General

Driving With Countrygal

Well, chile, all dis time I been turning big time foreigner, yuh know. Ah go anywhere ah please without lost an all a flash credit card now. Chile. So, mi dear, being as me becoming a very important person, I decide dat ah tired a di bus-tekking and walk foot. So ah decide fi learn fi drive so ah can buy a lickle jilopy fi miself.
Heh, chile, fus day me go pon di road, man, easy driving. No nuh stick-shif wid gear changing an ting, is automatic. See yah, ah grab di steering wheel, yuh see, an ah heng on pon di road. Di instructor heng on pon him seat an look pon me.
“You been driving a long time?”
Missis, di ongly drive me ever drive was papa cow an goat an mama nice Red Hampshire fowl dem. An sometime me haffi drive Bringle outa di house. Me tell di man, “No”.
“Well, you might want to watch your speed a bit.”
So, being a well brought up girl, an being as him is mi instructor ah lissen to di man. See me round di corner, oh if dey could see me now. All of a sudden, chile, ah come up pon a sign, “NO PASSING”. Mi heart leap. Mi breath start come fas-fas. Eh-eh, a wha coulda be dung di road mek dem say “NO PASSING”? Me stop brap. Di instructor look pon me. Me look pon him wid fear an trembling eena mi yeye. Dat deh time is a line a car dat stop behind me.
“What’s the matter?” ah hear him ask.
“Is what coulda be down di road?”
“What do you mean?”
“Di sign, it no say ‘No passing'”.
Di man gi out hearty laugh.
“Drive, Miss Smith.”
“But di sign say ‘No Passing'”.
“It means no overtaking because it is dangerous to do so. Now, drive, you’re holding up traffic.”
Ah nevah feel so cute in all mi life. For me use to sign say, “NO OVERTAKING”. Ain’t dat plain? For when yuh say “NO PASSING” dat nuh mean “NO PASS YASSO”? Like “NO LEFT TURN” mean “NO TURN LEF YASSO”. Chile, Foreign is foreign fi true. For when yuh see sign dat say “SLOW CHILDREN” nuh same as “DEAF CHILD”. Me say, ma.
Anyway, chile, I drive an drive til ah was ready. Dat day, ah nervous so til yuh tink ah was marrieding. But di inspector was so nice. Den, me say, dem got dis woman come bout 50 time now fi har test an cyaan get through. Me feel sorry fi di poor ting, yuh see, for nutting like when yuh independent an can jus jump eena yuh own car an come an go as yuh please. But, das jus why she cyaan get through, for from di moment she start up dat deh car, she nuh stop til she reach where she going. Whether dere be stop sign or stop light or police. For she jus puddung har foot an where it buck it buck. An she look neither lef nor right til she reach back. Di poor inspector a shiver when him come outa di car. Nuh Mad Max wife dat?
Chile, ah say, ah boasy yuh see, doah me had was to change mi vocabulary fi understan di sign dem, for, as my modda always say:
“No policeman nevah ask me no question yet.”
But, me ah warn yuh fi look out fi me when me drive for dis is Mad Max odda wife. Di one Ambrosine Thermutis Smith. Here I come.

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Vjange Hazle