A License to Drive
Whit is enjoying a calm afternoon at Whit’s End when the quiet is suddenly shattered by an argument between Connie and Eugene. Whit wants to know what the fuss is. Connie tells him that she was just trying to share one of her goals with Eugene, her dream of being a teacher, and Eugene burst out laughing!
Whit reproves Eugene, but Eugene insists that he couldn’t help himself. He says his reaction was involuntary. His brain finds the concept of Connie becoming a teacher to be absurd. Connie responds with a low blow, making fun of Eugene’s lack of a driver’s license. Another argument ensues. Whit again breaks up the fight. He asks them why they can’t help each other instead of tearing the other person down all the time. Connie guesses that it’s because they just don’t see eye-to-eye. Eugene speculates that they rarely have opportunities to assist one another.
Whit doesn’t buy their excuses. He immediately comes up with an idea to bring them together. Connie wants to be a teacher, and Eugene needs help to pass his driver’s test, so Whit orders Connie to teach Eugene how to drive!
At first, the experiment is a disaster. Connie is an overbearing instructor, and Eugene believes the best way to learn how to drive is to memorize the Odyssey traffic manual and study the workings of the internal combustion engine. Despite their best efforts, Eugene again fails the test.
They are both ready to give up when Whit makes them try again. They take a practice drive around McAlister Park and come across a car with a pregnant lady inside who is about to give birth. Eugene is forced to face his greatest fear. He must drive them all to the hospital while Connie stays with the mother in the backseat.
Everything works out fine. Later, when Eugene, Connie, and Whit visit little Connie Eugenia in the maternity ward, Eugene proudly shows off his new driver’s license, and thanks Connie for being such a good teacher.
- What are the qualities of a good teacher?
- Was Connie a good one?
- Why or why not?
- After Eugene failed his driver’s test, why didn’t Whit let both he and Connie quit?
- Have you ever wanted to quit a difficult task?
- What or who prevented you from doing so?
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|Mother of Connie Eugenia||Chris Anthony|
- This episode concludes the short Eugene's Driver's License saga.
- This is the only episode where Connie, Eugene, and Whit are the only named characters (not counting Connie Eugenia).
- The pregnant woman in this episode is played by Chris Anthony, who, at the time, was pregnant at the recording but didn't know it.
- Though Eugene was based on a young fan's dad who was "always losing his keys," he didn't learn how to drive until this episode — fairly far into the series. His keys up to this point must have consisted of keys to his residence, Whit's End, or similar.
- The title of this episode is an allusion to at least two separate movies:
- Connie tells Eugene "Let's start at the beginning" and Eugene replies "a very good place to start." This is likely a reference to the song "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music.
- Eugene relays the experience of failing his drivers’ license test (twice) as one of his most embarrassing moments in #807: “Connie the Counselor”.
- This episode can be heard on the homepage of the OAC website.
- The titles of the episodes in Album 50: The Best Small Town were all parodies of early AIO episodes; this episode's title was parodied by #633: “License to Deprive”.
- Eugene laments that he failed the road test twice, counting his attempts in both this episode and #193: “A Tongue of Fire”. However, it should have been impossible for him to take the road test the first time since testing facilities require applicants to pass the knowledge test before taking the road test.
Eugene Meltsner: I'm talking about an irresponsible advantage of power.
Connie Kendall: Whoa ho, I get it! It's okay for you to be Mr. Brainiac and lord your knowledge over the rest of us, but you get real uptight when someone knows something you don't, huh, Eugene?
Eugene Meltsner: Miss Kendall, there is nothing you know that I do not!
Connie Kendall: Except maybe how to drive?
Eugene Meltsner: I cannot have Miss Kendall teaching me—ha!—how to drive!
Connie Kendall: What is the very first thing you do when you get in your car?
Eugene Meltsner: Simple. Start the engine!
Connie Kendall: Wrong!
Eugene Meltsner: Wrong?! Then you need to, uh...you need to, uh...adjust the mirrors!