My New Driving Instructor
I just found out that Alpas– my driving instructor– made a formal request to be released from his duties as my teacher.
I had no idea.
He’d told me that he was going on his Hajj and that as he wasn’t sure when he’d be back from Mecca, it would be in my best interest to find another teacher.
I turns out this was a lie. Alpas never went on a Hajj and all the while has been teaching other students. Let me quote from the letter I was forwarded after trying to find out if he was back and ready to continue with our lessons:
“Instead of concentrating on the road Mister Murray seemed to prefer willful nattering, thus presenting a constant threat of an accident, endangering both his instructor and his inspectors newly repaired vehicle.”
“On numerous occasions Mister Murray was watching female pedestrians instead of the road, presenting a serious risk for an accident.”
“Mister Murray frequently asked inappropriate questions about my religious practices that made me feel very uncomfortable.”
“Mister Murray has shown no willingness or ability to learn and in my opinion is unteachable.”
There’s an awful lot I could say in my defense. For instance, the reason my driving skills never progressed was because Alpas was a HORRIBLE instructor. Also, Alpas frequently took one of his “obligatory” five daily prayer sessions during our one-hour class, and it appeared to be nothing more than a cigarette break where he stood around and smoked with cab drivers in front of the mosque. However, I’m not a mud slinger so I’m not going to get into a fight here, and Alpas, if you happen to be reading this I want you to know that I wish you nothing but the best and maybe some veneers for your teeth.
And so I’ve been assigned a new driving instructor and his name is Tarik.
He’s a bit of a dude.
Even though he has an emerging bald spot on the crown of this head, he spikes his thin, black hair. When I met him he was wearing wraparound sunglasses and had the earpiece from his phone dangling off his ear like a status symbol. The ring tone to his phone, which had a screen saver of him doing a chin up in an undershirt, was Bad Boys, the theme from Cops.
He was the anti-Alpas.
One of the first things he told me was that I had a gift from God when it came to driving. This was something Alpas never thought to tell me. Tarik was impressed by my confidence and my ability to accelerate through yellow lights, traits that are very highly valued with dudes.
Tarik also told me about all the sexy students he dated, and how Asians, East Asians and Pakistani people were absolutely the worst drivers on the planet. But I think the best part of the experience was getting a nickname. Tarik dubbed me “Fire Chaser,” (this because we spent the hour long lesson in pursuit of the source of a fire that was burning in the city—it was on Wellesely Street!) which is a super cool nickname, way better than “Nibblet,” which was what my old floor hockey team, the Jesus Cobras, called me.
They can suck it.