Roll-through stop

Let me make a suggestion.

If you are fifteen and learning how to drive, angst-ridden for no good reason and straining to distance yourself from your parents who “just don’t understand you,” you need to remember that everything you say can and will be used against you. Your intellectual parry-and-thrust is less impressive than you think.

After you do a roll-through stop turning from Shackleford onto Granny White Pike and after your father tells you to pull over, “That’s enough for today,” and after you yank the Suburban over onto the shoulder and get out and slam the door, please oh please if you know what’s good for you don’t yell the following:

“You think you’re a good father just cos you take me fishing once a year.”

Rather than get angry as you had hoped, your father—now in the driver’s seat—will look at you for a fraction of a section before bursting into laughter. Your mother and two sisters, who are riding in the back seat, will do the same. 

Rather than make these foolish mortals feel the hot blast of your wrath, you have just logged another entry in the family quote book, an entry that will bring joy to audiences for years to come.

Keep such retorts to yourself. I can promise you that they’re not nearly as stinging and bullet-proof as you think.

In fact, you’ll be better off if you just keep your stupid adolescent male mouth shut. Put it all in a journal.

Comments Closed


  1. Posted March 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted March 30, 2009 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This is excellent. I once allowed my righteous indignation to flare over my brother eating a Snickers bar that I had purposefully bought and placed in the fridge to chill. To this day, my parents still blame PMS, which irritates me more than anything.

  3. Austin L. Church
    Posted March 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I love frozen snickers the way I love a long shower after a day at the beach. You were entirely justified. Tell your parents, “I’ll show you PMS!”

  4. Laura Sears
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Austin – You have always been one of the funniest and most intelligent people I have known! Thank you for sharing these wonderfully entertaining thoughts with the rest of us. I have just finished reading for over an hour and struggled to not wake my family with my laughter!!! Oh – and the 15 year old stuff is perfect as Hayden recently turned 15 and got his permit…oh me! I guess we will be adding things to our family book of quotes!