Ah, the stupid things I've done behind the wheel... and lived to tell the tales! An incident that I love to recall took place when I was about 18 years old and still a relatively new driver. I was on my way to Florida, in the wee hours of the morning. My boyfriend, Mike, was my co-pilot and he was teaching me how to follow road signs. We had a long stretch of Interstate ahead of us, so he decided that he would get a little sleep. After making sure I knew what exit sign to watch for, he leaned back and went right to sleep. (I always envied his ability to do that... but that's another story.) I was wired with the excitement of being on my first driving road trip.
So, there I am in my '68 Firebird, barrelling down the highway at 85 MPH. Time passes and suddenly I notice way over on my right, one of the overhead signs says what I know my exit sign is supposed to say. I panicked, thinking I'd somehow missed my exit. So I wake up Mike and he starts digging in the glove compartment for map and flashlight. He's studying the map and, exhausted young fool that I am, I'm watching what he's doing instead of what I'm doing. Mike and I looked up at the same time and realized that I am now barrelling down the shoulder of the road. There, just ahead, are two pair of eyes, wide with fright, staring out of the rear windshield of a Volkswagen that is parked on the shoulder. I quickly veered back into the right lane and quietly said, "Oops!"
From that point on, Mike used to tell people, "If you ever hear her say, 'Oops!', look out!