Some people just shouldn't be allowed to drive. It's a simple exclusion. And although it is true that with enough practice, one can sometimes acquire a skill or develop one (sometimes to the point of expertise), it is also true that there are some who, no matter how many hours of practice they put in, will never be qualified to do certain tasks. Apparently, Willie Robertson's teen daughter, Sadie, is one of those uniquely unqualified to operate a vehicle.
On "Driving Miss Sadie," the "Duck Dynasty" bunch start off by the show by enjoying the new spectator sport of watching a teen learn how to drive. Laughing and joking, they make light of Sadie's driving skills. Of course, they're even tougher on the instructor, their boss Willie. (A casual viewer of the show might wonder when these guys ever get around to making Duck Commander duck calls, the product that made the Robertson family millionaires. They sure seem to do a lot of activities together that involve them all and at the same time doesn't involve production of their product.) Willie wants to teach Sadie how to parallel park, while brother Jase mocks the entire idea ("I protest parallel parking") and Si scoffs but can't seem to even say "parallel parking." Sadie becomes self-conscious with all the guys watching. Willie becomes exasperated at her lack of develop. And then she hits the trash can he's set up as a limiting marker. When Willie jumps out of the truck to right the overturned trash can, Sadie revs the engine, sending Willie running for cover under an eave of the warehouse.
With all the guys laughing, Willie is done with driver's ed for awhile.
In the office, Willie gets a visit from his wife, Korie. He informs her that Sadie is one of the worst driver's he's ever seen.
In the meantime, the guys out in the warehouse tell Sadie that her dad is simply overreacting and making driving difficult for her. Si tells her that they learn how to drive in Vietnam when they're seven years old. It's easy, he insists. Why, he can teach her how to drive in no time. With some reluctance (because Si is known as the loose cannon in the family), she jumps in the truck with him. And down the road they go.
Si's driving style is -- in a word -- erratic. Sadie is a bit nervous, and rightly so, as Si weaves from side to side on the highway, talking and gesturing and taking drinks from his ever-present tea cup. He tells her there are three rules to driving: Hands a 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock on the steering wheel (and the more knowledgeable Sadie asks, "You sure about that?"), always be on offense when driving, and always keep a cup of tea on hand. Speeding down the road, Sadie points out that a speed limit sign they passed was far lower than the speed Si was traveling. Great uncle Si tells her that the sign is "just a suggestion."
Back at the warehouse, Willie walks into the work area and asks for the whereabouts of his daughter. Everybody gets quiet. As he starts to become angry, he notices that Si is absent.
As he leaves the warehouse, Si and Sadie pull in. Willie is simply relieved that they're back alive, but he wants to know what was going on. Sadie admitted Si was teaching her how to drive, but when she tells her father some of his driving strategies, like pedestrians should beware of vehicles and a person can buy a fighting chicken in Vietnam for under $20, Willie is obviously unimpressed.
Then its back to the obstacle course in the warehouse parking lot. Willie sets up duck decoy markers for Sadie to drive around. For each one she successfully maneuvers around, he'll give her $20. She commences to crushing duck decoys.
Jase tells Willie he's making his daughter nervous, that he can do better with only five minutes of instruction. So he jumps in the truck with Sadie in the passenger seat, tells her that the best thing about vehicles is that they provide a great way to escape. Then he hits the accelerator and leaves the parking lot, leaving a frustrated Willie watching them go.
(Jase-ism: "It's like the story of the three bears. One of the bears was useless, because he was too fat. The other... was crazy. Then you had one bear did it just right.")
Jase takes Sadie out on Robertson land, out into the forest. He hands her the keys to an all-terrain vehicle and tells her to drive. Although his driving instructions aren't much better than Si's ("Two hands?" he asks. He then explains how you have to learn to drive with one hand, while the other holds a "flaming hot donut."), Sadie does loosen up. But the fun suddenly ends when she drives headlong into a ditch. Jase mutters, "Guess who's going to get blamed for this?" They figure they're going to be late getting home.
The secondary storyline had to do with a little driving as well, sort of. Grandfather Phil, patriarch of the Robertson clan, chaperons his grandson John Luke on a fishing trip with the teen's girlfriend. He obnoxiously invites himself along (because, as he says, he invented the old ruse of "taking my girlfriend fishing" and wants no funny stuff going on), steers the boat, and gives unwanted advice on dating decorum to the uncomfortable teens in the prow of the boat. At one point, he starts talking about sex and how kids are too prone to jump right into that part of a relationship. (Philism: "A good day of fishing is better than a lifetime of the crabs.") He tells John Luke, who has has arm around his girl, that until they're married, he should only peck her on the cheek for kissing and keep has hands above the neck when he touches her. Phil pointedly pauses, giving John Luke time to realize where his arm is and thus remove it.
Phil then takes the young couple back to the house and guts a monster catfish as they watch, whereupon Miss Kay, matriarch of the Robertson clan, chides him for ruining the kids' date. She admits that she's a bit different, that she was looking for a "pioneer man" when she found Phil, but didn't know too many girls who liked that kind of man. She takes the catfish fillets inside and shows the girlfriend how to prepare them for a meal, noting that it surprised her that the girl was so willing. She admitted that she liked John Luke's girlfriend. But then Miss Kay also saw the need to lecture the teens on morality and sex. Cue the uncomfortable looks all around.
Jase finally makes it home with Sadie and they explain where they've been. Jase tells him that she's pretty much the worst driver he's ever encountered. Korie and Willie want to be angry but are simply glad everyone was safe and unharmed. Korie then takes Sadie, who admits she's not ready to take her driving test, and tells her that she'll teach her how to drive. Jase and Willie begin talking about just how bad a driver Sadie is...
At the dinner table, Willie's voiceover notes that handing over the carkeys of life to one's progeny is a scary thing. But parents and grandparents are there to provide guidance so they don't go careening off said highway. They only want what's best for the kids, whether it be in relationships or actually driving a car. He ends by joking that in Sadie's case, he just hopes she moves to a big city with a subway system.
"Duck Dynasty" airs on AETV on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. (EST).
(photo credit: A&E Television, Wikimedia Commons)