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Inspirational Reads

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Volume XXIX

June 19, 2009

I was about to do something stupid. I was about to ask you people if you've ever messed up real bad. Of course you haven't; you're all as perfect as Jessica Biel's bosom. Much like myself, you have a spotless record.

Well...okay, so maybe I do have a couple of question marks on my record. Going to grad school. That might have been a bit of a big, glaring red question mark. And, apparently, I've been accused of not remembering how to write the shorthand form of a carbonate.

Oh, and there was that time that I was learning to drive. What? I haven't told you that one? Well, pull up a steaming cup of coffee, kids, cause we're hopping in the Way Back Machine for a paragraph or four.

I was fifteen (remember, you get your license at 16 here in the States) and I was practicing with my mother's pride and joy: the minivan. As if I wasn't emasculated enough by being forced to drive a minivan, I wasn't allowed to take the minivan out onto the streets of my town (you know, the sleepy, one-horse type that I grew up in). Top that off with the fact that no one ever told me to use just one foot for both the brake and the gas. I thought "Hey, there's two pedals...I have two feet." Logical conclusion, right? I thought so, too.

So, as I'm pulling the minivan into the garage, I'm trying to see over the hood. Before me is my father and my bicycle and my father's workbench. As my father was guiding me into the garage, I was slowly working the pedals with both feet. Not having the finer touch skills developed yet for the proper pedal work, the whole thing sounded like "VROOM! URCH!!! VROOM! URCH!!! VROOM!"--you get the idea. Finally, I've got about one foot to go before the van is parked and my "lesson" for the day is over. My father (luckily) steps out of the way, and I go to let the van roll forward and then I'll step on the brake, park it, and we're done.

Except...I hit the gas. And my bike. And my father's workbench. The damage wasn't too bad: I had dented the front fender a bit from one of my bike's pedals and there were two deep gouges in the hood of the van from my bike's handlebars. All-in-all, not bad. My mother, who had been sitting on the porch criticizing my performance rather than helping guide me, came running out into the yard, saw the bike wrapped around the front of her baby, and offered up a whining cry reminiscent of Jabba's Pitmaster when Luke killed the Rancor in Return of the Jedi.

While the damage was not bad (it cost my dad $50 to get it all fixed), my mother saw it in a whole different light. What I had done to her minivan was apparently the moral equivalent of lining up a pack of preschoolers and putting a bullet in the base of their skulls, and then cutting out and eating their livers, all while their mothers looked on helpless. Eighteen years later, and I still haven't heard the end of the time I cranked the van into the back of the garage.

So, while all of you might still be the bodily incarnations of perfection, here's a little phrase that you can offer those around you when they mess the bed:

Qualis reges futuiverunt, talis futuivisti!

Pronounced: "Quah-leese ray-gaise foo-too-ee-ware-oont, tah-leese foo-too-ee-weese-tea!"

Translation in the hovertext.

Sure, there have been lots of other people that have made mistakes, but Hugh Grant's arrest still boggles my mind. Why would you opt for some plump street walker when you have Elizabeth Hurley sitting in a short nightie at home waiting for you with candles lit, Barry White playing softly in the background, and a bucket of strawberries and whipped cream? At least, in my mind, that's how she'd be waiting...

20 comments:

Del-V said...

Yeah, going to grad school was a mistake for me also. I found out a degree in Archaeology is only practical for playing Jeopardy and student loans are forever.

Lana said...

leave it to mothers to never let you forget your mistakes. you did, ultimately learn how to drive properly though, right?

otherworldlyone said...

That was mild compared to the vehicle damage I'm still hearing about years later. Annoying, yes?

I never understood that Hugh Grant thing either. What a retard.

Good call on the Barry White.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Listen, royally is the only way to go in the fuck-up depatment.

I seem to remember being about 12 or thirteen with a somewhat similar scenario, but it was the neighbor's brandy new drive lawn mower and a big oak tree.

snowelf said...

Two feet, two pedals, makes perfect logical sense.

And what is it with families that if you make one false move, they neve let you live it down. My mom and grandma are just relentless in re-telling the stories of my childhoods.

Elizabeth Hurley...unless she is secretly really a fembot or a raging bitch-wraith or a mutant in real life, I don't get it either. Shame on Hugh.

--snow

Hap said...

Grad school wasn't quite a mistake, but it was a long painful trip to find out that I didn't know as much as I thought I did.

I thought (had heard) Hugh Grant wanted certain activities from his missus that she was unwilling to provide, so he decided to find a secondary source. I know that people aren't rational about such things, but you would have figured that either one or both of them could have compromised or he could have found a far more discreet (and likely hygienic) source for his pleasures. People are stupid sometimes, or self-destructive, or both.

I don't think learning to drive from my dad would have been a good idea.

Cowguy said...

It's a parents job to never let car accidents disappear from memory. My parents, in their 80's still bring it up. I mention at least once a year about my son totaling my truck.

It's cool.

corticoWhat said...

You're suppose to drive with one foot?

red said...

I totally tried to drive with 2 feet, too, and I wound up in a corn field in Tennessee for my efforts. My grandpa then decided maybe 12 was too young to let me try my hand at driving.

Eric said...

I will forever picture Elizabeth Hurley as the devil character in the film Bedazzled. Still not as exciting as Amber though...

Soda and Candy said...

You probably can't give it to Liz Hurley with any significant force in case she snaps in half.

Just a thought.

Nikki said...

I've never done anything wrong because if you can believe it I'm MORE PERFECT than Jessica Beil's boobs. My biggest mistake in life was not making more mistakes to giggle about later.

Vic said...

Assaulting a minivan with a garage is bad.

Once a high school friend and I hit my mother's date's car in the driveway. I was dressed as a crayon at the time (Halloween party). It was a low point of my life.

That Baldy Fella said...

I would have some up with a more insightful comment but I'm mostly thinking about Jessica Biel's boobs. Mmm.

Cora said...

Pfffft! Parents are like that. I ate dog food when I was a one year old and my parents STILL bring it up at holidays 35 years later! Hello? One year olds will do shit like that - who are the morons who weren't supervising their baby, hmm? HMM?! I think I've made my point.

Gwen said...

Haha! Yes, I still hear about eating roll bugs when I was two. What? They look like m&m's after you touch 'em!

Cretin said...

A tranny would have made more sense as an oral pleasure pick. The fact that he went to the trailer park and picked the hottest mess he could find blows my mind! Speaking of blowing ....

Sass said...

Well, you know I'VE never made any mistakes...

At least not today, anyway.

But I'm thinkin along the same lines as Candy...if you're gonna fuck up, go big or go home, that's what I always say.

Actually, I've never said it.

I digress...

Fancy Schmancy said...

None of the mistakes I made were very funny, so thankfully my mother doesn't bring them up!

Nej said...

I remember my first (and only) driving lesson with dad. We were pulling off the interstate, and instead of telling me I'd need to slow down on the ramp, he kept yelling (louder and louder) "Decelerate, decelerate!" I thought he was saying "Accelerate!" I mean, who actually SAYS decelerate???