When I was 16, after taking driving class summer school sessions, I eventually applied for my driver's license. I passed the theory part - no worries--but then, ....the driving part! I handled myself fairly well, including a hand-brake release on a steep hill, but told the officer that I could not parallel park. Everything was going fairly well, when to my surprise we pulled up outside of the courthouse centre, (where drivers were being tested) and the officer asked me to parallel park between the 2 police cars sitting there.
I was devastated! I nervously attempted to do this impossible task for me, (legally blind in my left eye, with perfect vision in my right eye!)
I sort of made it into the parking spot, but in my process of doing so- slightly hit the police car in front of me, and yep! Hit the police car behind me too! I was devastated! I turned to the officer and filled with disappointed anger yelled:
"Right! So now you are going to fail me! I told you it was impossible for me to do this task! I think I did everything else OK--so go ahead- make your day! Fail me!"
He stopped and looked at me. Sat for a few minutes in his seat next to me, then signed off on his report for my test. Turning to me, he said:
"You passed. But you must promise, never, never to parallel park!"
"Oh, Sir. I promise! Why would I attempt it?"
"Well, OK then, here is your test result--congratulations--you have passed!'
I was so over-whelmed that I just jumped out of the car (after looking both ways) and almost did a victory dance!
Now, this pre-story leads to my main story which I will now lay out in front of you.....
About maybe 8-9 years ago, I had to pick my youngest daughter up from school, and take her to the doctor. It was mid-to late afternoon, and I knew it would be impossible to find a parking place in the City due to this. But I persevered, as after having to leave my office and then pick her up from her school, the task involved had taken more time than I had intended and we were now running late. In luck I found a parking space, but it was a parallel parking one--in this case I was able to drive right into it. I didn't damage the car in front of me, and feeling so happy with myself, Maddie and I jumped out of the car and ran into the Doctor's office.
Probably about an hour went by, and we had the test results of Maddie's exam, and were walking to our car, when I noticed 2 police officers (male and female) plus a regular person, standing outside of my car. Wondering why, I walked up, stood next to one of the officers and stood there for a few moments, also, just looking at my car. Then I turned to the male Officer and asked him.
"Officer, what are we looking at?"
"Do you own this car?" he replied.
"Yes! Is there a problem? Did something happen?" I suddenly thought of a big dent on the other side where someone may have side-swiped my car and damaged it. I started to feel awful.
"Can you see how close you parked to the car in front of you. This young gentleman here cannot get his car out of his parking space, because he has no room to maneuver!"
"Oh", I replied, looking at his car and my front bumper. "But I had a Doctor's appointment for my daughter and was running late, and didn't realise and I feel so awful!"
"Did it ever occur to you that other people may also have appointments and this young man has been stuck here for a long time now. This isn't a good thing!'
I felt terrible. I turned to the young man and said I would call his appointment and explain and tell them how it was all my fault. I really felt awful. Maddie just stood there watching, not really surprised. She was used to me by now.
"It is all my fault! I told my driving officer I couldn't parallel park when I was 16, and he made me promise I would never ever do it. I did it didn't I? I broke my promise to him and now have caused all of this trouble..I can't parallel park! It's like I'm dyslexic with parking or something--does that ever happen to you....no, I suppose not. Now what?"
By this stage, the female officer shook her head, and got back into the police car, which was parked directly next to mine, blocking that lane of traffic..I think she had just given up. I watched her walk away, and turned to the officer saying:
"I'm a bad person. What should we do?"
"First of all, how about backing up your car so that this young gentleman can get to his appointment, and then we will have a talk."
So I did just that. I backed the car up, and didn't hit the tree behind me. Getting out of the car
I turned to the young man, and asked again if I could make a call on his behalf to his appointment, but he just shook his head too, got in his car, and drove away.
I walked around to the curb again and started talking to the officer still standing there. Maddie was enjoying all of this, I think.
" Do you know that you have broken so many laws here, that I could throw a slew of tickets at you? Why did you do this?" I told him all about my driving exam experience, and how awful I felt.
"I've broken my promise, and now look what happened. I knew I shouldn't have parked here. But it looked simple enough. Guess not, huh?"
"No, you did a pretty bad job of parking."
He stood and looked at me, and I felt just really bad. I mean I was to blame..I had made a promise and now had broken it. I knew I should never have broken that promise!
Finally he turned to me, and putting his ticketing book in his back pocket, he said very firmly:
" I will let you go this time. I think you have learned a lesson here. But you must promise not only me, but everyone who drives, that you will never ever parallel park again. Is that understood?"
"Oh, yes, Sir! I do most solemnly promise. As you can see I obviously was right the first time. I can't parallel park!"
"OK, then. Would you do me a favour?"
"Of course, what do you want me to do?"
"Just go straight home. Don't stop and park anywhere else today."
"Sure, Officer! I promise!"
And then...I did just that!
Sidenote to this story:
When I got home, Chris asked me how my afternoon had gone. I told him it had been interesting. (I figured he didn't need to know how stupid I was this time.) He told me that he had received a call from the police this afternoon, and that apparently there was a problem with our car.
Looking at him in surprise, I said "How did they do that?"
Apparently according to my car registration they were able to trace my work office, and my office gave them Chris' phone number at his office. While they were talking to Chris I had come out of the Doctor's surgery..and so the story continued.
That night I had to promise also again that I would never, ever parallel park. It was actually getting easier to make this promise. I never wanted to go through that again!
When I got to work the next morning, word had spread throughout my university office area, and everyone wanted to know why the police had a 'man-hunt out on me.'
They shook their heads a lot too. Funny that....