Tales From A Hungry Life

March 19, 2014

The Teenager’s Guide to Driving

by Maria Schulz

Some of the teenagers in the neighborhood have finished their driver’s ed classes, and you know what that means? Pretty soon, they’ll start drag racing and singing: “Go Greased Lightning, you’re burning up the quarter mile. Greased Lightning! Go Greased Lightning!”

You're burning up the quarter mile!

You’re burning up the quarter mile!


Oh wait…this isn’t Grease. As the kids might say, this is like, for real.

So what does it actually mean? It means that our teens are about to become licensed citizens who will encounter the joys of driving on a daily basis. Since most of them are spending their lives studying for the SAT, I thought I’d give them a little information, in a format they’re familiar with, to help them learn some important driving facts. Parents, feel free to administer this test as often as necessary.

10 Simple Questions For Your Teen Driver

1. At the start of every trip, it is important to always:

a) Adjust your mirrors so you can see traffic

b) Tilt your rearview mirror so you can apply makeup while you drive

c) Use your mirrors to check if there’s any dye from your Big Gulp on your teeth

d) You mean I have mirrors?

Answer: A, and yes, you have mirrors.

2. When driving in the left lane, make sure you always:

a) Drive at least 75 mph faster than everyone else

b) Hit the gas if someone tries to go around you

c) Press the gas pedal hard enough to plunge it through the floorboards

d) Obey the speed limit, especially if you see a cop or your parents

Answer: D, only obey it all the time, even if cops and parents are not visible.

I think I'll go for a drive

I think I’ll go for a drive

3. The person in the car ahead of you is so ancient that carbon dating could be used to accurately predict her age. You should:

a) Scream out the window, “get your a#$ outta my lane, you dinosaur!” even though she probably won’t hear you anyway

b) Slow down. NOW.

c) Learn how to spot such “dinosaurs” from about 200 yards away so that you can avoid them in the future.

d) Blast your horn at them repeatedly so they will either move or drop dead, enabling you to make the next light.

Answer: B. Go. Slow. NOW.

4. You are driving when your favorite song comes on the radio. You must:

a) Lower all the windows and sing to the top of your lungs

b) Steer with your feet while dancing to the Bom Bom song

c) Call everyone you know with your non-hands-free device and tell ‘em what’s on

d) Pay attention to the road

Answer: D, moron.

I like your style of romping

I like your style of womping

5. It is raining/snowing/hailing outside. Now would be a good time to:

a) Wonder why you didn’t replace your broken windshield wipers

b) See if you can make the car do “donuts” in the middle of the road

c) Drive in a zig-zag pattern, just like that cool TV commercial with the tiny legalese at the bottom that says: “Professional driver on closed road. Do not attempt.” But, like, you’re gonna DO IT!

d) Slow down. NOW

Answer: D. As in “Duh.”

Uh oh.

Uh oh.

6. While driving home from a keg party, you notice a police check point. You:

a) Hook a U-ey and GET THE HELL OUTTA THERE.

b) Put down your phone and hope the coppers didn’t see you texting

c) NEVER EVER DRINK AND DRIVE. Or text and drive.

d) Down a box of tic tacs right before you get to checkpoint Charlie

Answer: C. As your kind says, “obvi.”

7. Your Junior License clearly states that you may only drive to work and school from 7 am – 9 pm. So that means:

a) It’s okay to drive to the movies at 10 pm every night of the week

b) I can only drive to school or work from 7 am – 9 pm.

c) Um, like, if I’m going to Sandy’s house for, like, a party, and like, we talk about stuff that happened in Mr. Schaeffer’s class, like, does that count?

d) But officer, I’m all out of ring dings.

Answer: B. Like, really.



8. Your Junior License also states that you are NOT ALLOWED to have other teenagers in your car. So that means:

a) No teenagers in your car

b) Your friends must walk, even though their leg muscles atrophied a long time ago from lack of use

c) Like, nobody really expects you to follow that rule. Right?

d) What’s the point of having a license if you can’t get 50 friends into your car?

Answer: A. As your hero, SpongeBob might say: Really, really, really, REALLY.

9.  Your fellow classmates are taking Driver’s Ed classes now. This means you should:

a) Ride up to their bumpers and play chicken with them

b) Get one of those “truck” horns and blast it repeatedly

c) Give the “newbies” lots of room

d) Drive in a zig-zag motion to completely FREAK THEM OUT.

Answer: C. It’s not rocket science, genius.

To be used whenever driving

To be used whenever driving

10. Congratulations! You’ve turned 17 and now you’re a full-fledged driver. To celebrate, you should:

a) Pick up every teenager around and cram them into your car, like the clowns you are

b) Drive like you have a brain in your head

c) See if you can get the car to go airborne when you gun it down a hill

d) Blast your new “La Cucaracha” horn

Answer: B. You do have a brain in there, right?


Strawberry Spinach Salad


Brain food.

Brain food.

This recipe got 5 stars and looks delicious. I chose this recipe because it made me think of my salad days, and because it’s important to keep your strength up when driving and/or dealing with teens.

So, Hungry Lifers: what’s your best tip for a new teen driver? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks!





  1. Maria, I always remember my mother saying, “there are a lot of leaves on the ground and it’s been raining, so it’s slippery out”. Yes, that was my only driving tip. The good thing is I think of her whenever I’m faced with wet leaves and I’ve told my kids that she said that to me. Hopefully they will think of there grandmother too and drive carefully! First ride for my kids with their license 7/11 and Taco Bell. I don’t remember mine but I’m guessing it was very similar. It definitely wasn’t to buy Strawberry Spinach salad.

    Comment by Suzanne — March 19, 2014 @ 7:39 am | Reply

    • The Strawberry Spinach Salad is for the parents, who will need to keep their strength up. I think your mother was very wise; those wet leaves will get you every time.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 6, 2014 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  2. Can’t believe your “baby” has reached this milestone! Tips for driving? Well, I guess my biggest one was my mom’s who said just don’t drive. Take buses and the train!

    Comment by Lisa — March 19, 2014 @ 8:41 am | Reply

    • Queens was the place to be for that…unfortunately, you could grow old waiting for the bus around here.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 6, 2014 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  3. What do you mean “Dinosaur”? AND “Carbon Dating”.? Never mind! My friend “Butch” got his license and a car at 16 because his father fixed his birth certificate or something because we couldn’t drive until we were 18 back in the day. We were riding one Saturday evening when for some odd reason we found ourselves on someone’s lawn which caused Butch to make a very sharp turn which made the passenger’s front door open and I found myself flying, only a little bit, through the air and landing on the lawn which caused the dog inside the house to bark furiously because some interlopers were on his property. Butch sped away leaving me on the lawn, but no worry he returned after going around the block picked me up and we returned to the bar for some libations to relax our nerves and have a few more laughs. Yeah these kids today just don’t have the brains we did back in the day. By the way we only had six in the car, three in front and three in back. Remember there was no console in the front.

    Comment by Bglou — March 19, 2014 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  4. My tip is not for teens it’s for their parents. Don’t let them drive a new/good car. Although they have a license that doesn’t mean they know how to drive. Get them a car that is reliable but if it gets a ding you will not have a heart attack. I can’t tell you how many times I came home to see my daughter’s car with a new decoration in it. Thank god I gave her my ten year old (again reliable) car. She drove it into the ground and learned (made her mistakes) on it. Now that she just bought her first new car you should see how careful she is with it. And remember when she calls it a piece of junk don’t take it to heart because you would have killed to have been given a car for free at 17 that was a piece of junk.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — March 19, 2014 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

    • No car my child gets will ever be as bad as my first car–as long as there’s a rust-free floor pan, a working heater, and upholstery that isn’t torn to bits, she’s ahead of me! But don’t worry: I will try to find an old, beat up, “runs well” car for my teen. Got it!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 6, 2014 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: