Thank you for ordering this transcript of Episode No. 17 of Driving Instructor, the hit Dumont reality series that follows a suburban driving instructor as he teaches eager young teenagers how to drive. Dumont makes these transcripts available for educational purposes only. By reading this transcript, you agree to be bound by the User Agreement, a copy of which may be found in the vault at Dumont headquarters if you are a trained safecracker. You also agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Dumont Network and its employees, contractors, and suppliers from any liability for damages resulting from paper cuts or eyestrain.

All right now, Tiff—is that what you said you like to be called? Good. Now, let’s start by backing up. No, wait a moment, Tiff. You’re forgetting what we talked about. What’s the first thing you do before you put the car in gear? That’s right. You call somebody on your cell phone. You can just call me, and then we can talk by phone while you drive. Of course I’ll still be right here beside you, but it’s the principle that’s important.

Now we’re ready to back up. Put it in R and back up. Why are you waiting? No, if you wait for every toddler who wanders behind your car, you might as well stay parked all afternoon. Now give it some gas. I want to smell rubber. Great! You’re a natural. And see? The toddler jumped out of the way anyway. They always do.

Now we need to get out of the parking lot. Lots of accidents happen in parking lots, so the less time you spend in one the better. You should head for the exit as fast as you can. Get it up to at least forty. Great! Now, you see where it says “Do not exit”? That’s where I’d go out. They just put that sign there to keep the exit clear of riffraff, like those dopes who are lined up at the traffic light over there.

Turn right when you get out to the street. There’s a long empty space with no traffic, so right now would be a good time to brush your hair or touch up your eyeliner or something. You’ve got plenty of time. Wait until the next clot of traffic gets good and close. It’ll be a minute. Okay, now go! Perfect! Did you hear the brakes screeching?

Okay, now keep going down this street for a while. You see that car in front of us? The one that’s moving at a steady speed? Whenever there’s an object in front of you moving at a steady speed, you should always rush up to it as close as you can and then slam on the brakes. That lets people know you’re serious about driving, and it keeps your brakes in good condition. A bit faster. Faster than that. Now slam. Good job! Now, the speed limit here says it’s 45, and this jerk in front of us is going 45. Are you going to let him get away with that? Start flashing your lights and honking your horn. Honk again. Keep honking until you get a reaction. There! See that? When he raises one finger like that, that’s the universal sign that he acknowledges the justice of your argument. Always remember, your right to break the speed limit cancels his right to obey it.

Now we’re going to turn left. No, don’t signal yet. Remember, turn signals cost five dollars a flash. You have to save them up. Now, up at this four-way stop is where we’re going to turn. Four-way stops are tricky, but the rule is pretty simple: no matter how many cars get there before you, you only have to wait for one of them. And stop. No, I don’t mean stop all the way. If your wheels stop rolling, someone else is going to go first, and then you lose. It’s a very competitive world out there at the four-way stop. Now go, and as you’re turning flick on your signal for two flashes. Careful you don’t drop the phone. Don’t worry about the horn: that’s just some guy who doesn’t understand the rules. Hurry up and flick off the signal! You let it go for an extra flash there, Tiff. That’s fifteen dollars right there.

You should be accelerating a lot faster than that. Don’t be timid, or people will get ahead of you, and the one thing you never want to have is a slower car in front of you. And don’t worry about wasting gas. Gas will be practically free when we conquer the rest of the Middle East. This street is kind of narrow, with cars parked on both sides, so it’s important not to slow down. You don’t want people to think you’re a coward. Just grit your teeth and step on it. And don’t worry about the mirror on that Lexus we just passed. Mirrors are a dime a dozen.

We’re coming up on a traffic light now, so speed up a bit. It’s turning yellow now, so step on it. Remember, the rule is that, if you saw it when it was green, you can go through. Good work! You made it before anyone else started into the intersection. Pedestrians don’t count.

Now, I want to ask you a serious question, Tiff. Have you been drinking? No? Well, let’s park in front of Guy’s Hotel up there in the next block. They never check ID, and you could use a couple of stiff ones before we get on the Parkway.


  1. kyp says:

    Having driven in Pittsburgh twice, it’s clear that I’ll need to take this class before I try driving a third time; I’ve been misinterpreting the hand signals this whole time. Luckily, as a Wisconsin driver, I can probably find a good drinking coach out here.

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