It was a week after I got my license on my 16th birthday. I lived in San Francisco but worked on the weekends in South San Francisco, so it was a drive down 101.

It was early Saturday morning, so I decided to take advantage of being licensed and able to drive through, and hit the drive-thru at McDonald’s. Got a McMuffin of some sort and a coffee. They were in one of those brown cardboard trays with cup holders and I set in on the passenger side floor.

Drove to work without incident, but I turned left to pull into the parking lot. Coffee tips over and starts spilling everywhere. I reached down to grab it, forgetting that I was still going forward and hard to the left, and plowed into a parked van.

It was my parents’ ‘91 Civic with about 5,000 miles on the clock. I went inside, cried for a bit, left a note on the van, then drove home to face my folks.

They weren’t pleased. I made up the excuse of “I washed the car the day before (I had) and sprayed too much Armor All on the steering wheel (I probably hadn’t) and lost my grip.”

The car was out of action for three weeks and I bummed a ride for a bit with my buddy who also worked where I did. He got to witness me crying after the crash.