I didn’t learn how to drive until I was 30 years old. I grew up in Hawaii, and my parents didn’t want me to learn until after high school, but by then, I was already off to college on the mainland (Pittsburgh, PA to be exact). After college, I moved to Boston where life is actually easier not owning an automobile. Boston’s public transportation is decent, traffic stinks, the drivers are fucking psychotic, and parking is always a bitch… it’s just easier. It was only until I moved to Pawtucket, RI when I really needed a car to survive in this modern world. Pawtucket is not the middle of nowhere. But mobility is freedom, and if I wanted to start my career as a freelance animator, that mobility was essential.

My friend, who I bought half a house with in Rhode Island, agreed to teach me how to drive. I also took lessons at AAA. After I got my license, I bought a new Toyota Corrolla and named her Shanaynay. Things seemed like they were “on the up and up.” I ventured out on my own in my desired career and doing well, owned a 3 bedroom house, new car, new pet cat…

The day after I got my new car, I was driving in Providence late in the evening and… I ran over a raccoon. I mean- SMASH!, Bump! (front tire), thump! (back tire), and I could see it violently twitching in my rear view mirror. I couldn’t pull over to see if it was okay because the street I was driving on has no place to pull over. If it didn’t die from my collision, surely the next car coming around the bend would end all suffering.

This was the “Thank You for teaching me how to Drive” e-card I quickly animated for Dee (the friend who helped me learn to drive).  Watch it until the raccoon makes it’s appearance.

I'm a big wimp when it comes to killing animals.  Bugs are just about the only thing I'm capable of murdering and sleeping well the next night.  I imagine if we still lived in hunter-gather lifestyle, I'd... well... I'd still be the useless artist making decor.  Just a millisecond before my bumper met the raccoon's face, I actually made eye-contact with the poor guy... furry black white and grey stripes, he was much like the kitten I decided to adopt the week before.  Anyway,  after I ran over the raccoon  I parked my car at Whole Foods and just sat there feeling guilty.  If I didn't learn how to drive, that raccoon would still be alive.

Anyhow, if the animation went by too fast (yeah, I should program controls on this Flash animation), here's the frame right before the "THUMP!"