Getting your license and finally being able to drive yourself around like an adult is one of the best experiences in the world. After spending countless hours practicing your parallel parking technique, you finally got a fancy plastic card from the DMV that automatically makes you ten times cooler. But before you get too comfy, beware! Despite all you know about hydroplaning and replacing the wiper fluid, there are some practical lessons the driving instructor didn't touch on. Years of teenage driving experience have allowed me to figure out the easiest way around some common problems.
- How to get the smell of French fries out of your car: The freedom of a car also means the freedom to hit up the drive-thru over and over again. Fries end up becoming a food group all their own, which is delicious but also leaves a stale, greasy smell behind. The first step to getting your car to smell normal is to actually remove all evidence of fast food from your vehicle. Corral all the potato bits hiding under your seats and toss out all the old containers you threw in the back seat because you were too lazy to find a trash can. When the garbage is gone, spray the daylights out of your car with some Febreeze, or similar deodorizer, and then take your car out for a drive with all the windows rolled down. After twenty minutes your car should smell fresh and clean!
- How to make out with a stick shift between you and your face-partner: Back in the day, cars had long, bench-like seats in both the front and the back. They were perfect for dates because you could snuggle up easily without accidentally kicking the car into neutral. Today, car seats have evolved into space-age captain’s chairs which look cooler and are definitely safer but are not conducive to post-date kissing. Basically there are two options for car makeouts. You can move to the backseat, which tends to kill the mood, or you can contend with the gear shift up front. There are three steps to the latter method: 1. Unbuckle your seat belt and apply the parking brake. 2. Turn towards your date and lean as far forward as you can, bracing your self on the center console. 3. Start kissing.
- How to fit twelve people in the car: Sometimes you need to pack more people in your car than you can handle. It’s unfortunate, uncomfortable, unsafe, and definitely illegal...but when you absolutely can’t get another car, this is the way to do it: First, determine which of your friends are largest and heaviest. They will get the actual seats. Squeeze your friends together and fill in the extra space with your skinniest friends. Then have your lighter, smaller friends sit in people's laps. If you need to fit more people in and you’re driving a van, have some people sit on the floor.
- How to tell if the car behind you is a cop or a regular driver: Unmarked police cars are the worst. Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, they can send you into a tailspin of panic. When you’re cruising and get confused about what a cop car looks like, look for signs of police equipment, like a short radio antenna on the trunk, extra lights in both the windshield and rear window, and reinforced fenders and bumpers. Most unmarked cop cars are either Mustangs, Crown Victorias, or Ford SUVs in colors like black, white, or gunmetal gray.
- How to get to the nearest gas station when you’re literally running on fumes: The gas light has been on for a day and a half and you still need to drive home from school. Instead of praying that your car can make it to the nearest gas station, empty out your entire vehicle so it’s as light as possible and drive with as little braking and accelerating as possible. Use whatever momentum you have to roll down the street and hopefully you won’t have to call AAA.
- How to clean your car in 10 minutes before a date: You’re a busy person with better things to do than tidy up, which means your car is full of random debris. The best and easiest solution is to hide all of the mess in your trunk and sort through it later. If you happen to have some perfume or cologne on you, spritz a little to cover the scent of anything gross and drive with all the windows down on your way to pick up your date.