It sat in the driveway, dark and inviting. Black, sleek and powerful. Beckoning the two 18-year-old boys who lived in the house to touch it, drive it, and test its boundaries. But alas, it was not to be. You see, the Holden Ute (don’t ask me what model, I am female), has sat idly in our driveway for two weeks, driven by no-one. Man-Child I was dying to get his hands on it, but without a manual licence, that wasn’t happening (you can imagine the argument about insurance, and lack thereof if the man-child is caught driving a manual car with only an automatic licence). And Man-Child II was dying to get his actual licence, so that he could actually drive it, but took a few goes to actually get it, so the car continued to tempt him on a daily basis.
Still the small issue of a licence didn’t stop the enjoyment of the car (sorry UTE). No sooner had the car been purchased for the tradie’s use (and fair enough too), he was surfing the net buying accessories for it. First stop – a new muffler system! Why you may ask? Well, what good is a Holden Ute with a standard muffler on it, when you can have a Holden Ute with a slightly illegal muffler on it that makes a much better sound? One that positively purrs (potentially roars) as you drive it down the street. One that only boys can appreciate – I swear it’s just nuisance noise to girls.
Suffice to say, the roar of the engine, as Man-Child II revved the shit out of it the other night, was enough to attract a number of young Turks to our house. Within minutes of arriving home to find Man-Child II beneath the ute, several mates of the boys appeared in our driveway, all ogling the black Holden Ute, all sucking up the heady fumes, all wanting it to be revved harder, faster. OMG, you have never seen anything like it – but then again, maybe you have, if you’ve ever attended the Grand Prix and watched men go nuts over cars. It was completely amusing to me, and to Father of a Man-Child, completely normal. Which just goes to show, it’s a boy thing!! How many girls do you know that stand around ogling a girlfriend’s new car? Swapping stats about fuel consumption, engine size and RPM?
You could feel the pulse of excitement in the air, the boys’ testosterone levels surging at the sheer thought of driving the car, and the thrill of the independence and freedom that having a licence and a car means for them at 18 years old. Meanwhile I could feel the dreaded knot in the pit of my stomach, the one that knows the statistics about young males on the road, and the unmistakable facts about the way they tend to drive and what can happen as a result.
But I can’t wrap the boys up in cotton wool, anymore than I can keep them off the road. They both have their licences, and they both have cars they can drive. One has his ute for work, the other one is gunning to get a car during year 12 – and we are currently engaged in a battle about whether he “needs” one or not (of course he WANTS one, but that’s not the point).
We can only hope that they will be law-abiding, considerate and safe drivers. One thing I am pretty certain of is that they won’t be drink drivers – it is so culturally ingrained into today’s youth NOT to do it, it’s brilliant. So start your engines…….
Long before they had their licence, I was posting on this topic: