Community Magazine

Who Says You Can’t Drive Over 90?

By Friday23

Here in the retirement home there is an exclusive clique that meets regularly. They gather in the far corner of the coffee lounge and shut their mouths the moment anyone comes close to where they are sitting. Yesterday I stumbled across the answer – nonagenarian drivers! These few men and one woman hold regular meetings where they discuss their driving, ask each other for advice on how to renew their licenses, test each other on the eye-charts which they know by heart and exchange stories of their adventures and conquests on the roads.

I approached the one man that I recognized and suggested that I may be interested in becoming a member.

“How old are you?” he asked.

“A few months over 86,” I replied.

“Come back in five years, sonny! I could get thrown out of the club just for talking to you! Say, do you want to come with me? I’m just popping down to the mall to pick up a pair of shoes I left for repair. And you can help me in and out of my car. I’m a little tottery. Old age and all that stuff…”

I looked at him in amazement. He needs help get in and out of his car and then he’s going to drive it? He has a license? But I was nervous to ask him.

His car is old and battered. “There were a lot of concrete columns in the last place I lived,” he apologized, pointing his walking stick at the bodywork. With much groaning I got him behind the wheel and I went around to the passenger seat. Neither of the front doors closed properly. He fired up the engine which made a terrible noise and then backed out of the parking slot very slowly. He made a complicated 8-point maneuver to get the car facing the exit and then zoomed through the gates and out into the traffic without so much as a glance in the rearview mirror. Cars racing down the street swerved and hooted and a couple sent messages with their fists and fingers.

“Everyone is so impatient these days,” he muttered. “They shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car at all.”

A pizza boy on a motor scooter shot into the road from a side-street and I could have sworn that my driver swerved towards him. “That’s the third time I’ve missed that guy this week,” he said. “I’ll get him one of these days.”

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