About Life

Driving Ms Crazy

The creepy-calm Google Maps voice gets me only so far. From there, it’s a case of Driving Ms Crazy.

I have DDPD (Duel Driver Personality Disorder*).

I’m a good driver (Ms Sane) stuck in a bad navigator’s body (Ms Crazy). A treacherous, cruel joke. It means I look good going – smooth gear and lane changes – but the route I take to get there looks bad.

Ms Sane drives Ms Crazy around most of the time. Ms Crazy drives Ms Sane crazy some of the time. Together, they can drive one another mad and their nervous passengers up the wrong road.

So, before I turn the ignition key, we need to establish this: Which me is driving? Is it Ms Sane? Or is it Ms Crazy? If it’s Ms Sane, jump in, I’ll give you a lift. If it’s Ms Crazy, jump out, and give me a lift.

But how do you know which one I am? you ask. How do you know when to jump in, when to jump out?

Ask this simple but relevant question of any DDPD sufferer: Have you been to this place, in your car, as the driver, before?

If the answer is Yes, you might get there without incident.

If the answer is No, you might get there without incident but it’s not guaranteed.

Is there a subtle difference? Is there a difference?

Am I driving you crazy? Do you want to Drive Ms Crazy?

I know the answer. I’ll take the decision out of your ever-so-slightly-shaking hands. Just unlock the passenger door please. We can sing while you drive.

If I’m crazy and you know it tap your foot (brake-brake),

if I’m crazy and you know it tap your foot (brake-brake),

if I’m crazy and you know it and you really want to show it, if I’m crazy and you know it tap your foot (brake-brake).

Let’s put the radio on. What’s playing? Aaaah…good one. Do You Know Where You’re Going To? by Diana Ross.

That I live at the bottom of a continent is a goddamn blessing. Anything other than top or bottom and I wouldn’t know where in the world I am.

I’ve lived in the same house, in the same suburb, for three years. I still have to think about where I’m going, even if where I’m going I’ve gone to 20 times before. Add to that my more-than-two-lanes road allergy and you’ll understand why I love being a passenger.

You’re a good driver by the way.

I’m a confident and relaxed driver (Ms Sane) on suburban or national roads. It’s in cities that I go crazy.

In Cape Town, in congested traffic, and unsure of how to get where I was going, my children terror-whimpered when I stalled the engine on a sickeningly steep hill. I think I whimpered first and they whimpered in reply. Three whimpers later I drove to the nearest quiet road so we could all recover. When we felt better I phoned for directions, again, and got us to the desired destination in one sweaty piece.

Am I distracting you while you drive? Sorry. I’ll keep quiet now.

Do you mind if I turn the volume up? No? OK, thanks.

What’s playing? Aaaah…another good one.

Oh Yeah! by Roxy Music.

I remember this one! Great song.


*not recognized by any medical professionals for good reason – it’s my term, my creation.

xxx TeaShell

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