Never turn! Never! (You coward!)
Good morning, boys and girls! Welcome to the George W. Bush School of Driver Education! My name’s George W. Bush – I own the place! – and I’m going to teach you how to drive just like I do.Now, before we start, I’d like to clear up something that one of you asked me about: my own driving record. Well, first off, I don’t have one! You can check anywhere you like and you won’t find a George W. Bush driving record. Nope. Just not there.You say you’ve heard rumors that I was involved in a couple of fender-benders, a couple of accidentalarities. Well, maybe I was and maybe I wasn’t. But even if I was, that’s all in the past – a week ago, at least. So I don’t think it makes any difference. And if you think it does, well, let me ask you this: What about that white powder I just might find in your glove compartment, hmm?So, if there are no more questions … and I trust there aren’t … let’s get on with the first lesson: the controls.When you sit in the driver’s seat, the first thing you’ll notice is a big, round, sort of wheel thing. We call that the steerage wheel. Some folks say it’s for changing direction. Well, what the heck good is that?Here at the George W. Bush Driving School, our first rule of safe driving is: Never change direction. Never! It’s not manly. It’s the coward’s way.Let’s say you’re driving a hundred miles an hour – I know, you want to go faster than that, but you’re just beginners, so we’ll keep it slow … you’re driving a hundred miles an hour, with all your friends in the car, and all of a sudden, you see you’re heading straight for a tree. What do you do?Did I hear someone say “Swerve”? Wrong answer! You flunk. But hey, that’s OK, don’t worry, flunking doesn’t mean a thing at the George W. Bush Driving School.But the point is, swerving is the wrong thing to do. Why heck, if you swerved all of a sudden, you’d panic all those people in the car. Did I just hear someone say, “Hit the brakes”? Gosh darn it, you flunk too.You never hit the brakes! That shows a lack of resolution and determination.No sir, when you see danger ahead, you don’t slow down and you don’t change direction. The best thing to do is to sit very still – for about seven minutes if you can. That way, everyone’ll know you’re not the kind of man who panics in an emergency.Besides, if you sit very still and you don’t turn the wheel, then you’re doing exactly the right thing.If you run into something, well, heck, whatever it was, it needed running into. It was out to get you – so you’re safer if you run smack into it. Teach it a lesson.Is there a question, there … in the back? What do you do if someone gets in your way? Aren’t you listening to me? If someone gets in your way, you run right over them! If you keep slowing down for people, you’ll never get anywhere!Do you think I got where I am today by worrying about people who get in my way? Heck no! Get in my way and I’m going to run you over. Any more questions? What do you do if you’re heading for a cliff? You keep the wheel steady, you keep your foot on the gas and – here’s the important part – you kind of narrow your eyes a little, like this, so you look like a real leader. People like a man who looks like a real leader.Oh, stop crying, you little sissy! Death before dishonorage.Here, let me cheer you up with a funny little story about the time I entered a stock car race. Well, boy howdy, we had ourselves one fine argument. To begin with, they wanted me to keep on turning. Well, you know I wouldn’t put up with that. But then they said that once I turned the wheel a little, I could just hold it steady and keep going around in a circle … and that kinda sounded OK.But then it turns out, all those race cars go around the track counter-clockery. And that means they’re turning LEFT!And that’s something I just won’t ever do.Not here at the George W. Bush School of Driver Education.Class dismissed!Andy Stone is former editor of The Aspen Times. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.