Paul: Okay, you knocked over a cone, so what's the big deal ?
Narrator/Adult: Okay, two thoughts. But that's all.
Chuck: Yeah, it's not like you ran over somebody's pet schnauzer or anything !
Paul: That's disgusting !
Kevin: Hey, you're probably right ?
Chuck: Listen, I don't know what you're so worried about, Kevin, you're a really good driver ! I've seen you !
Paul: Of course he's never seen you park !
Chuck: Heh, tss ? hehehe.
Kevin: What's that supposed to mean ?
Paul: Nothing, it's a joke !
Chuck Coleman: Boy, Kev, are you jumpy !
Paul: Come on, anyone could flub up the first couple of times they parallel park, right ?
Chuck Coleman: Absolutely !
Narrator/Adult: The trouble was, this wasn't just anyone we were talking about, this was - me !
Kevin: Hey, I never said a couple of times ! It was once, okay, so let's drop it !
Paul: Fine !
Kevin: Besides, no one's ever failed their driver's test just because they couldn't parallel park, right ?
Chuck Coleman: Right.
Narrator/Adult: And there you had it. Solid logic. In theory, anyway.
(KEVIN is going to take his road test)
Kevin: I've come to take my road test. Now !
Narrator/Adult: : I'd had it. I wasn't gonna spend the rest of my life as a shepherdess !
Man at counter: Take a seat and wait for your turn.
Narrator/Adult: Okay, be rude about it. I didn't care. It was time to take the bull by the horns. I didn't care who was watching. And the thing is, now that I was there, I actually felt kind of - calm. No question about it. From hereon in, it was just a matter of time. Nothing to do but wait ? Any minute now ? And then, the wheels came off. Now I swear to you, I swear I was ready. To the deepest fiber in my being, I was focussed, confident, I was - I was out of there.
Norma: Oh, finished honey ?
Kevin: Yeah, come on.
Norma: How did it go ?
Kevin: Piece of cake !
Narrator/Adult: You heard it, piece of cake.
Jack: Congratulations, Kev !
Norma: You did it honey !
Kevin: Thanks dad, this is really - great.
Narrator/Adult: It was terrible. I was a failure and a liar in front of my whole family.
(Wayne enters the room)
Wayne: Well, let's see it, butthead !
Kevin: What ?
Wayne: The drivers-license, where is it ? You didn't lose it already, did you ?
Kevin: No, no, I just left it in my other pants, in my other wallet ! Besides, it's just a temporary !
Norma: I can't believe it. I can still remember your father teaching you to ride a bike, and now you're driving. I guess I didn't expect you kids to grow up so fast.
Narrator/Adult: I couldn't believe it. My parents were getting spongy on me, washing away in sentimentality. So there was only one thing to say.
Kevin: I gotta go to the bathroom.
Jack: Not so fast.
Kevin: Yeah, dad ?
Jack: Here. Your mother and I got you something. You're gonna need these ?
(Jack hands Kevin a small, wrapped-up box)
Jack: It's your own set of keys to the car.
Narrator/Adult: Oh, Geez -
Kevin: Thanks ?
Jack: I'm proud of you, son.
Narrator/Adult: Like the young warrior cast out into the darkness of the jungle to proof his manhood, I was going to learn to parallel park, the only way I knew how to: alone. Sure, I was committing grand-theft auto, but there was a greater need here, I had to take my chance and I had to do it now. And the path was clear ahead. Or so I thought. At that moment I hit rock bottom. I couldn't drive, I couldn't park, I couldn't even remember to put away my father's lawnmower. I couldn't feel any worse.
Jack: Hey ! Who's out there ?
Narrator/Adult: Except then I did. The funny thing is, for a second I actually thought about running for my life.
Jack: What the hell is going on here ?
Narrator/Adult: But somehow I guess I knew I just couldn't run anymore. It was time to face the truth.
Kevin: I don't know how to park. I lied about my license. I never took the test. (hands his Dad his keys ) Here, take them. I don't want them.
Narrator/Adult: And may be in that moment I learned something. About being a man.
Jack: Yeah, you do. Come on, let's go.
Kevin: Where ?
Jack: You gotta start somewhere. (hands Kevin back the keys)
Narrator/Adult: And I learned it from the guy who wrote the book. That night my dad taught me a lot. How to parallel park, why you put away the lawnmower. And in some small way, what it takes to grow up. That Monday he took the afternoon off, and we went and got my license. He was so proud. Then he took it away, and grounded me for a month.