Roger Dudek

Honk! Honk! Pull over, loyal readers. Pull way over. Keep going. More. To tell you the truth, you better clear the road completely. My twin daughters are learning how to drive!

Hiya, folks! Roger "White Knuckle" Dudek here (and in one piece…for now), barreling toward you with yet another hilarious column. So buckle up, check your mirrors…and throw your car keys down a storm drain before my twins can get ahold of them! You heard me, friends, the Dynamic Daughter Duo is learning how to drive. (Editor's note: Drive a car. Not me—crazy. They've been doing that for years!) In a few weeks, the girls will turn 16, and let me tell you, there's nothing sweet about it. Already they're dating boys, breaking curfew, and spending too much time with some hot rod who promises to take them far, far away from here…


My car.

Turns out I do hold the key to a woman's heart…only it fits in the ignition of a 2007 Corolla! Ever since the girls got their permits, I see my car less than Stevie Wonder sees Ray Charles—which is never! I can't tell if I'm a good father or the victim of grand theft auto. All I know is my keys are always gone and my fuel tank's emptier than Calista Flockhart's dinner plate! (Ally MissMeals, more like it.)

Somebody give me a break. Literally! Stop driving my car.

And who do you suppose pays to fill the tank again? I'll give you one gas. Me. The guy riding his bike to the bankruptcy office while our checking account shifts into reverse. Dude, where's my salary? I need a bailout for this fuel economy. Three dollars a gallon? They should start selling it by the limb. MPG? More like RIP. Because these gas prices are going to kill me!


When I'm Audi money and can't a-Ford the gas, my twins whine and Saab and throw a Fiat. "Dad, you're so Jeep (cheap). You never Lexus go anywhere!" they say. And I reply, "Girls, Hyundai you'll understand. Maybe when you have Kias of your own." And when that doesn't work, I just Dodge them and hide my wallet! Please, ladies, show a little Mercedes (mercy). Holy Toyota. Camry all just get along?

But seriously, folks. The law says my daughters are old enough to drive, so someone's gotta teach them. My wife Rosemary sug­gested me, my girls suggested their soccer coach, and I suggested we repeal the law! Is it just me, or does 16 seem a little young to be legally allowed to murder your father? I'm telling you, I haven't wanted a law overturned this badly since my high school banned whoopee cushions. Driver's license? More like license to kill…my insurance rates! Oh, my aching premiums. Hey, President Obama! If you want my daughters to drive so bad, how about you let them take your car? Now there's a change I can believe in!

Hey, wait a minute. What does Congress know about driving, anyway? They've been idling in neutral for years.


Rosemary said teaching the girls to drive would be a good way to bond, and she was right. I took them out one time and did a whole lot of bonding…mostly with the emergency brake! Folks, I was holding on to that thing like it was the last life vest on the Ti­tanic. The car went two blocks, took a right, and I left. I saw my chance and made a dash(board) for it! Turns out the only speed I'm comfortable with my girls driving is park.

Check, please! No, seriously, check your blind spot, please. We almost hit a Buick!

Thankfully, Coach Toettcher had the fuzzy dice necessary to fill my (driving) shoes. Just when I was exhaust-ed! Within a few days, he made everyone's mood do a U-turn, took my wife out for coffee, and showed the twins how to merge on the freeway. Did a wheel-y good job, too. Now Rosemary's humming like she just got a tune-up, and the girls are steering clear of me!


And how about traffic these days? I can't tell if there are more cars or the road's getting smaller! I'm telling you, I've been in more jams than a judge at the State Fair. My morning commute moves slower than a comb across Robin Williams' back. Yesterday on the highway, I watched a Mustang turn into glue. I haven't crawled like that since I was a baby. My odometer has started counting in inches!

Folks, I kid, but my family is a Rolls Royce. Because no matter how late I get home, I know my wife and two loving daughters will be waiting for me at the door…so they can use my car! Here we go again! (Or rather, my car goes, and I stay here!) Once again, those three are carpooling to Coach's house, and I'm beached at home. Oh well. What do I need with some two-ton burden that burns through my money, requires a lot of maintenance, and refuses to work when it's too cold?

I've already got a mother-in-law!

Drive safe, gang!

Roger Dudek lives in West Virginia with his wife, Rosemary, and his twin daughters. He is a professional, syndicated humor columnist who has been writing professionally for more than 20 years. His column, Write On The Funny!, has been published intermittently in dozens of newspapers since it began in 1992. His comedic book of humorous essays, Memoirs Of A Guy-sha, is still looking for a publisher.