Daniel Von Fange

Life, Code, and Cool Stuff

Use "Park" When Stopping at the Bank

I think I earned a reputation down at the bank today. As you may know, I’m just learning how to drive and I also live, work, and play at home. Trips to the outside world are pretty seldom. Today it was time to take the family business’s received checks off to the bank, so Mom called me up on my cellphone as I was setting up a CVS repository for a new web project, and offered to let my drive to the bank. “Great”, I said, “I’ll be right there.” We stopped to pick up the Buckie dog, who loves to go for rides, and off we went.

Everything went fine going to the bank. I pulled into the drive in, rolled down the window, said “Howdy” to the familiar teller, leaned way out to put the checks in little drawer. Then things stopped going according to plan.

The van is a big 15 passenger Ford. To reach the little drawer which was placed a level to be used by little cars, I had to lean way out. In doing so my foot came off the brake pedal. The van began rolling away from the window! I had forgotten to put it in park! I quickly leaned back inside and stomped on the brakes. Sadly, my moving back inside had moved my foot over a few inches. Instead of still being over the brakes, my foot was over the accelerator. Now you have to understand that in addition to being able to take our family across the US, or haul a ton or so of C-Clamps around town, our faithful Ford van has the spirit of a race car. Many are the times I have meant to come gently out of stoplight and almost burned rubber, being used to driving one of our other cars. When you press the gas down about half way you get slammed into your seat. When I meant to stop rolling, I did not press down just half way. It was all the way down. We went flying out of the covered bank drive through like we were bank robbers.

As soon as I felt us rocketing off, I hit the real breaks, and we slowly backed up to the window again. Nobody could stop laughing. The tellers were rocking back and forth behind the bullet proof window. Mom in the passenger seat was laughing and asking me what I had just done. I was grinning quite sheepishly. The other bank teller managed to use the microphone and jokingly ask if this was my first day of driving.

At least if you have to make a big fool out of your self, it’s good not to have to do it in front of strangers. And also it’s a good idea to use park when you stop!