My car, affectionately known as Old Blue, is a 2009 Ford Focus. There are many words one could use to describe my car, and quiet is not one of them. When I turn the car on, accelerate, or drive up the slightest incline, Old Blue sounds more like a motorcycle than a than a small sedan. And driving up a hill sounds like a helicopter is taking off.
I usually deal with this by simply turning the volume up on the radio.
On Friday night, Matt and I were going to my cousin's birthday party. We knew parking would be tight, so we opted to take the Focus instead of Matt's F-150. He drove, and I prepared him for the noise he would hear.
And then Old Blue was as quiet as a church mouse.
So I said "Okay, you're really going to hear the noises when you go up the hill past that light."
"Just you wait until you have to merge onto the turnpike."
Old Blue made a fool out of me. Naturally, Matt credited the smooth and silent ride to his self-proclaimed stellar driving skills.
The next day we heard about an app that scores your driving abilities, and because we love a little competition, we both downloaded it. The app scores you on five areas: braking, acceleration, cornering, speeding, and phone distraction.
Matt came home on Monday night proud as a peacock because his score was a 100. Mine was a respectable 94. Keep in mind that Matt drives two total miles per day on quiet suburban streets to the train station. I drive a minimum of thirty miles on the highway at rush hour.
The app tells you where you went wrong, and my infractions were for harsh cornering and speeding. After I admitted my vehicular shortfalls, I tried to justify it by saying "Well, everyone speeds on that road."
I drive a lot for work, so I've accumulated a few hundred miles since Monday. I'm proud to say my score has increased to an almost perfect 98.8.
As I was checking my score this morning, I get a text from Matt that said "Oh yea, police school is official."
Several weeks ago, our local police department advertised for the spring session of their Citizen's Police Academy. Matt's dream job is to be a police officer, and I love men in uniform, so obviously we applied.
And then we joked about what would happen if one of us got accepted and the other didn't. Neither of us have criminal records and we are upstanding citizens, but we thought it would be funny.
After I saw Matt's text I immediately checked my email so I could read my acceptance letter.
And there was nothing.
Newsflash. It was not actually that funny.
And for a brief moment, I thought, "Officer Gillespie can see the app. He knows I speed occasionally and maneuver harshly around corners."
Matt double checked his email and it turns out the officer simply spelled my name wrong.
I can't blame him, because I did the same thing.
So, we will be reporting for police school on March 1st. My goal is to have a driving score of 100 by then.
Hopefully I'm not pulled over for speeding in the meantime.