blue moon (2)

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Odyssey ©

Let’s see, it’s been a while since I posted on this blog.
Not that anything has really changed.
Everything here is still the same, more drama than any soap opera could handle in one episode.
So many things going on around here I don’t know which to pick to relive.
I don’t know if I want to relive any of it.

Oh I know, my latest Odyssey.
What, you think your name has to be Jason or Ulysses to have an Odyssey.
I’m Greek; we have them while sitting on the toilet going for a dump.
Especially after Mexican, oh mammasita.

My father has been without a driver’s license now for about six months.
Here in Ontario, I don’t know if it’s the same in every province but when you turn 80 you have to be retested to make sure you can still drive.
Now, I don’t see anything wrong with that knowing how stubborn these old cocksuckers can be and never admitting they have seeing, hearing or staying AWAKE issues.

I have an uncle who used to pass out at traffic lights.
I have another uncle who thinks that the “Yield” sign means you are supposed to yell loud at oncoming traffic announcing that you are cutting them off into the adjacent ravine.

My aunt drove her car through the garage and into her kitchen.
Complained to my uncle that it was the transition.
The next day she drove his car through the 7/11 front windows.
Damn if his tranny wasn’t fucked up to.

Don’t get me wrong, my father is not that bad, yet but sometimes I wonder.
“We just went through that stop sign”.
“What stop sign”?
“The one you have been stopping at for the last 50 years”.

So yes, people should be tested when they get to a certain age but do they have to make it that hard.
The first thing we had to do is the eye test.
So he looks into the visor and she is asking him what letters he sees and he got half of them wrong.
So they try again and it’s the same thing.
He fails.
How the fuck can he fail the eye exam, he just had his eyes fixed and doesn’t need glasses but he fails the test.
Not only does he fail it he now has to go to the hospital for a specific eye test before he can go for his license.

Later that day I tell him that I couldn’t believe he failed his eye exam.
I know he is 83 but his eyes are great for his age.
Me, I’m fucken blind, even with my glasses on.
He says to me it wasn’t his eyes, he didn’t know what letter of the alphabet they were and was to embarrassed to say anything.
Great, now we have to go get his eyes checked because he didn’t want to admit he doesn’t know the alphabet.

I make an appointment with his eye doctor and a week later his gets a thumbs up on the eyes to go along with a $68 bill.
How are those ABCs now kids?

Armed with the certificate from the doctor we head down to the department of motor vehicles to wait in line for hours.
There are 14 booths, 10 of which are occupied but doing nothing.
The receptionist has a line up of about 50 people.
What genius thought that system up deserves a smack in the head.

We went from one window to the seat to wait for our number to be called.
The booths are empty and no numbers are being called.
An hour later his number is called and we went to book his written test.

My father is illiterate in any language and his English is only passable if no one is listening.
He can’t even order a pizza; he walks to the place to order it.
So I had to find a translator because family members might cheat and give him the answers.
Now I find that a bit insulting, just a very tiny bit but the problem is where do you find a translator here.

So he decides to do the Greek translation of the written test, they have one in every language they said.
Two hour later I am kind of worried.
It’s be a little to long so I go in and find the person in charge and asked her what was going on.
She said he was having a hard time of it.
I could see him in the corner with a distorted look of pain on his face.

I felt sorry for him; I know his pain because I know the man.
Walking past the guard I told him to pack it in.
He got up and gave the papers to the lady who looked at them and said they were all wrong.
Leaning over I looked at the questions and found it hard to understand them myself and I read and write Greek.
She said I could book a verbal exam if I wanted and he said he wanted so off we went to the window again.

The verbal exam was a month away so we all took turns reading from the driver’s manual to him so he would be ready for the test.
The day of the test we went in and he failed.
Seems he couldn’t understand what she was saying and she is not allowed to explain any further of what the questions says.
It’s something new they have now.

We were both frustrated now.
He wanted his license and I wanted to get a break from being a chauffeur all the time
That weekend I get a call from one of my cousins saying she knows someone who is a licensed Greek translator and gives me her phone number.
I call up and we make arraignments for her to show up at the drive test place so she can help with the written test.

You know what happened next don’t you?
We had to go down there to book a date for him to go for his written test again, almost 3 hours later we had a date.
When the day arrives we meet the translator at the drive test place and I take her aside for a little chat.
I explained the situation and how much we all wanted him to get his license.
She said she understood and went in with my father to do the test.

30 minutes later they come out both smiling.
She says goodbye to my father and I walked her to her car.
We went back in to book his drivers test now.
We hadn’t said a word about the written test until we got into the car and started on our way home.

“Mafia” he said.
“You know what, she gave me all the answers”.
“I guess she thought you were cute”.
“I’ll give you cute” he threw back at me.

A month went by before the day of the drivers test day came.
I was outside when the instructor came out and said hello.
It was hard understanding him through his heavy Jamaican accent and wondered how my father would do.
I watched him in the back where they first took people.
He botched the 3 point turn and turned left onto the street from the inside right lane then stopped traffic during rush hour so he could get to the other side.
He went 30 in a 50 and forgot to signal 3 times.
He failed.
This was the first time he ever failed a drivers test and it didn’t well with him.
He is a good driver but like all of us we have slacked off on how we drive and may not exactly drive like the law says.

I went inside and we booked another exam for a month away then told him I would be showing him what he was doing wrong and what he needed to do to pass his next test.
The day came and we went down to the center so he could do his test.
He passed, the Odyssey is over for another two years.

Today he got into an accident with a bicycle.
No one was seriously hurt.
He says it wasn’t his fault she hit him
The new Odyssey begins, sigh………..

See  all’s still the same

Have a nice day



Boxer said...

My Grandfather had to give up the car the day he backed his car out of the carport with the door open.... BANG! Door is gone. We all felt lucky it happened on this property and only the car was injured.

As for bikes. They are dangerous. They swerve and pop out of no where, so I'm surprised to say this, but I'm going to say it wasn't his fault. This time.

Walker said...

Boxer: I tend to believe my father when he says it wasn't his fault.
He didn't hit her she hit him but that's this time.
I think if bikes want to share the road with cars then they should follow the same rules as we do.
They want more bikes on the road here where i live and create special lanes for them in the down town core but most still dart in and out of traffic.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if my mom is a bad driver because she is getting older or just that she always has been. It feels like she waits til the last minute and slams on her brakes all the time, with me bracing for dear life. So, I got smart. I purposely park behind her car in the driveway when I visit so that if we ever go somewhere, I have to drive, since I'm blocking her way :)

Nice to see you haven't totally disappeared!

Just telling it like it is said...

that is the cutiest story you have ever written. You father I can see him now with a smile on his face cause she gave him all the answer...Nipple wink

GAB said...

I really wish they had taken my dad's license away sooner than they had. But he lost his finally at 89. They should have done so at 75. He couldn't see god only knows how he passed the test. He couldn't hear again god only knows how he passed and he had more accidents between 75 and 89. My sister and I figured that he "sweet talked" the girls so that he passed and as far as how he didn't get into trouble from so many accidents is that he "had a friend in the police force who took care of things for him" We tried to take the keys away...he hot wired the car...we tried to disable it by taking out stuff that makes the car run he fixed them so we had a really hard time stopping him from driving. The police watched out for him alot and we got to the point where one of us would show up once a week to take him shopping in hopes he wouldnt have to drive. He would some how manage to find something he needed at the grocery store(most times he had enough but he likes to be prepared for the worst)and he would travel out much to our dismay. It was one reason Mr Gab and I had moved in with him but it didnt work out for long. I'm already having trouble driving at night so Im thinking another 5 -10 yrs (and Im young yet)and I will stop driving. Stuff like today scares hell out of me anyways(read my blog)BTW glad you wrote even if its still same ole same ole!