Grandpa’s ‘Driving’ Me Crazy

What’s with my grandpa being so blasé about the fact that his car’s falling apart? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously – you don’t know my grandpa. In all likelihood, you don’t know anyone even remotely like him; he’s completely one of a kind. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to driving, he could really stand to take safety into consideration.

In short, the old van he drives desperately needs a brake pad replacement or something… definitely some kind of brake repair. Moorabbin is not the most difficult of areas for getting around without a car, but grandpa doesn’t see it that way, so he’s refusing to take it in to a mechanic. I’ve tried telling him that he won’t have any car at all if he wraps it around a tree when he has a braking malfunction on his way to squash. But there’s no telling him.

That’s not all. His dashboard lights have stopped working, meaning he can’t read the speedometer when he’s driving at night. That’s a significant problem, right? There doesn’t seem to be two ways about it. But in grandpa’s view, it’ll be fine as long as he adopts the speed of the car in front of him.  

All I can say is, watch out if you’re driving in Bentleigh. Auto electrical repair concerns (or lack thereof) aside, I’m amazed at grandpa’s apparent disregard for other road users. When I’ve confronted him about it, he says that, in his defense, he learned to drive a good 60 years ago. I responded that I’m pretty sure safety was a going concern back in the 1960s, to which he replied that people saw the bigger picture back then. I call nonsense.

Any ideas as to what I can do about this? Dad long ago stopped trying to talk grandpa around to anything, especially if it involves spending money or being even slightly inconvenienced, so he’s no help. I think I need a new angle. There must be some aspect of the situation that can get grandpa excited about automotive repair… as long he doesn’t end up trying to do it himself.