Wednesday, September 17, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 27
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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on July 2nd, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 17 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 17

'Til death do us start

The future Mrs. Krider gives Rob some driving lessons

BY ROB KRIDER


When I first met my wife, she tried to kill me. No, it wasn’t an intentional thing. My wife had just met me, so no intent or malice was involved (it would be much later in our marriage that she would want to intentionally kill me). But back then she was just a cute girl who didn’t know me very well, so she wasn’t intending to murder me or anything. She accidently almost killed me because she was simply a bad driver. I blame the whole incident on her father. It was his job to teach her how to drive. Years after we were married, I found out that my wife’s daddy intended to teach her how to drive properly, but she scared him so badly while behind the wheel that he decided to never ride with her again. Therefore, she learned nothing from him, so that’s why she almost killed me.

During her first DMV driving test, (spoiler alert: She fails this one) she actually crashed her car in the DMV parking lot. The instructor told her not to worry about the accident because she had failed the driving test way before the collision occurred. She went back a few weeks later and somehow passed the driving test (for the record, she was cute), and she was awarded the privilege to drive terribly while unsupervised anywhere she wanted. Nice work, DMV. I almost died because of you.

I was the lucky guy who met her in college (after her dad forgot to teach her to drive and the DMV let her slip through the system), and thus I had the terrifying experience of allowing her the opportunity to attempt to kill me. It all happened after she left her headlamps on one night and killed her battery (the first death). Clue No. 1 she was not good with cars. Being the nice guy that I was and wanting the chance to chum it up with her (since she was very cute), I told her I could give her a jump. Yes, the word “jump” was a double meaning for me at the time; I was a guy, she was a girl, you know how these things go. I didn’t know at the time that I could die.

Her car was parked in the college dormitory lot on a sloped portion of the pavement facing a wooden fence. I parked my car next to hers and got my jumper cables out. I connected the two batteries together and stood looking at her engine. I was standing between her car’s front bumper and a fence. Standing between her car and a fence was mistake No. 2 on my part. The first mistake was offering a cute girl a jump start.

After the battery charged for a minute or so, I told her to start her car. She depressed her clutch pedal with her left foot and then put her right foot on the gas pedal to give the car a little gas as she turned the ignition key. This left the car in the neutral position without the emergency brake on or her foot on the brake pedal, which caused the car to begin to roll downhill. This was bad because I was in front of the car, soon to be pinned against fence. I realized at this moment some important life lessons: 1) Don’t stand in front of cars. 2) Don’t stand in front of cars being driven by cute girls who don’t know a darn thing about cars, or physics, or really anything in life other than just being cute. 3) Being cute allows women to survive on this planet, but, unfortunately, for that to happen some men may have to die in the process.

As the car continued to roll toward the fence and my legs were certain to be crushed at any second, I screamed, “Press the brake!” The cute girl pressed the clutch in further. The car continued to roll and I continued to panic.

“Stop, stop, stop!” I yelled.

The car continued to roll downhill as I tried to awkwardly dance my way backward, attempting not to be instantly killed. I was sure I would be dead, or at least spend the next year of college on crutches if I was lucky. I was pretty certain I would end up a double amputee all because I wanted to flirt with a cute girl—a cute girl who knew nothing about cars (or gravity, it turned out). Suddenly, my back was against the fence. I could feel the bumper beginning to put pressure on my legs when … she pulled up the emergency brake, saved my legs, and, ultimately, my life. It was very close. I was freaked.

With a calm, cute-girl voice, she asked, “Should I have pulled the emergency brake on before I tried to start the car?”

 I couldn’t answer her. I needed a moment. I looked down and was glad to see that I still had my legs and other more important parts.

 She was oblivious to what had just occurred and asked, “Can I start the car now? I’m actually running a bit late.”

 I took a deep breath and said, “Let me move out of the way, and then, yes, you can start the car.”

I climbed out of the bad situation and told her to try again. She turned the key, and her car fired right up. I removed the battery cables and closed her hood. She smiled, looking very cute, and then began to back her car up. I started to clean up my tools and close the hood on my own car. As she began to pull away, I yelled out to her, “What are you late for?”

The cute girl—the one who almost killed me, the one who would someday be my wife (but not on this day)—said, “I’m meeting a guy for coffee. It’s like a first-date thing.”

What? Damn! I gave her a jump start so she could meet another guy?

I learned a lot that day. Even though that cute girl (someday to become my wife, whom I love) couldn’t drive to save her life (or my own), she could drive me crazy.

 

After that incident, Rob and his wife’s first road trip was on a train. Send comments through the executive editor at rmiller@newtimesslo.com.