“The more you drive, the less intelligent you get”. One of my favorite lines from the punk cult classic “Repo Man”. Words to live by for me. Could be a few reasons why: a) Wrecking a High School Driver Ed vehicle into a guardrail while attempting to parallel park. b) miserably failing my motor vehilcle driving test (see: Driver Ed). c) flipping over on the back of a motorcycle. d) being a passenger of a camper Van that rolled over twice. or e) all of the above. At the ripe age of 47 I still don’t drive or even own a driver’s license. It’s just not in the cards for me. And it’s not like I haven’t had many friends offer to help guide me on my way to the MVA. No thanks freinds. The way I have to look at the whole thing is: is the fact that I never could get parallel parking down my downfall or the upswing of my meager existence? I choose the second one because I get by okay without a license or a car. I have a little thing called ADHD that tends to get in the way of driving so believe me: the world is a far far safer place without this punk geezer on the roads.
A friend of mine who goes by the name The Reverend Frank love once told me “I think you’re really smart not to drive because there are so many fucking psychos on the road”. The Rev spent a large portion of his life in a state of stress being in a car. Well, that and being a guitarist in bands with me. I’d be a passenger in Frank’s small car when someone on the road honked their horn and “Goddamnnnnit! Stop honking your fucking horn! I really fucking hate that! People in Michigan (The Rev’s birthplace) never honk their horns!”, Frank yelled in frustration. I’d say “Calm down man, your window is closed and they’re not going to hear you”. This kind of reaction happened fairly often when I was riding to someplace with my friend, Frank. It left me wondering why someone who would get so incredibly worked up every time they were at the wheel of a vehicle put themselves through such punishment. More reasons why I still don’t drive.
Oh yeah, getting back to that “rolling over in a vehicle” thing I mentioned so casually earlier: This perhaps is my all-time biggest reason why I don’t dig the thought of driving. One rainy afternoon in England my band Government Issue and our support act Bad Blood decided to visit Stonehenge. Who knew that after checking out the mighty Stonehenge we’d suffer a most horrible accident. “Come visit Merry old England! Play a handful of noisy memorable concerts! See the majestic Stonehenge! Take a bloody nasty spill in one of our fabulous British camper Vans!”. And that’s exactly what we did. The young driver from Bad Blood drove a tad too fast around a sharp turn of roadway and so we slid off the road rapidly on to the muddy ground and rolled over (Twice!) till the beat-up Van soon landed on all four wheels. Now I’ve always hated amusement park rides that other people love because I just do not enjoy being tossed about. They make me nauseous so that’s no fun, right? This ride in the UK sucked! A few of my band members shot straight out the side windows landing on the ground with injuries. The poor young man behind the wheel went straight through the windshield and the rest of us got out with only cuts and scratches. We were all pretty lucky as it could’ve been a fatal one. I’m still a little shaky whenever I ride in a van. I think I’ll just stick to taking the bus or maybe the subway. After all I am an underground rocker.
John Stabb was the frontman for the legendary harDCore punk outfit Government Issue. When not blogging for BLURT, he currently serves as frontman for Sleeper Agent. Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/sleeperagentdc