Snow White meets
the Evil Queen
by Denise Feldman
Reynolds, class of 1975
August 3, 2006
I should have known we were in trouble.
The moment I laid eyes on her, I should
have known. She had that self-righteous
air of superiority about her, her importance
underscored by a highly starched polyester
uniform, oversized clipboard, and lanyard
credentials. Her steel-toed shoes clicked
on the pavement as she walked. She
was unattractive, with a stocky build,
short-cropped dark hair, and a permanent
scowl that she wore as if it were a
medal of valor.
My daughter was doomed.
A stunning sixteen-year-old beauty
with long hazelnut hair, an innocent
smile, and a body that turns heads
wherever she goes, she was destined
to play Snow White to this woman’s
And so it went. Examiner
Roosevelt was her name, although Examiner
Stalin would have been a more appropriate
moniker. Deciding who passes and who
fails their driving permit road test
is an important job, no doubt. But
I got the feeling that this woman would
have been more satisfied if she had
been able to pronounce life and death
sentences instead of merely passing
or failing driver’s license applicants.
Snow White was waiting in her car,
as instructed, when the Evil Queen
approached and tapped on her window.
out of the car,” she said roughly,
as if she were arresting my daughter.
Snow White got out of the car, confused
as to why she was being ordered about.
off the car,” demanded the Evil
Queen. Still befuddled, Snow White
“Get back in the
car,” barked the Evil Queen.
Again, Snow White did as she was told.
the key, but don’t start the
car,” the Evil Queen continued
to snap at her, “Step on the
brake. Put on your right turn signal.
Put on the left.” Temporarily
appeased, the Evil Queen marched around
to the passenger side of the car.
the door,” she said, rapping
on the front window.
Snow White checked
to be sure the door was unlocked, and
sheepishly replied, “It’s
This simple act
of politely stating the obvious was
apparently a mistake.
open the door!” the Evil Queen
Snow White dutifully reached
across the console, lifting the handle
to release the door, pushing it gently
“What’s wrong with
the door?” the Evil Queen continued
to interrogate her.
sorry you had trouble. It must have
been stuck,” Snow White said
sweetly. What she really wanted to
say was that any idiot could open an
unlocked car door.
car in reverse,” the Evil Queen
instructed. Snow White responded immediately.
Of course, since the car had not been
restarted, doing this made no sense
to her, but she obeyed.
the car first,” said the Evil
Queen, obviously irritated.
After a rocky start, things
got momentarily better when Snow White
nailed the parking assignment, pulling
into the space perfectly without so
much as grazing a single one of the
six orange plastic cones that tightly
surrounded the narrow test space. But
the Evil Queen was not easily placated.
you had a curb on your right side and
were parking on a hill, what would
you do?” she cross-examined Snow
“I would turn my wheels
toward the curb, if I was parking on
a downward-facing hill,” replied
The Evil Queen reveled
in the profound silence she was creating
by her non-reply. After what seemed
like an eternity, she told Snow White
to back out. The exam continued, with
all the solemnity of a state funeral
After they had been on
the road for a minute or so, the Evil
Queen ordered Snow White to do a turnabout.
Suspicious that she was being tricked,
Snow White asked for clarification, “Right
here, in the middle of the road?”
the Evil Queen tartly. “Don’t
leave the pavement.”
Snow White was baffled by her request.
She knew that doing a three-point turn
in a two-lane road was against the
law. And she also knew that she was
not supposed to be asked to do anything
illegal. She didn’t want to argue
with the Evil Queen. She was already
subject to her unending wrath.
don’t know what you want me to
do,” Snow White replied.
you even practice at all?” wailed
the Evil Queen.
Snow White fought back
the tears. Of course she had practiced.
And studied. And she was ready. She
would have sailed through this routine
if it weren’t for the Evil Queen.
As they continued on, Snow White was
reprimanded for stopping at a stop
“Why did you stop there?” the
Evil Queen badgered her.
there is a stop sign,” Snow White
“That sign doesn’t
apply to you,” continued the
Evil Queen. “See, it’s
twisted around from the hurricane.
That sign is for the drivers coming
from THAT street,” she pronounced,
her gnarled finger pointing at the
A few minutes later,
when the road narrowed from two eastbound
lanes into one, Snow White put on her
turn signal as she moved over.
are you using your turn signal?” the
Evil Queen demanded.
I am merging to the left,” Snow
not merging, the ROAD is merging,” insisted
the Evil Queen.
they returned to the parking lot where
they had begun. The Evil Queen exited
the car and informed Snow White that
she had not met the minimum requirements
to pass the exam.
four things you do when you are parking
on a hill,” she said insistently. “First,
you turn your wheels toward the curb.
Second, you put on the parking brake.
Third, you put the car in park. And
fourth, you turn off the ignition.”
Evil Queen stomped off, waving her
clipboard in the air as if she were
casting an evil spell on Snow White.
Tears streamed down Snow White’s
face. She walked over to me, her body
quietly heaving with sobs.
led a pretty sheltered life. She’s
not used to dealing with villains.
At least she wasn’t forced to
eat a poisoned apple.
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