can’t date the brake. Take your foot off the brake. Come on, just a little…there you go. Now, just tap the gas, just to get used to it.
LBG: Are you sure?
LBGF: Yes, you’ll be fine. Just tap the gas–holy crap, what was that noise? Hang on, let me just get out of the car for a minute…Chris, you’ve got to hit the brake–no, the brake! The brake!
(Screech, crash, cut to State Trooper arriving at the scene)
State Trooper: So, whose idea was it to let the blind girl drive?
And thus concluded my adventures in driving. I may have exaggerated a little bit, but not actually that much. Really, I just added the State Trooper. Discrimination against the blind in driving laws is a fantastically good idea. I’m all about the discrimination. Bring it on.