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This Reporter's Life: Adventures in Rolla

Part two: Driving like a (wo)man

So there I was, designated driver for the night, travelling down the back roads of Rolla, over the B.C. Alberta border, windows rolled down, country music cranked (did I mention that I'm NOT a fan of this genre?) and Buddy #1's arm behind me. Smooth.

Moving on.

Buddy #2 pipes up, "This guy here is the best friend a guy could ask for." I smile and think, "Oh, here we go, a drunken 'I love you man' speech."

Buddy #2 proceeds to tell me that Buddy #1 saved his life once (of course he did). After that story he comments, "when did you meet Buddy #1? Just tonight? And you're already driving his truck, well that's something."

Buddy #1: "Yeah you spend a few days with me and we'll have you turned into a hick chick in no time!"

Buddy #2: "Yeah, he'll teach you how to drive and"

Then Buddy #1 starts telling me how I should just giv 'er gas over the big bumps because the suspension compresses when I brake, etc. But I think he forgot that I have a passenger in the back, with a beer and no belt.

At this point I'm getting kind of tired of these guys thinking I'm some kind of delicate flower that doesn't know the clutch from the e-brake. I start to get defensive. I tell them that they have no idea where I came from and shouldn't be so quick to judge.

In pride I explain my upbringing in Prince George. How I drove my dad's 1984 GMC pick-up throughout high school, that I did go hunting a few times, and that, yes, I know how to drive standard, thank you very much.

It didn't seem to matter much, because I was still only going 70 km in a 90 km zone, and again I reminded them of our forth passenger.

We finally arrive at Buddy #2's house. After we stay for a "minute," meet the dogs, and see the trailer Buddy #2 is going to rebuild, the three of us head back to Rolla.

Half way there, Guy in the back asks if I can please pull over as Mother Nature has called and quite fiercely at that.

So I pull over and while he pees, Buddy #1 walks over to the driver's door, opens it and asks if he can drive the rest of the way.

"I promise I won't crash," he said. "It's all straight from here anyways."

"Are you serious?" I think to myself.

It's like the start of a counterattack commercial and you know it's going to end badly.

Out loud I say, "Uh, no. I'd rather not and we're not much further anyway, right?"

He obliges and off we go again.

We ended up taking the highway back. When oncoming traffic came upon us, I naturally moved my foot over to the button on the floor and clicked the high beams off.

Well apparently that was all it took for Buddy #1 to realize that I do know how to drive an old 1972 pick-up (um hello? What have I been doing all night?).

He was impressed, and so was Guy. And I was proud too, to show them that I wasn't as girly girl as they thought I was.

We arrived back at the house party, which was now just glowing fire embers and empty bottles strewn about empty chairs.

That's my cue to head home. And that was my introduction to Rolla, so-called "Hicksville" north of Dawson Creek.

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