Driving With Dad (a scene)

(MIKE and DAD are in a car. MIKE drives.)

DAD: Where are you taking me?

MIKE: To the barber.

DAD: Not this way you’re not.

MIKE: Yes. This way. This is the fast way.

DAD: This isn’t the fast way. This is the opposite way. You needed to turn left back there.

MIKE: Look at the GPS. The GPS says we’ll get there in 11 minutes.

DAD: Eleven minutes? This way?

MIKE: Yes. This way.

DAD: No.

MIKE: Well, let’s see. Okay?

(Long pause. DAD looks out the window. He sighs loudly.)

DAD: You have no idea where you’re going.

MIKE: That’s the beauty of GPS, Dad. I don’t need to know where I’m going. (Beat.) And I do know where I’m going.

DAD: You do, huh?

MIKE: Yes.

DAD: You do.

MIKE: Yes.

DAD: Where are you going?

MIKE: Crazy. I’m going crazy.

DAD: Well, you’re crazy to go this way.

MIKE: Will you just…

DAD: This is not where the haircut place is. You’re too far north.

MIKE: Then I’ll get your haircut in Syracuse.

(Pause. DAD looks out the window. He sighs. MIKE turns right.)

DAD: No. You don’t go…

(DAD sighs again.)

DAD: (Muttering, almost sing-songy:) Don’t know where you’re going…

MIKE: (Emphatically gesturing to the GPS.) Will you just look? Look. Look at it. The GPS turned me around! I’m not going north. I’m going south. And I avoided all the lights.

DAD: My way…

MIKE: Your way is roundabout.

DAD: It’s roundabout but direct.


MIKE: What does that even mean?

DAD: It means you’re going the wrong way.

MIKE: I’m going the wrong way now? South?

DAD: No, not now. Before. Back there.

MIKE: But I’m going the right way now.

DAD: Yes. Finally.

MIKE: Then everything’s fine.

DAD: (Under his breath:) You go all the way up north, just to turn around and go south.

MIKE: Geeze, will you relax?

DAD: I am relaxed.

MIKE: I’m going to get you there!

DAD: Okay.

MIKE: So just enjoy the drive!

DAD: Sure.

MIKE: You don’t have to worry about a thing!

DAD: Nope.

MIKE: So sit yourself back and savor all of this quality father/son time!

DAD: You got it.

(DAD stares out the window. There is a very long silence.)

DAD: As soon as you get lost, I’ll be right here to help you out.

MIKE: OH, MY GOD! Dad, GPS doesn’t just tell you how to get someplace. It tells you the fastest way to get someplace. So even if your way to the barber was the fastest route…

DAD: It is the fastest route.

MIKE: It is not the fastest route. But even if it was — and it’s not — it wouldn’t the fastest route at this moment in time. Maybe there’s an accident on your route. Maybe there’s construction. There isn’t an accident or construction on your route, because your route stinks, but if your route was a good route that might be a reason why we’d be going this way and… Wait. (Beat.) Crap.

DAD: Gotta problem?

MIKE: You got me so worked up I missed the turn.

DAD: You a little turned around?


DAD: Go left.

MIKE: The GPS needs to recalibrate.

DAD: Left.

MIKE: (GPS recalibrates.) Okay. I got it. It’s back.

DAD: Little confused, are ya?

MIKE: No, I am not a little confused. I just needed to wait a second for the GPS to ––

DAD: Turn left.


(They pull up to the barbershop. MIKE stews behind the wheel. DAD smiles.)

DAD: I’m glad I could help.



54 Replies to “Driving With Dad (a scene)”

  1. This sounds very much like the conversations I listen to while your Mom is driving and Dad is “attempting” to navigate our journey. He asks me how I’ve managed to survive driving with her for many decades. I always give the same answer, “She always gets us where we were heading and we’ve always arrived safely and on time”!!

  2. My mom is blind and she still tries to drive from the passenger seat. Ditto the conversation, Mike!
    It doesn’t help either that out where I live, Siri isn’t entirely accurate with directions, especially when speaking Australian. 🙂

    1. It takes quite a lot of chutzpah for your Mom to criticize your driving when she can’t see how you drive.

      And wait a sec. Are you telling me you’re from Australia? ‘Cause if you are, my wife is gonna ask you to send her a wombat.

      1. My mom can’t see my face, but she can see a raccoon in the road a mile away! It’s weird.
        No, I’m not from Australia; I’m from Oregon. We have bats but no wombats.
        Siri is an Aussie at our house, and sometimes her interpretations of our roads and towns are unintelligible. It’s pretty funny. 🙂

      2. It’s best that you are not from Australia, for I have no idea how to wombat-proof a house. And I hear those marsupials can get a bit ornery.

        Does your Aussie Siri say things like “Crikey! Ya missed the turn, mate! Because that would be wonderful.

  3. Oh my, this story is all too familiar for me. I was laughing while reading it — and remembering. And a GPS isn’t always the shortest route. Found that out driving to Aiken, SC last summer and almost ending up in Augusta, GA, late at night with deer darting across the road.

  4. Sounds like my daughter . Without the GPS she’d be lost. Back in our days you’d study the map and off you go. Even if you don’t have a map you’ll be told go turn left at the petrol station then when you reach the milk bar turn again 😊

  5. Brilliant, Mike. You got the adult child/parent relationship to an hysterical T. (I just looked up the expression “to a T” – origins back in the 1600s, but no one really knows what it referred to, even back then). Here, it refers to adult children rolling their eyes at their parents’ cluelessness of how the world “really works.” Although, of course, in the real world, your Dad (the parent in all of our cases) knows the correct version. I happen to use Susie (my Aussie commander, just like Diana’s) to get me anywhere. I am directionally challenged. But do I have a CLUE where or how she’s taking me there? NO. But if your Dad was in the car with me, he’d know that Susie was taking me to Australia, in a roundabout way….

    1. Dad’s “roundabout but direct” style of driving can be maddening. He’d proudly know every obscure, winding back road that can take a person miles out of the way to avoid a single stop sign.

  6. I could absolute hear the dialog being spoken in that car. Did your dad have a smirk on his face when he was talking? I’m picturing a smirk.

    And just think, one day you and Alex can have a similar type of exchange when he’s driving you somewhere!

    1. Normally Dad takes pleasure in pestering me, but this time I legitimately had him vexed. So I guess I gave as good as I got?

      And to your latter point, I eagerly await that day in the not-too-distant future when I can switch roles and be the pesterer instead of the pester-ee.

  7. Parents are really hard to raise, aren’t they?? LOL! My mother and I argue about the best way to get around in my hometown also. I grew up there.. lived there again for 10 years and go back 3 or 4 times a year. Not that much has changed, but she tells me how to get around as if the whole world is different and they moved the roads since the last time I was there! Geeeez! 😂

Join the conversation! We're all friends here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: