1980’s Runaway Vehicle Leads to a Spree of Hilarious Confessions
A case of "driver's education" in the late 1980's has led to a series of hilarious confessions of similar childhood mishaps.
When my sisters and I were young, my dad would occasionally take us to a large or empty parking lot, sit one of us on his lap and let us drive the car. "Don't go above that line that says 'twenty'," he'd tell us sternly, pointing to the speedometer. He'd let us drive our way around the parking lot -- his foot on the brake and always ready to grab the steering wheel if need be -- swapping us every few minutes so that each of us got a fair turn. That I recall, there was only ever one "incident" when my younger sister accidentally steered us into a large snowbank one winter.
While my stories of underage driving are not without close supervision, that's not the case for a series of accounts that were recently shared at the Minnesota thread of Reddit. "Is there a chance that anyone remembers this?" asked Reddit user u/camper_camper218. "My claim to shame. Bloomington in late 80’s." The post is accompanied by a photo of an old news clipping.
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"A four-year-old boy found out how to slip his family's station wagon into neutral last week," reads the photo's caption. "The car rolled out of his family's driveway, across Xerxes Avenue, near 82nd Street, and into a gas valve in front of an apartment complex. Shown in Bloomington firefighter Steve Anderson shortly after the gas was shut off."
Presumably, the individual who posted the news clipping is also the individual responsible for the incident some 30+ years ago.
"Way too early for my time, but this is hilarious," commented one Reddit user. Many others, however, could relate and were quick to share their own mishaps.
"I did the same thing in a Tom Thumb parking lot," shared 3030tron, "rolled back down the incline narrowly missing the gas pumps."
"My mother had left me in the car to go into a non child friendly store," shared gadgetsdad. "It was 1963 or 64. Our car was a 52 Chevy Deluxe. The starter switch was a pushbutton on the dash. My mother looked out the store window to see the car rolling by with me steering and holding the starter button. I had released the parking brake too."
"I did the same thing," admitted DharmaBrewer. "In my case it was the early 1980's, my father's van, and in Mendota Heights. Luckily my dad jumped in and stopped the vehicle before it went into a ditch. Apparently I thought I'd help him by driving the van up the driveway to the house, while he got the mail."
"My cousin did something like this at around 4 years old and pinned a lady against either a building or another vehicle, breaking at least one of her legs," shared Cyrano_de_Maniac.