Left Turns Only

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A tale describing the angst every parent proudly inflicts upon their teenage offspring.

Submitted: January 07, 2009

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Submitted: January 07, 2009

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Throughout mankind's time on earth, a single universal constant has existed to plague teenagers - parental embarrassment. Guided by some inexplicable force, parents possess a seemingly uncanny ability to humiliate their teenage offspring at the most inopportune moments.  Bear witness as I tell a tale of my Dad's razor sharp abilities to embarrass his progeny.

I clearly recall my first brush with Dad's highly polished antics on a Friday afternoon. Our family car, an old 1967 Buick Station wagon, frequently suffered a number of small quirks. The current malady, a short circuit in the electrical system, caused the horn to honk whenever the driver turned the steering wheel to the left. Not being overly concerned about the short circuit, Dad decided to drive into town and pick up the necessary repair parts. Foolishly, my brother and I accepted Dad's offer to ride along on the trip. Quicker on the draw, my brother called shotgun relegating me to the back seat of the car. Off and running, we made our way towards town with the horn periodically honking as we made the occasional left turn. Arriving at the outskirts of town, I recall nervously peering back and forth to see if anyone might be present to "hear" our arrival. Fortunately, the streets were mostly empty allowing us to disembark at the local parts store safely undetected.

After acquiring the necessary parts, we climbed back into the car to head for home. As we pulled out of the parking space into the street, I saw my Dad peering my direction in the rear view mirror. He had a rather devious looking grin on his face. Nervously, I surveyed the streets for signs of life. Much to my horror, the source of Dad's mischievous grin became evident - a local high school cheerleader returning from practice. At this point, I'm certain my Dad could see the beads of sweat appearing on my forehead. Being seen with your parents was one thing, but being seen with them while in the presence of a pretty young girl was an extremely dangerous proposition. One never knew what embarrassing actions the parents might take.

As we approached the girl, I held my breath hoping the steering wheel remained centered, lest she turn her head our direction to see who honked. Clearly, I must have trampled a four leaf clover earlier that day, angering some Irish Leprechaun as luck wasn't on my side. As we passed by the cheerleader, my Dad abruptly swerved to the left, causing the horn to blare out a single loud note. Failing an attempt to slouch down out of sight, I felt a cold sweat sweep over my body as I caught sight of her turning to investigate.  As she focused her gaze upon our vehicle, a momentary expression of exasperation flashed across her face.  Clearly displeased with the thought of a dirty old man vying for her attention, she snidely turned her head away.  Feigning innocence to the crime, my old man feebly attempted to blame the short circuit. Unable to maintain his composure, he roared out with laughter as a bright shade of red flushed through my face.  Having shrunk to a mere two inches tall, it was time to retreat home with my tail between my legs.

At the time, I felt so humiliated I thought I would die. Years later, I would look back and realize how funny Dad's practical joke truly was. He clearly understood the social pressures a teenager feels around their parents during such an awkward phase of life.


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