A license for backseat driving

ESCANABA – This column is going to get me in trouble, so let me preface it by saying that I think women are by far the superior gender.

They’re smarter, stronger, prettier and kinder than men. They smell better, too. And unlike men, they don’t think belching is funny. What’s not to like?

If all that isn’t enough, there’s also the childbirth thing, the ultimate trump card. I watched all three times my wife gave birth and it’s nothing I would ever want to try, nor would any man. If men had to give birth the human race would have been extinct long ago, trust me.

Even the idea of sex would terrify us.

“Hey, whoa, I see that look in your eye. Do you have any idea where babies come out of? Think again, sister.”

So in summation: I like women. I love women. Some of the greatest people I’ve ever known are women. But as a gender – and this is the part that’ll get me in trouble – they are incapable of not backseat driving.

Seriously. They can’t do it. Put a woman in a vehicle with a male driver and she will tell him how to drive, sure as the sun shines.

I was reminded of this phenomenon again recently when I had both my wife, the lovely yet formidable Marcia, and my terrifying sister Jenny in the vehicle with me on a 45 minute trip from Escanaba to Vulcan, which is an actual village west of Escanaba.

My general reaction to the trip can be summed up in three words: Oh. My. God.

“You’re going too fast.”

“You’re going too slow.”

“Stop tailgating! Are you trying to kill us?”

“Don’t honk at him. You don’t know what kind of day he’s had.”

“Weren’t you supposed to turn there?”

To be honest, I think some of their helpful suggestions were on purpose. They like to gang up on me because: A) They know it bugs me, and B) they’re horrible, horrible people.

Plus, I just think women think men are bad, inattentive or just plain stupid drivers. I know that’s the case with Marcia and me. When I’m at a stoplight she always – always – feels the need to tell me when the light turns green. Why? Does she think that I sit there at intersections doing nothing when she’s not with me? How does she think I get places?

When I ask her she says, “I wouldn’t need to tell you to go if you went when the light changes. But you just sit there like a lump until other cars are halfway through the intersection. You really need to pay more attention.”

That’s ridiculous, of course. As I said to Marcia and Jenny, I pay perfect attention to what’s going on at all times, which is why I’m such a good driver, and one who has no need for female intervention.

“Is that so?” Marcia. “Then you’re probably aware that we missed our turn 10 miles back, right?”

“Why didn’t you say something?” I asked, realizing they were right.

“We did. You didn’t listen. As usual.”

Yeah, I think I’ll live that down by the year 2525.

Shut up.

EDITOR’S NOTE – Andy Heller, an award-winning columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Write to Andrew Heller at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.