Saturday, May 17, 2014

Keep Your Eyes on the Road & Your Hands Upon the Wheel









Doing stupid things as teenagers
was just so much fun wasn't it?!?!


And really, if you think about it...
it was our job!


If we didn't fuck up,
then who would the grown-ups
have to yell at right?


You people who are now parents
are probably in the middle of
full payback...
as your own kids are giving you...
reason to freak out... LoL


Aaahhh...
the circle of life & ulcers continues!








Keep Your Eyes on the Road
& Your Hands Upon the Wheel


This next story is just one for the ages.


There’s no way in hell that we could ever get away with anything like this nowadays,
which is probably a good thing too!


It’s really hilarious when I think about it now.
Oh fuck it, it was hilarious back when
it happened as well. Who the fuck am I
trying to kid! Let's see if you agree.


Driver’s Ed.


That’s right, Driver’s Education.


Have any of you gone through that program while you were in high school?


It was really a great idea to have someone else teach us how to drive. Let a complete stranger get the high blood pressure and stomach ulcers, and leave our parents alone.


We’ll need their forgiveness and patience for much more important things, like the first time we come home drunk, or when we get caught in that big lie, and of course, as always, we'll need their compassion on report card day!
Well, I did anyways!


The program that I attended was run out of Countess Moore Catholic high school close by Richmond Ave & Victory Blvd in the Bulls Head section of Staten Island, New York.


It was myself,
along with two friends,
Ronnie and Michael.


Left to Right Tommy Mondello Charlie & Ronnie"Mario Andretti"
Tommy Mondello on left and Michael
Top pic is me on the left, our good friend Charlie in the middle.
Who wasn't apart of this particular mayhem, but indeed had his moments!
And then on the right is him... Ronnie "Mario Andretti"... LoLoL
We were 3... no 9 sheets to the wind in Belmar last summer 2013 in that pic.

The other photo is me on the left and Mike on the right.
That's how we looked in the back seat!
Well take away that smile from Mike and put a terrified face on him
and there you have it... LoL

How could you not love these fuckin' guys!
Thru thick 'n thin my friends
Thru thick 'n thin!


Every Saturday we would either have someone drive us, or we would take a bus
to the school for our lesson.


Now I have’ta say right off the bat,
that Ronnie was the worst fucking driver
that I have ever seen in my life.


No really, just ask Michael.
Ronnie says that we’re full’a shit, but believe me, I was in the back seat while this madman
was behind the wheel.


And all I can say is……… WOW!


You know it's true Ron... LoLoLoL


Well, we were several weeks into the program, and all three of us were doing just fine.


No accidents or deaths,
not even so much as a parking ticket.
We were hot shit baby!
And then we went and crossed
that point of no mutha F'ing return.


This one particular week we showed up for our lesson as usual and we were waiting on the front steps of the school for our instructor.
His name escapes me at the moment,
but that’s not important.


What is important though,
is the fact that this guy was the biggest geek/nerd this side of the Mississippi.


Nice as all hell, but a geek nonetheless.
And good thing too, or we would’ve gotten
into big, no huge, trouble.


He was your typical nerdy-looking guy,
with thick black framed glasses, and the old plastic pocket protector in his shirt pocket.

The classic nerd... Revenge of the Nerds!
This was pretty much our instructor to the TEE!

We must end "Nerd Persecution!!"


The three of us were sitting there on the steps waiting for this butthead, who was now thirty minutes late. So we just figured that he wasn’t coming, for whatever reason.


Now fuck, what the hell
were we gonna do with ourselves?


Well, being that we now had some time to kill, someone came up with the idea
of getting some beers.


Beautiful, man!
We all agreed.


Now we were only 16 at the time, but hey, who cares. We've already been drinking beers, blackberry brandy and Southern Comfort for a while at this point. So it was an idea that wasn't too far-fetched at all!


It was also the middle of winter with snow and ice on the ground. Again, who cares.
Who the FUCK cares!
All the more reason to crack open a few.


When all else fails, and your driving instructor doesn’t show up, it’s Miller Time muthafucka.


We walked over to the deli, bought a couple six packs, and strolled over to a small wooded area alongside the school.


We were having a grand 'ole time, while frozen breath poured from our mouths in-between sips. There’s nothin’ like hangin’ out in the middle of winter drinkin’ beer with your buddies. That’s really the only time you can get away with shit like that, when you were sixteen.


Now that we’re all older, it just doesn’t seem right. Oh, wait.  We were just drinkin’ beers in the parking lot at the Black Sabbath concert last week, and it’s the middle of February! Okay, so fuck it, I’m forty goin’ on sixteen. Some things were just not meant to change!

((I originally wrote this story in 1999, one week
after the Sabbath show. That other link above
was from the Philly show in Dec during the same tour.
We saw them less than 2 months later
at the Continental Airlines Arena in Feb.))


Well, we were down to the last beer when the greatest thing that could ever happen, happened.


Who pulls up to the front steps of the school an hour and a half late, but our incredibly naive
and lovable driving instructor?


That’s right baby,
we is goin’ drivin’!
LOOK OUT BITCHES!!


Oh shit, guys look!
The geek’s here!


And with that,
the three of us each took one last gigantic swig to ignite the buzz and started for the car.
And now… let the fun begin!


As the instructor pulled up, we came running outta the woods, and headed for the car. Now, I forget who got behind the wheel first. I think it was me, Michael, then, Mario fucking Andretti (Ronnie)... race driver extraordinaire!


Both Michael and myself
cruised without incident.


Then, it was his turn!


And Ron,
if you’re reading this right now,
you’d better be laughin’ muthafucka!
Because you know it’s true you hump.
You were a disaster behind the wheel.
But we still love you anyways.

(It's just so funny for me to be rereading this after both so many years after it actually happened, and also after have written this back in 1999.
Still makes me laugh... LoL)


Ronnie climbed into the driver’s seat.
He then gracefully turned on the directional, stuck his hand out the window
and pulled away from the curb.


Then, fuckin’ floored it!


Zero-to-60 in one second flat.


Michael and myself were already grasping onto anything our fingers could sink into
in the back seat.


Actually, he was doing pretty well, albeit
he was doin’ it at 90 miles per hour,
but doing pretty well nonetheless.


Until, we got to Rockland Ave.


Holy Mother of “F”, lookout!


This is where Ronnie came up with one of the greatest lines I have ever heard in my life.
In MY LIFE!


"I'm just keepin’ up with traffic!"


Beautiful!


I use this line still to this day when I catch myself doin’ 94 in a 25 mile per hour zone.


Now, Rockland Ave is one of those narrow winding roads that can get you killed on a nice sunny dry day, let alone a cold icy one. See for yourself. Scroll up a bit and click on that Rockland Ave map link. Down hill,
winding and deadly!


Well, we hit Rockland with a vengeance.
By now our fingers were raw, and practically bleeding from holding onto things
in the backseat.


We were cruising at a nice speed
when all of the sudden...
BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG!


"Oh fuck, Mike, we’re gonna die!
He's gonna fuckin' kill us!


LoLoLoLoLoLoL


At this point, the roadway had huge puddles of water that had frozen over, creating a one-foot high curb of ice on either side of the street.


Ronnie began to bounce off one side of the ice wall like he was in a fuckin’ stock car race. We were just about crying in the backseat
when the instructor says...


Okay Ronnie,
I think we’re going a little bit too fast!


A LITTLE TOO FAST!

FFFUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!


Cape or no cape………
Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but he ain’t catchin’ up to fuckin’ Ronnie.
No way dude!


Again, the instructor says...


Let’s slow it down Ronnie!


And then, the immortal words passed Ronnies lips as if Ernest Hemingway himself
had written them for us to hear...


But I’m only keeping up with traffic!


Keepin’ up with traffic?


He was the fuckin' traffic!


Kept in context,
that line is nothing short of pure perfection!


Thank goodness there was no one in front of us, because Ronnie would’ve run them right off the road. What an animal behind the wheel he was... LoL


Oh, man, you really had to be in the car to get the full appreciation of it all. The instructor was sweating bullets. Michael and myself were still half drunk, clinging for our lives in the backseat.


And Ronnie was quietly and calmly
sitting behind the wheel, as if he were
driving Miss fucking Daisy
to the corner store!


It was just an honest response he gave.
It was truly a gift from the word Gods no doubt… just keeping up with traffic.


Fuckin’ beautiful, man!
Fuckin' beautiful!


We finally escaped the Rockland Ave racetrack only to find ourselves in a small predicament.
All three of us had to relieve ourselves.


You know, take a piss.
And a big one too.


Between the beers, the cold weather, and the Coney Island bumper cars, it was like someone had two hands wrapped around our bladders, and they were squeeeezing.

Ronnie Michael and Tommy Mondello driving on Rockland Ave  LoL
This was us on Rockland Ave... LoL
Only without the smiles... LoL
The real Coney Island Bumper Cars.


So this is where one of the coolest things
to ever happen, happened.


Ronnie found a semi out of the way overpass that was underneath the West Shore Expressway.


It was by Arthur Kill Road & Huguenot Ave,
for anyone who cares to know
or has ever driven by it.


He pulled over to the curb, the three of us jumped out at the same time, and lined up against the cement wall. Whipped our dicks out, and soon, three gigantic streams of steaming Budweiser were marking said wall.


Sort of resembling the photo that was on an album cover from one of our favorite bands,
The Who. The album was called Who’s Next, which depicts the four band members walking away from a huge cement block in the middle of nowhere that they had all just urinated on.
Poetry my friend, pure poetry in motion!

The WHO, Who's Next album cover 1971


It was a proud moment for us, and quite an accomplishment as well, in our eyes anyhow.

(My goodness, just listen to what I just said!
"proud moment"... LoL
How great was it to be young and stupid!)


And don't blame me
if you suddenly feel the urge to pee if and when
you ever drive by this overpass in the future! LoL


When we got back to the car,
the instructor goes...


Have you guys been drinking?



We just cracked up right in his face,

and in unison barked back...


HELL NO!


And with that said, Ronnie slipped the car into gear, and like a bat outta muthafuckin' hell, headed back to the start.



We would survive yet another

foolish teenage adventure!


Drunk driving at 16 years of age.

Does it get any cooler than that or what!?


And remember now,

this was way back in 1978/79, when no one really gave a fuck about drinking ‘n driving.
When we got pulled over back then, they just
made us pour our beers out onto ground.


Glad those daze are long gone!



The classes seemed to help Ronnie and myself. We both passed the driving portion of the test. Michael failed the driving part the first time around. Oh, Mike, how could you, you spaz!



But hey, I shouldn't speak! I failed the fuckin' written test the first time I took it. What a dick! I mean a monkey could pass that damn thing... LoL



Funnier yet was, that fuckin' Ronnie/Mario Andretti passed everything the first time around. Shit, maybe we should’ve driven like psychopaths out there on Rockland.

It might’ve helped us on our tests!!!!


Anyway, all three of us are still driving to this day. We just don’t pee on overpass walls anymore. Well not usually anyways.



We just pee in parking lots,
between the cars
when we go to concerts! Ha!


Drive on muthatrucka!



Drive on!