Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A boy that men make drive

Every year, our administrators evaluate us.


It's not too bad when it's done by supervisors who barely know you and who don't really care.














But when it's a supervisor who has actually decided to pay attention to you, it's not good.






I am not even exaggerating; after saying that, this supervisor sputtered out the word 'motherfucker' like three more times, disconnected from anything else he was saying.


I think he figured I was a 'jive turkey' and he had to 'bring it down' to 'rap' with me in a way I could 'grok.'


Some men meet me and just think I have a chip on my shoulder; that I am all manitude and need to have a plank removed from the Jenga tower of my ego.




No, you men!


The squint is from staring at the sun too much when I was little and nearly blinding myself.




The granite physique, the posture that seems to be all attitude, just needs to be seen from the side for the truth to be revealed.



Why is it that men who like to sound the depths of other men never take the time to look at them from the side???

Sometimes I write sentences and think, 'what the hell am I even talking about?' Tee-hee.

Which brings me to Driver's Ed.


My driver's ed teacher was a Crimean war vet who was part metal because the Saxons had rained too many flaming balls of pitch down upon him from the safety of their comfy, comfy castle.


Mr. Jubbs took one look at me and thought, this young punk likes to believe he's too cool for school. Wait till he gets in MY car....I'll turn that Eddie Haskell into a Lumpy Rutherford.

We began in the parking lot.


"Start the car!" he barked.


I began to turn the key, but it was not fast enough.


"Start it! Start the car! Start it right now! Turn the key! Turn it!"


Whoa.


I was not prepared for this.


There were four people in the car:

Me, now sweating profusely in my favorite sky blue tank top; Mr. Jubbs, his orthopedic robot shoe already planted on the "helper brake"; Inga from Germany, one of several exchange students who ended up in our little town and thought, "Mein gott, how did we lose the war??"


And then Chip.


The measure of hatred that Mr. Jubbs held for me was only outweighed by the absolute love he bore for Chip.


You could see it the moment he looked into the backseat and saw Chip there, a glowing little elfin farm boy.

 "Aw Chip...aw my god Chip....you? In my car?" Mr. Jubbs began to cry. "All this time...I thought...I figured...you know since the missus passed....I just thought....I gave up, you know? I gave up and thought the sun would never shine on me again. That all the light was gone.....

He broke down.

Chip just smiled the guileless smile of a Somali refugee child.


Mr. Jubbs wiped his eyes and turned his attention back to me.


A long shadow fell across his face.


"Oh," he muttered, "you."


He squinted up at the afternoon sun.


"Well, get on with it then, let's watch this train wreck happen."


For the first few hours, we went over the basics.


Every mistake I made would provoke Mr. Jubbs into fits of rage. 


My third attempt at parallel parking was especially inspiring to him: "You see?? Do you see!?!? This is taking you down a notch, isn't it? Making your pride sting....making it hurt."


He rocked and sputtered in a fit of angry glee.


When my torture session was over, I crawled into the backseat, utterly spent.


Inga got behind the wheel, and it took Mr.Jubbs three minutes to make her cry.


He took no satisfaction in it though; I guess breaking little German girls who are sensitive, artistic, and far from home is like throwing a water balloon at a fat person.


You really can't miss.

When Inga finished and climbed into the back seat with me, we hugged each other tightly.

Chip began to drive.

"Oh, yes, yeah Chip," Mr.Jubbs said. "You're an old pro at this, ain't ya?" 

"How's your mom, Chip?"

"Yeah? She still make those lemon bars to pass out around the Buck Pole?"

Mr.Jubbs stared wistfully out the window.



Chip pulled into a gas station.


Mr.Jubbs turned around to fix me with his iron gaze.


"Now Chip and I are going to hit the soda fountain, and I want you to fill up the tank. Can you handle that, Fatty Arbuckle?"


I nodded.


And here for your perusal is one of my secret shames: I had never pumped gas.


I understood the principle at work, sure, a tube goes in a hole and your car can drive again. I wasn't a total idiot.

 
But how do you make the tube talk to the car, what are all those whirling numbers, what's this trigger, what are those sounds??


I looked at Inga for help, but she had retreated to the far corner of the backseat with her hands over her ears, endlessly muttering 'O Tannenbaum'.

Time was running out, and I was alone.

Jubbs and the Chipster would soon be back, and oh how they would have a good laugh at the manboy; his monkey brain so befuddled by the rocket science known colloquially as "pumping gas."


Forget pride; it would be my very sense of self that would be shattered and flung about the street.


I must make gas go into this car.


I must.


I turned to see a classmate from my high school, one of those trade school kids who disappeared on a bus everyday and returned hours later with secret knowledge of things like "welding" and "print making."


I remember watching him lift one butt cheek off of a chair to make farts in chemistry class. He called it "kickin' bass." It was the first time I had ever seen someone do that.


"I...I've never pumped gas before."


He looked me up and down, and then nodded, knowingly.


"I won't laugh at you," he said, "least not now anyways. You look like you been beat down enough for one day. I'll do it."


I wanted to hold him to myself and not let go; to sob all my tension, all my grief into the the shoulder of his ZZ Top t-shirt.


If he had hinted at any kind of an opening, I would have been in there, hugging like a bro.
 

But he just took the pump from my hand and got to work.


I marveled at how his hands flew across the buttons;
so many choices made without any hesitation.


Here was a man, I thought to myself.

The pump made a 'click' sound.



"Its broken!" I bleated.


He patted me like he was soothing a rabbit who just now had caught its leg in a snare.


"No, no, that just means it's full."

Mr. Jubbs was emerging from the gas station.

"You better go," I told my savior.

"I ain't scared of him," he said.

"I know. I know you're not. But still....there'll be trouble."

"All right then." He pulled the brim of his hat low over his face, lit a cigarette, and strode off down the street.

Little farts eked out of his black jeans.

"Who was that?" Mr. Jubbs demanded to know.

"N-n-nobody!" I stammered. And then, sighing heavily, I turned back to the car, back to Chip, back to an undeserved flailing of my imaginary pride.


"It was no one," I whispered. 



46 comments:

  1. Our driver's ed teacher was like that, but only to the girls. He hated women for some reason. No one else liked him either, but he was ruthless to the females in the class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this guy was pretty much the same way.
      Women and boys in sky blue tank tops.

      Delete
  2. I would totally give you a Walrus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks Mandy.
      If only that weren't so meaningless...

      Delete
  3. I find the ZZ Top wearers to be the most helpful too. Bless their furry guitar hearts.

    Also - your donate button doesn't show up on my computer. Is it me?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi bigavocado! I think I fixed my donate button-now accepting 1000 dollar denominations!
      And there might be a valuable sociological study that could be done, finding a correlation between lovers of ZZ Top and mechanical usefullness.

      Delete
  4. Good lord. That was epic. We had two driver's ed. teachers at my high school. One was a mean son of a gun. He'd scare the crap out of you just for fun. He had a buzz haircut and a tan that told me he'd spent too many hours on a tractor or outside scaring the crap out of things. I wasn't sure which. Did I mention he was scary? He'd shout things while you were driving like "There ain't no invisible line down the middle of the road to keep that other car from hittin' you!" *shudder*

    And, if I got an animal sticker for my work evaluation I'd be really excited! Yay for stickers! We don't get stickers. We get words. Boring words.

    Lastly, where might I procure one of those delightful bubble pipes you've depicted in frame 6? FUN!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. He sounds pretty bad....
      No stickers for him, I'd wager.
      I will sell you a PICTURE of that bubble pipe through my zazzle store, but thats about the best I can do ya.

      Delete
  5. Trying to pick a favorite line. Can't do it, but this is one of my favorites: "...a tube goes in a hole and your car can drive again. I wasn't a total idiot." probably because of the image that followed it.

    Just a wonderful post!

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    1. Thanks Alan! You are such a great and a loyal reader/commenter. I am always happy to hear from you!

      Delete
  6. Somehow, Gweenbrick. (and it's not a bad thing), this post wasn't the humorous one for a change. It's actually a very sad incident. And God bless that ZZ Top guy...
    Chuck Walrus, I'd give you a dolphin! A big friendly dolphin! =)

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    1. Thanks for the dolphin, Remya! Its funny that you found it sad. I love seeing how people react to my stuff, especially when its not a reaction I anticipate.

      Delete
  7. SLubberdegullion.
    Awesome.
    My driver's ed teacher said that all women were bad drivers because they wore high heels. He wore a cravat. It was the 1980's.
    Elpoo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to google a cravat, but now that I did, I want one. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  8. "Why is it that men who like to sound the depths of other men never take the time to look at them from the side"

    That ^ is quite profound.

    As are you at times.

    ps In the 'you failed' pic all I saw was a giant pair of boobies staring down at you. If only eh....?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Profundity is in the eye of the boobie.

      Delete
  9. Are Driver's Ed teachers gym teachers who can no longer function in that capacity or something? Mine only had one eye, and I had to drive him to his house and sit in his driveway while he ate his lunch. Thank god he didn't try to make me pump gas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wife's instructor did that same thing!!! Weird, who do these guys think they are, special ed teachers???
      ba-dum ching

      Delete
  10. Love the action picture of Mr Jubbs's's's hed swivel.

    Many nuggets of beauty and prose here but I think, above all, I can relate to the farts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks the Jules, I figured that was the most relatable element.
      For you.
      Which is basically just saying your comment back to you.

      Delete
  11. There was a picture there that reminded me of a scene from the Alien movie with Sugorney Weaver. No wait, there may have actuaLLy been two.

    U B Special

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it the one of me hugging that guy's face?

      Delete
    2. The "Alien" picture was the one with the caption "hehe...hehe I'm so happy you failed ...." with the blue drool and the eyeballs occupying approximately 24.7 percent of the picture area (I actuaLLy measured and calculated the 24.7)

      The one hugging the guy's face would most likely be a different movie.

      Delete
  12. so many teachers have no business working with the public, let alone with children. they seem to revel in their ability to bring students to tears and humiliation.
    but you learned to pump gas that day, didn't you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, since that guy did it, I really didn't.
      Give a man a fish, he eats the teacher, or however that goes

      Delete
  13. Although this post was laugh out loud funny - I felt so bad for you in that car...! Thank goodness that high school guy came about and helped you with the pump - I dread to think what sort of state you would have been in otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, no worse for wear I suppose...
      Don't feel bad for me, I may not have had the attitude that guy projected on me, but I was a little weasel anyways

      Delete
  14. Maybe he was an angel...
    Love the face hugger.

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    1. Oh cool..he did kind of look like Michael Landon and he did kind of fade out when I wasn't looking after solving all my life's problems

      Delete
  15. This is my new all-time favourite Gweenbrick post. I died laughing at the picture of Mr Jubbs the cyborg. At least I died happy.

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    1. Really??? It is so gratifying to hear that, because it took me a long time to do it...and I live for praise

      Delete
  16. Epic post. I had the exact opposite Driver's ed experience. My teacher was an extremely sexy, 20-something blonde named Ms. Carter. She wore inappropriatly short skirts and revealing blouses. She was so hot, in fact, that I was totally unable to concentrate on learning how to drive. I failed and had to take summer school. Even though she gave me an F in her class, it was still the best class I ever took.

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    1. Ha ha-that is so funny Kevin. I have never heard of hot driver's ed instructors-except in 80s movies and Motley Crue videos.

      Delete
  17. Wow. Your posts are so great to read! You have an excellent story-telling style, and this one in particular was hilarious. I loved the retina-eating sun!

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    1. Also, thank you for reassuring me that I wasn't the only one who looked at the duties of pumping gas with a blank mind and unspeakable horror. =P

      Delete
    2. Hi Ellen! Thanks for reading. I still get tense and sweaty when I have to get gas.....must be a very stupid form of PTSD

      Delete
  18. I saw an episode of Save by the Bell years ago, in which the gang was in driver's ed. I never thought it was real. Driver's ed? I don't know.

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    1. Its not nearly as great as they made it out to be, I'll tell you.
      By the way, what were your ideas for a gweenbrick sweatshirt? Email me!

      Delete
  19. i am very glad that clay baboons sent me here... that was epic!

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    1. Hi leigh! Thanks for checking me out-clay baboons is great!

      Delete
  20. Hey, at least you're booty looks good in the side view! *thumbs up*

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh yeah, you should see me shake it too. Its like watching jello leap from the tray and run off..
      er
      yep just like that

      Delete
  21. For each Fatty Arbuckle there is an equal but opposite Virginia Rappe scandal with a much deserved but far too late acquittal.
    Sigh.
    My drivers Ed teacher had breath so bad that it could melt the hair from your brows. Each careless mistake was one more chance for that hothouse of oozing halitosis to open and unleash its fury.

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  22. Oh GB. Wow. This is nothing like my driver education experience. I passed my drive part with flying colours, so much so that my instructor took me for a drink before I had to sit the written part. A drink. That's right, an alcoholic beverage. We laughed about old times and he patted me on the knee. Twice. I'm not sure if it was the drink or the knee pat, but I failed the written test and had to come back and sit it another day.

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  23. Little known fact, there is a separate level of hell reserved for Driving Ed Teachers. Dante just left that out in the final edit.

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