Gen X drove me crazy when Mark Wahlberg took the driving test. Maybe that’s normal for his generation. Millennials don’t seem to want to drive, and a lot of Gen Xers gave it up for Lent. Why would any of them study for the written DMV driver’s test if they aren’t going to drive? When they need a ride, they take an Uber, whose driver actually knows which signal to use and why.
They are going to have to pry the car keys out of the cold, dead hands of the Boomers.
Gen X precedes the Millennials. As a Boomer, I babysat the Gen Xers and made some good money doing so. At least, for the 1970s I did. That was when the minimum wage was less than $4. Back then, fifty cents, pooled by all your friends, would get you a couple of gallons of gas.
Every time I hear that a teen is making $20 or more an hour babysitting, I have a metaphorical meltdown, boring everyone around me with horror stories of making $.50 an hour.
Below is a Breakfast Club definition of a Gen Xer, which Marky Mark Wahlberg is, having been born almost to the day I graduated high school: June 5,1971.
There’s probably a Gen X’er (born between 1965 to 1981), close to you. Not that you noticed. They’re normally known as the slackers, the latchkey kids, the middle-child generation. Caught between boomers and younger Millennials, Generation X is mainly known for being neglected and ignored.
I beg to differ that I “ignored” Gen Xers. My nephew was one, and I had fun toting him all over the place.
My son is a millennial, and doesn’t have his driver’s license, which makes him the opposite of a Boomer right there. He has size 17 feet, and wears steel toed sneaker boots that cover the entire floorboard from gas pedal to brake. It’s frightening to think about. We need a Shaquille O’Neal car.
Boomers were plotting to drive as soon as they were born. My son would have been an embarrassing little brother for Mark Wahlberg because it would prove his mom still had sex at the age of 40.
Gen X was still into cars, like the Boomers were, but when it comes to knowing how to learn the answers to a test, Mr. Wahlberg proved he had been seriously ignored in school.
The MOTH (man of the house), and I were fooling around with YouTube on our television after we’d hooked it up through that Slinger AirFryer thing.
An Ellen Degeneres interview with Mark Wahlberg popped up. Ellen gave him a verbal practice driver’s test taken from the DMV handbook using index cards. His daughter was about to take her driver’s test and Mark claimed he was helping his daughter pass it.
I do hope dear old dad didn’t coach his daughter for her upcoming exam. In fact, I kind of hope he didn’t help his kids with any homework or tests.
One of the multiple choice questions Ellen posed to Mark was, “When you park on a level street, do you park within 18 inches of the curb, turn the wheels outward, or hop out and do the merengue before sacrificing a chicken in the noonday sun?”
It must be 50 years since I took the driver’s test, but I answered it in five seconds. Marky Mark couldn’t answer it because he was too busy debating the question and the fifty possible scenarios that might occur during this putative “drive” he was taking for the test.
To hide the fact that he doesn’t know squat about parallel parking on a level street, or what to do with his wheels when he parks (I think he suggests people take the wheels off the car and tie them to the roof), he asks Ellen, “Who has the right of way when two cars meet on a narrow steep road?”
Is it the driver going up, or the driver going down? Mark asks Ellen.
This question never shows up on a driver’s test unless there’s a snowy day in San Francisco. The answer depends on which driver has the space to let the other driver over so they can pass. Also, his question was irrelevant to the question at hand.
Irrelevance be damned. Mark then tells Ellen that it’s not okay to park 18 inches away from the curb. Oh, no. That simply isn’t “done.” In other words, he has not got a clue.
The next question was, “How far down the road should a driver look while driving?” The choices were, “Look at the horizon;” “Look 10 to 15 seconds ahead,” or “Look 3 car lengths ahead.”
Mark debated that question with her, too, for at least two minutes after I had answered it in five seconds, which is half the time needed to look down the road. He kept mentioning the number of “feet” the question mentioned, except the word “feet” never set foot in the answer choices. Not even once.
Kitties came up, though, because Mark asked Ellen where a driver should look to avoid running one over. I’m sure Mark travels by limo everywhere, because this guy never took a test and passed it in his life, unless it was how many kitties it takes to drive a car.
After Ellen gave up and threw the DMV book over her shoulder, I had an insight as to why and when kids no longer graduated high school in the same numbers as the Boomers, and why they had to go to detention in the library.
Sometime in the 60s, schools said kids should be taught to “think critically,” but something got lost in the translation. It does not mean to question everything the DMV puts on paper. The DMV invented the driving test in a lame attempt to ensure safer roads and knowledgeable drivers.
In other words, you don’t look for the bias against kitties in every test. You look for bias against poor people or job loss, in a novel about the Depression. You question the perspective of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, or Lord of the Flies.
Failing to do either of those will not affect a person’s ability to earn a driver’s license in the state of California.
I run into this all the time in interactions on the internet.
A Gen Xer or a Millennial will drive me crazy over my choice of words, or whether I seem to give a rat’s behind about what they’ve just said, no matter how mundane it is. Often, we Boomers don’t give a rat’s behind about it. When we grew up we heard a lot about “being mellow.”
We stand behind being mellow. When we feel like it, that is.
These are broad statements, I’m aware. Not all Gen Xers or Millennials fail at driver’s tests, I’m sure.
They can and will blithely overlook what you did say, focus on what they assume you said, just so they can argue with you over what they want to say.
Play along the best you can and toss those note cards over your shoulder. Epic fail ahead.
Ellen starts the test at 6:26: