Motoring Right On Through To Your License

, , , , , | Learning | June 1, 2020

When I am twenty-two, I decide to get a license to drive the second-largest motorcycle, which is the best I can do at the time. (A2, for you EU-citizens out there.) In drivers’ ed for a normal car, I had teachers that I would classify as “meh” at best, but for the motorcycle lessons, my teacher is awesome and knows exactly how to motivate his students.

While I love the driving lessons, the thought of taking the practical exam makes me very nervous as I failed several times when getting a license to drive a car. My teacher has already asked which spot I would prefer for the driving exercises as he has the possibility to make a suggestion to the examiner — unofficially, of course.

One thing that I am scared of most is one of the basic exercises: driving in a perfect circle. It’s not that I can’t do it technically; it’s just that the radius isn’t marked on the ground and I am terrible at guessing how many metres I am from the centre. This goes for motorcycling, biking, or horseback riding — I just can’t do it.

My teacher knows this and tries to calm me down by explaining that the examiner can choose from several exercises but he can only choose one, which means that if I am tested in, for example, stop-and-go, I won’t have to do the circle. I am good at stop-and-go, so I really hope we will do that one.

Fifteen minutes before the exam, we stop at a gas station to fill up and check the tyre pressure. Nervous as I am, I do something stupid and fall down with the motorcycle, hurting my knee — but not so bad that I couldn’t continue — and breaking the clutch lever! I can’t drive like this safely so we stop at the motorcycle dealership and my teacher calls the examiner to tell him we will run late. While the lever is being replaced, I am standing outside in tears. This is about as bad as it can get.

My teacher tries to calm me down. “Okay, so that is done now; it’s over,” he says. “Now you can focus on the exam and pass it.”

“I can try,” I say, shakily.

My teacher says confidently, “No! We’re not here to try. It’s far too expensive for that. You’re gonna do it!”

Cheered up only a little, I start the exam. For the base exercises, my teacher makes sure we go to the place I know best. Now comes the part I am so scared of; will the examiner make me drive in circles? I try to tell myself how unlikely that is when I hear my teacher over the radio making a subtle suggestion to the examiner.

“So, which exercise should we do first? Stop-and-go or—”

“Yeah, yeah, do that,” the examiner says.

I immediately cheer up over the little trick my teacher pulled, even if, on second thought, the examiner probably knew exactly what was going on.

And that’s how my teacher chose the perfect spot for the exam, saved me from the possibility of circle driving, and later even told the examiner that a line I illegally crossed was absolutely impossible to see with the wet surface of the road. I passed on the first try!

To this day, I think he is the perfect teacher and if I ever find the money to do the license for big motorcycles, I will definitely go to him! Even if I still have a guilty conscience about denting that motorcycle.

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Rational, Considerate Humans Do Exist (We’re Shocked, Too)

, , , , , | Related | May 29, 2020

I am leaving a store when I pass a mother with her children. One of them points to an open disabled parking spot.

Child: “Mom, that spot’s open! We could have parked there!”

Mom: “No, that’s for people who have trouble walking. Grandpa says that if you park there when you don’t need it, my aunt will haunt you.”

I can’t help laughing, and the mom notices.

Mom: *Smiling* “My late aunt used a wheelchair. Dad made sure we kids knew not to park there unless we have a pass for it!”

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A Sprinkle Of The Lord

, , , , , | Right | May 24, 2020

My church has a “Two Wheel Ministry” in which everyone with a motorcycle gets together on the first Sunday of every month, weather permitting, and goes on a long ride together after service. The Pastor rides ahead of the group and the ones who run it run behind them in order to assist in keeping everyone together, as not everyone is used to riding in large groups.

On this particular ride, we’re about thirty bikes strong. Even though the weather is really nice, most people are dressed in their riding leathers and you wouldn’t automatically know we’re a bunch of church-goers out for fun.

We make our mid-trip stop, which is about an hour into the ride, to get gas and stretch. There happens to be a famous American coffee shop in the same parking lot and we all decide to have a short stop over to grab something to drink.

The look on the faces of the wait staff and the few customers as around fifteen of us file in is priceless. It is a mix of shock, fear, and confusion. Always being one to be able to read the room, the head of the motorcycle group turns around and addresses us.

Group Leader:Okay, listen up! Tall orders only! Anyone else getting whipped cream on their coffee?!”

Almost All Of Us Together: “I am!”

Me: “And yes! Yes, I do want sprinkles!”

I hear the door open and, without missing a beat, I hear my pastor shout:

Pastor: “Oh, heck yeah! SPRINKLES!”

The staff started laughing and you could see everyone relax. We introduced ourselves to the few customers there and the staff as we waited for our drinks. We picked up a few new members to the church that day, too. It was great.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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The Right Dentist Can Make You Smile In So Many Ways

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 19, 2020

Like a lot of people, I hate going to the dentist. My first memory of going to the dentist was traumatic and growing up I inherited my parent’s bad teeth, which made dental visits painful and embarrassing. Unfortunately, my attempts at better dental hygiene ended up ruining my teeth; it got to the point where every single tooth was rotting and needed to be pulled.

The first dentist I went to for a checkup and to discuss my options insisted on pulling my teeth that day. He went on and on about how the infection was going to spread to my brain and kill me. The staff insisted my insurance would cover it, but only the novocaine. He didn’t pull all my teeth — ten or less — and it lasted two hours. Later, I received a bill for all the little fees that the staff conveniently didn’t go over. I decided infection and potential death wasn’t too bad if it meant avoiding bills.

A couple of years later, after I had to switch insurance, and at the insistence of my therapists and case manager, I went to the dentist again — a different place this time.

The first visit was a check-up and only that. We talked about my options, and there was no pressure on what I should do or that I needed to get it done right then and there. The assistant even expressed sympathy when she saw how bad my teeth were instead of being judgmental. I set up several appointments to get my teeth pulled and get dentures.

Despite having to do everything in stages, the process was quick. My insurance would cover the surgery, but only the basics. The dentist, who had a heart of gold, gave me laughing gas anyway, no charge.

They made dentures on-site, so I was able to get dentures fitted as soon as I was healed. For the first time since I was a child, I smiled without covering my face and the staff was thrilled. I can’t thank them enough for all the kindness they showed me.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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If You’re Going To Be An A**, You’re Going To Get Slapped On It

, , , , , | Right | April 27, 2020

I am just at the end of my break, finishing off a call with my girlfriend right before going to the check out in time for my shift. A smiling young woman walks up to me with a few books, having overheard my call.

Customer: “Was that your boyfriend?”

Me: “No, that was my girlfriend, actually.”

Customer: “WHAT?! THAT’S DISGUSTING!”

I stare at her in shock, never having had a customer actually scream something bigoted at me.

Me: “Sorry, what?”

The woman grabs the books she bought and rips them out of my hands.

Customer: “DON’T TOUCH MY BOOKS, YOU GROSS LESBIAN! YOU’RE SICK!”

Suddenly, another customer walks by — a girl who looks to be about 14 or 15. Just as she passes us, she raises her hand and smacks the woman’s a**.

Girl: “Hey there, sexy.”

The girl winked at her with a grin and then sprinted out of the store, leaving the woman to just stand there in a stunned fury. She stomped out of the store, leaving her books behind.

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