Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions
Narrator: Every culture has its own rites of passage. Ways of marking that leap from childhood... to manhood. Complex rituals... weird dances... acts of courage and survival. It's a tradition as old as civilization. Or... as recent as crabgrass. Fact! In the suburbs... a boy's first steps towards manhood start behind a lawnmower. Still, for me, at sixteen, lawn care had given way to something much, much, more important. The driver's license. The thing that separates the boys... from the men. And so on and so forth. But the truth was, by the spring of tenth grade, it was time to put the mower in mothballs. Forget the crabgrass. Make the jump from two cylinders... to real horsepower.
Narrator: And that's when I knew what I had to do. Like the young warrior cast out into the darkness of the jungle to prove his manhood... I was going to learn how to parallel park, the only way I knew how. Alone. This is it! Sure, I was committing grand-theft auto... but there was a greater need here. I had to take the chance... and I had to do it now. And the path was clear ahead. Or so I thought. At that moment I hit rock bottom. I couldn't drive, I couldn't park, I couldn't even remember to put away my father's lawnmower. I didn't think I couldn't feel any worse. Except then I did. The funny thing is, for a second I actually thought about running for my life. But somehow I guess I knew. I just couldn't run anymore. It was time to face the truth. And maybe in that moment... I learned something. About being a man. And I learned it... from the guy who wrote the book. That night my dad taught me a lot. How to parallel park. Why you put away the lawnmower... And in some small way - what it takes to grow up. That Monday he took the afternoon off... and we went and got my license. He was so proud. Then he took it away - and grounded me for a month.
When Kevin and his father are getting ready to parallel park in front of the hardware store, you can see a store behind them that says "Sports Cards". This is 1971. There was no such thing as a store for Sports Cards in that era. Cards were barely available anywhere, let alone have a whole store for what was only 2 sets of cards at that time.