I feel for this kid.

When I took my driver’s license test at 16, I went in knowing that my oldest sister, Ta-Ta the Grand Poobah of Overachieverdom and Giant Breasted-dom, number 2 in her class of 500, the sister whose school books my mother once hid because Ta-Ta was spending too much time studying, which resulted in an epic meltdown by Poobah all, “MOTHER! WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?! WAH!!! I WANTED TO WORK THREE CHAPTERS AHEAD IN TRIG! WAH! IF I GET A B, I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN”, that sister had failed her driver’s test three times, maybe four, before she succeeded.

If The Grand Poobah of Overachieverdom couldn’t pass on the first try, what hope did I have?

The answer is ZERO. ZERO HOPE. Do you know why?

Parallel freaking parking. You already know I can’t parallel park now in my 30s, so of course I also sucked at it in my awkward teens.

This is what the parallel parking space looked like. Those lines are guard rails. Those green squigglies are like grass and bushes n’at. Feel free to make my artwork your new desktop wallpaper.

This is how you’re supposed to do it.

So that your car looks like this when you’re done:

This is how I thought I was supposed to do it.

This is what I did.

This is how I was when the tester said, “You know what? Put it in park.”

I knew I failed. Because I was a stupid person who didn’t understand that it is impossible to actually park the car in the manner I was trying to park it.

So knowing I was probably one of the kids that the tester talked about to his wife when he got home all, “Honey. You should have seen this girl. I swear she did a 430-point turn before I finally realized what she was trying to do. Her mother must have smoked pot when she was pregnant,” I simply can’t make fun of this poor poor kid.

(Update: NOT A KID! A man in his 30s! LOL.)

A teenager who had just passed his driver’s test crashed into the Bridgeville DMV.

Collier Township police say the driver was dropping off the driver’s license examiner. The instructor had just gotten out of the vehicle when it plowed through the front door and into the DMV.

“I look over and there’s a car there and some guy’s just screaming, ‘I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it!’

Poor kid. Makes me want to find him and tell him he’s not the only one who  has made driving mistakes.

I’ll tell him about the time I pinned my sister Tina Fey at the knees between the bumper of two of our family cars … by accident. I wasn’t even mad at her or anything.

Also, I eventually passed my drivers test and this is how close I got to the curb in parallel parking.

Nailed it.


  1. Ms Redd
    October 14, 2010 10:05 am

    Parallel parking rates right up there with what my father made me do. He made me learn to drive on a stick shift and take the test on one,too. Nothing like trying to start out in first at a red light on a hill when you are extremely nervouse and wanting to impress the tester. Only stalled the car three times, I think.

  2. BB
    October 14, 2010 10:06 am

    i would feel bad, except that the “kid” was 30 yrs old. so…yeah. epic fail.

  3. Virginia
    October 14, 2010 10:11 am

    BB, Just saw the PGs report. Seriously in his 30s. That’s too hilarious. Post edited! Thanks!

  4. Peg
    October 14, 2010 10:15 am

    “Her mother must have smoked pot when she was pregnant,”

    Baha hah ha! Cracked me up with that one!

    Anyway, I don’t feel bad for the kid. I’m just glad no one was hurt and that they found out he couldn’t really drive before they issued him the license.

  5. Peg
    October 14, 2010 10:16 am

    See? They should test all these older drivers.

  6. Dan (Not Onorato)
    October 14, 2010 10:19 am

    Cant really say anything either…passed the permit test after the third try…they lost my info in the mail….had to go back to the testing area to get another permit….then finally passed the drivers test on the 3rd try…and I still cant figure out why my parents wouldnt put me on their insurance for another year.

    Wait…the guy was in his 30s? Seriously? DAMN!

  7. Heather
    October 14, 2010 10:21 am

    Hmmm… My oldest sister (insanely obnoxious overachiever as described) also failed her driver’s test. Maybe this is a common thread? I’m sure it was the only test she ever failed. It gave my other sister and I immense pleasure.

  8. spoon
    October 14, 2010 11:04 am

    took me 5 hours to take my test when I was 17. each time a different light would burn out on the car. I swear they were in kahoots with the garage on 6th and sass. By the time I finally got to drive the test I made it my bitch in a couple of minutes.

  9. bucdaddy
    October 14, 2010 11:08 am

    First time.

  10. bucdaddy
    October 14, 2010 11:08 am

    Oh, and I went on a Friday, at about 4 p.m.

  11. Noelle
    October 14, 2010 11:15 am

    In the great state of Michigan, they give you a drivers license if you’re breathing. I know, I failed “reverse”. Keeps the local economy healthy. Well, it used to anyway.

  12. facie
    October 14, 2010 11:15 am

    We did not have to parallel park when I took my test 20 couple years ago or I never would have passed until I was at least in my mid 20s.

    I did not pass on the first time anyway. When the instructor asked me to park by the curb, I did, well within the six inches or whatever. Then he asked (as my foot was on the brake and the car still in drive) what gear I should be in. I freaked out, and said something like 2nd or 3rd (car was an automatic). I also came to a complete stop at an intersection, one without a stop sign, mind you. Good times!

  13. Angry Mongo
    October 14, 2010 11:19 am

    I failed the oral exam the first time. I had a trooper that looked as excited to be there as I was. That was the Fayette station. After that, I went to the Greensburg office to do it a la multiple choice push buttony goodness and passed.

    Then the driving portion back at Uniontown and the same damn trooper gave me the test. Even said, “You know what? I shouldn’t pass you.” It wasn’t even like I did that bad. Parallel parking wasn’t too awful.

    Then I tried to drive my dad’s truck and planted it in the garden.

    It’s ok, he’s my insurance agent, too. LOL.

  14. Jcubed03
    October 14, 2010 11:26 am

    Have a similar story to share. After I failed my test twice – once for not having a working horn or some crap, I decided I needed a different venue for my test. I proceeded to the “easier” location. I waited my turn. The woman in front of me WRECKED while parallel parking. She gunned it up OVER the barrier behind the car. Don’t know if she mixed up the pedals or what, but I immediately felt much more relaxed and went on to pass!! Phew.

  15. SpudMom
    October 14, 2010 11:37 am

    @Noelle – that’s the way it was when I got my license in MI, too. However, they have changed the laws now and it’s not as easy anymore. Not as hard as PA but definitely not “pass driver’s ed, get a permit when you’re 15 and get the license (after passing a written test) at least 30 days after getting the permit as long as you’re 16.” Parallel parking, whut?

  16. Michelle Smiles
    October 14, 2010 11:48 am


    I passed on the first try BUT my drivers ed teacher never actually had me parallel park. They called it maneuverability. He set up cones with broom handles sticking up and gave me formula to do it – something like pull forward until the front cone is by your back window then turn your wheel 1/2 way counterclockwise then divide by Pi. Or something. But I memorized how to do it so I passed. Imagine everyone’s surprise when I couldn’t parallel park. At all. (I still don’t go places that require parallel parking if there aren’t 2 open spots together because it becomes public entertainment to watch the blond girl try and get her car in the spot.) My point is – because of the way I was taught, it wasn’t until I was in my mid-20’s and trying to parallel park when it suddenly struck me that THIS WAS MANEUVERABILITY! I had no idea until then that if I had retained that formula, I would have been able to park – but much like chemistry, I learned it for the test then promptly forgot it.

  17. Baba Wawa
    October 14, 2010 12:52 pm

    i nailed the parallel parking part of the test…when it was over, the instructor told me i passed and to drive back to the center…he then told me to get in the right lane….i guess i thought i was in england!

  18. Michele
    October 14, 2010 12:56 pm

    Reading these comments makes me understand now why I am late to work frequently due to accidents on the Parkway. LOL!

  19. Pittsburgh Tom
    October 14, 2010 1:05 pm

    Failed my test the first time. Actually did worse the 2nd time but passed. It was all about which person tested you. The nice one passed me despite my 3-point turn being a 11-point turn.

  20. Sooska
    October 14, 2010 1:44 pm

    Except according to updated news, it was not a teenager, but a 34 year old new driver from Carnegie. oopsie.

  21. PA Girl in VA
    October 14, 2010 2:16 pm

    I can proudly say that I can parallel park anything – yes, ANYTHING! I am awesome at it! In addition to regular parking spaces here at work, there is a curb we can park against and I often park there because no one can ding the sides of my truck. Grown men come outside to watch me parallel park my 2010 F-150 in 3 points or less. It’s awesome!

    I don’t remember having to parallel park for my driver’s test (circa 1982/Allentown, PA) but I remember having to do a 3-point turn. Aced it!

  22. Kat
    October 14, 2010 3:01 pm

    @Michelle Smiles: Are you from Ohio? I actually aced Maneuverability, but yeah, lining up your bumper with the flag sticking out of a cone is not a situation you regularly find yourself in under normal driving circumstances. Parallel parking is actually useful. Big fail, Ohio DMV.

  23. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    October 14, 2010 3:25 pm

    You could have done what I did which was back in the day, the only license place that did NOT require parallel parking was on Washington Boulevard, and even though I lived 5 minutes from a different testing place, I drove out with my mom to Washington Boulevard to avoid the dreaded parallel parking. I passed.

    Then I ended up living in Shadyside for awhile, and was forced to learn how to parallel.

  24. Pensgirl
    October 14, 2010 5:08 pm

    I will never forget struggling to learn the stupid PA parking that you illustrated above (which I refuse to call parallel parking because I have never begun a parallel parking process by turning a corner into a dead end). My dad – who had been a wonderful and patient driving instructor for everything else I learned – snapped at me “Just line up the corner of the hood with the curb!” and I looked at him and said “I can’t see the hood.” This led to several minutes of back and forth (“You can’t see ANY of the hood?” “No.” “Really? NONE?” “Dad, I know what the hood looks like. All I can see are the windshield wiper fluid nozzles. They look like they’re floating in front of the car”). After Dad figured out a way to teach me how to do the parking test without the visual cue, I learned it quickly, but the overall process took forever.

    Meanwhile, that dumb parking method teaches you nothing about real parallel parking, which I mastered when I was in grad school at Pitt and had to park in Oakland every day.

  25. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    October 14, 2010 6:21 pm

    I learned to drive and parallel park in a 1974 Ford Gran Torino, which is a boat. My dad would make me practice by going up and down the street, which was a hill, in our city neighborhood and every time we got to an empty spot that to me looked like only a VW bug could fit in there, he made me park. We didn’t have drivers ed and my parents actually teaching me was a disaster so I paid for EZ-Method driving school (AAA) with my babysitting money. When I went to take my test, we went to Washington Boulevard — at that time they were the only one to require parallel parking — and I passed the first time with flying colors. To avoid the parallel parking at that time, everyone went to Little Washington or Rochester even though it was farther away. My older sister failed her first time, but that was probably because she actually hit a car as she was pulling out onto the course with the trooper.

  26. Clementine
    October 14, 2010 9:31 pm

    My best friend was so nervous, she drove the entire course in the pouring rain without turning on her wipers. The instructor failed her for that alone (jerk!) I thought she should’ve got bonus points.

    My ability to parralel park directly correlates to the number of angry people waiting behind me.. I can’t do it under pressure. If nobody is around, I zip right in. Anybody have one of those cars that parralel parks for you?

  27. marlene
    October 14, 2010 10:33 pm

    My sister is teaching my nephew to drive. Twice now they have parked and started walking away from the car when my sister stopped and said to him “you might want to go back and turn the car off”

  28. Betoon
    October 15, 2010 9:18 am

    I am teaching both my son and daughter to drive at the same time. My daughter is 20 and had this recurring nightmare that she was driving and hitting everything in sight and had to pull over and let her younger brother drive. Sooo, I let her wait till she was ready. Only had two incidents where she thought the gas was the brake (apoligies to South Park). Parallel parking – all I can think of is Squirrell Hill – those people are the masters…me – only under duress.

  29. Jcubed03
    October 15, 2010 10:23 am

    @26 Clementine – those cars require a ridiculously LARGE space in order to park themselves, in other words, will never happen in the real world.

  30. JennyMoon
    October 15, 2010 12:16 pm

    #26 ME TOO! I can parallel park just fine when no one is waiting behind me.

  31. NewBurgher
    October 15, 2010 6:05 pm

    Took my test at 17 in Amarill, TX. Knew I couldn’t parallel, gave it a shot and hit the curb, trooper was an ass and barked out “pull out” I asked him “do you want me to try again?” He almost yelled “just pull out!” So I did, finished the test, and he passed me. No idea why they even test that anywhere in Texas, like there is a need to parallel there anyway, NOT!