Behind The Awkwardness: Backseat Driver

August 16th, 2011

“My dad loved motorcycles. This is him on his Yamaha with me in back and my 2 year old brother bungee corded to the seatback.”

(submitted by Miranda)

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99 Responses to “Behind The Awkwardness: Backseat Driver”

  1. Eileen says:

    I’m pretty sure that even “back in the day” this would have made mothers everywhere cringe.

  2. Jessica says:

    You see things like this over here in italy all the time. Actually no bungee cords just families of 4 or 5 all crammed on a moped.

  3. Jim says:

    This looks like the bike I sold about 15 years ago. If you are the owner, did you get this in Whippany?

  4. amy says:

    Soooo funny!laughed so hard holdin the baby.she cried,i tinkled a little.

  5. wastin' time says:

    I’m guessing mom was grocery shopping at the time and he REALLY wanted to go for a ride…..

  6. Julie Wilson says:

    Let’s all sing it! Booorn to be wild

  7. Christina says:

    As a child of the 70′s – I love this photo!!! Awesome!!!

  8. Robs says:

    Love it! At least the kid on the back had a bungee!! My family is from Argentina and up until shortly before we came to the US, the only form of family transport was dad’s Lambretta scooter. All four of us rode on it…dad steering with me (5 years old) standing on the floorboards between his arms, and mom riding pillion holding baby bro (2 ish). No room for gram so she stayed home. Imagine that and Buenos Aires traffic (like Rome, only in Spanish).

  9. Randomchick says:

    For me the ad that’s under this picture is selling car seats!! Bahahaha! FABULOUS!!

  10. Megan says:

    crying I am laughing so hard! thank you for posting. that is “back in the day”- love it. forwarded to my dad and sisters.

  11. James says:

    I have to laugh at all the uptight type A folks who are dancing back and forth with their hands pressed against their cheeks yelling “unsafe unsafe!” (especially the one claiming “child abuse”… really?).

    This is a great photo, and frankly, who cares even if he did drive around like that? I doubt you’ll find a law against it for the time period, and I’m sure he would have stuck to slow speeds and back roads. Big deal, no one got hurt, ease up and enjoy the photo.

  12. Voodoochick05 says:

    My dad had the same motorcycle! My parents also bungeed me to the bike…. I was also 18 months old when I first started riding. It was the 80′s… that makes it ok, right?

    • wastin' time says:

      bahhahahha! yes…in the 80′s you could get away with anything. dad took us on dirt trails and we road on the tank hanging on for dear life. and i remember sitting on mom’s lap in the front seat of the vw bug. and look, we are still alive. :)

  13. Dave says:

    For some reason “Born to be Wild” keeps running through my head!

  14. Evette says:

    This picture is so cute, I also remember when I was in Elementary, I used to ride on my Uncle’s motorcycle and drive me home from school. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. Jamie says:

    When I was around two years old, in the 70′s, my mom had a brilliant idea to bungee cord me into one of those primitive car seats mentioned above. Naturally I unhooked one of the ends and stuck it in my mouth. Probably while bored stiff waiting in one of those eternal gas lines. Well, I must have been Hercules baby because it was so taut that when I let go the end of the hook went straight through my cheek. For every little safety regulation we have today, I’m sure there are about a thousand stupid stories (and scars) like this that preceded it.

  16. Anna says:

    SUPER Scary!

  17. Rachel says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!! It’s true, it was a simpler time!! So great!

  18. Cee says:

    My eyes popped open with shock and dismay of the little guy.. but they were soon filled with tears as I was laughing so hard…. I’m sure only a few years in therapy and he was good to go! (WINK!)

  19. Electricboogaloo says:

    Outstanding! I laughed so hard my kids thought I was having some kind of breakdown!

  20. mommajay says:

    Bungee cord your kid to the motorcycle. Including the arms. This moves straight to the top of my all time favorites. Completely, totally, insanely perfect.

    And for the record: I’m the kind of mom who still makes her ten year old sit in a booster seat in the car because the kid is a peanut more the size of your average six year old than a ten year old. So yes, I realize the importance of car seats and safety laws. But, really, people… you can’t change the past. Just learn from it… and laugh until you pee a little.

  21. mixedmedia says:

    In the mid-60s, early ’70s, my sister and I would ride in the very back of our 1965 VW bug. I’m talking the cargo hold (with the back window right above you), not the seat. We called it “the bickaback.” When we were really little, we could both fit; as we got older, we fought over who sat in the bickaback.

    • Heather says:

      We did this in my parents Chevy Chevet in the 80′s. can you imagine doing that now!

    • TGIF says:

      Oh, yeah. My brothers and I would have a contest—- who could yell ‘I get the ledge’ first????

    • Staci says:

      Yeah, we called our’s the “wayback.”

      • chris says:

        ours was called the way back too! but we had a GMC pacer…awesome!!

      • Diane says:

        LOL, we called it the farback!! We would fight for the farback of my dad’s various station wagons; all so we could wave to the drivers in the cars behind us

        • KMC says:

          My Dad had a company car-Datsun 280Z without a back seat, but a flat compartment with the hatch back window above it-and my brother and I would bicker over who got to “sit” (we had to lay down) in the back-back.

    • Karen says:

      Oh yes. Everyone of a certain age has a name for the part of the car we all loved to sit (or lie) in that had no seatbelts or safety of any kind. In my family, it was the wayback. Our old station wagon was big enough that we could both lie comfortably back there, falling asleep to the sweet tunes of Peter, Paul, and Mary on long car trips.

  22. mrsbob. says:

    This is way to funny. I remember back then yes the carseats if you had one looked like metal highchairs but well they were cost efficient at least. I ran with scissors and got four stitches above my eye. I got glass suck in my hand. Road on motorcycles without helmets and my bike. Climbed monkey bars and almost broke an arm. OHHHH and my fav.. drinking the left over beer outta the bottles when the boys were done. Since im writing this i guess i lived. OH and im not “special”. ALL while mom and dad laughed and watched. Terrible terrible parents i must have eh.

  23. Tree SB says:

    I really like Awkward Family Photos but they need to differentiate between photos of abusive behavior and photos that are just funny.

    • Tasha says:

      You are a goofball. It is clearly YEARS ago. I am 37 years old and when I was little there were no car seats and mom held babies in the front seat without being seat belted in. Also, how do you know this wasn’t just for the picture…who says he actually drove that way.

      • miranda says:

        as the person who posted that photo, taken in 1985, i can assure you and your uptight brain that this photo shows no abusive behavior on the part of my dear dad, that he simply wanted to make someone laugh. it was just for the picture. remove that stick and take a chill pill man.

        • Jason says:

          Well said! Thanks for sharing.

        • HrH QoD says:

          LOVE this pic…its FUNNY…and I think we should strap Tree SB to the back of a motorcycle and ride til the say YAHOOOOO! “when was the last time you said YAHOOO?” (from the movie “IQ” have fun…laugh…it wont hurt…promise!

        • Tasha says:

          Why did you reply to me that way? I agree with you…I was letting the original poster know that she was ridiculous!!!

          • miranda says:

            tasha! sorry- meant to reply to the FIRST one. didn’t realize i can reply to each and everyone, thought it went in descending order. definitely NOT aimed at you. :)

    • MP says:

      You’re crazy Tree SB. I grew up in the 70′s & 80′s and would not change it for the world. People were actually free to live their lives without someone constantly screaming abuse, and I don’t remember hearing about people getting maimed or killed for not wearing a helmet or seat belt.

      • AMS says:

        I grew up then too and I would chalk it up to the time and not get upset about it. However, just because you didn’t personally hear about people getting maimed or hurt due to a lack of safety items doesn’t mean it did not happen. Children did get hurt and/or die because of some of the things that everyone did back then. The point is to laugh at this for how ridiculous it is because we didn’t seem to know better.

  24. 60's child says:

    A for effort!

  25. Juno says:

    This is hilarious and completely insane. I wasn’t around in the 70′s so maybe it’s because I’m from a different era idk but not gonna lie, I’d have a stroke if I saw someone with a baby bungeed to a motorcycle, LOL.

  26. Doe says:

    There’s nothing in the caption that says the dad drove off with his kids on the motorcycle like that. Why did so many people assume that? I’m sure they just posed for a photo.

  27. Les says:

    I’m laughing so hard my eyes are watering. I’m glad I grew up in the 60s and 70s, childhood and parenthood are so dull these days. Matnkat5 is correct, CPS would be all over this guy today. So sad.

    • mrs5180 says:

      probably because when dad hits something going 30 miles an hour, the 30lb kid’s ribs/abdominal area will strain against the bungee cord at 900lbs. (not to mentaion what would happen to the poor kid when the bike slides down the asphalt)

      hate to be a kill-joy, but that’s the reason behind our laws….

  28. Wanda says:

    I love this. It so reminds me of when we use to stand up in the back of my Moms ElCamino going down the Freeway. You would never see that these days.

  29. Brandy says:

    This looks just like the motor-sickle my grandpa would take my brother and me on over to the MacDonalds for frosty cones. It sucked for whoever had to sit on the back, though- the wind in your hair, bugs stuck to the melted ice cream all over your face and hair…..ah , memories.

  30. Amelia says:

    Well that’s it. This guy can NEVER run for president.

  31. Christie_Love says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…awesome. The wind in Dad’s hair, the shrieks of terror in his ears…

  32. pentacle` says:

    Photographer almost missed the picture.

  33. armchair hero says:

    I can remember literally rolling around in the floorboard of my dad’s camaro when I was a kid. If we did happen to have a carseat, it was was a metal contraption that was probably more dangerous than not being strapped in. Our walkers were all metal, too, and we inevitably flipped them, we’d get split lips. How did I survive?

  34. Teresa says:

    Is that even legal?

  35. Pudding says:

    Reminds me of my grandma laying her kids in the back window of the car when they were babies! Lol

  36. Sara says:

    OMG poor baby! lol I sure hope he went real slooooow.

  37. Jean says:

    My mom woulda had my dad’s HIDE. (Even though I was allowed to sit on the armrest in the front seat of the station wagon. Mom didn’t like motorcycles.)

  38. NMK says:

    My dad did that to us, too! LOL Funny:)

  39. Kelly says:

    I like how his arms are pinned down too. LOL

  40. Anne says:

    I bet Mom was @ work….

  41. Elaine says:

    A Po’ Boys car seat!

  42. Peabody says:

    “Bye, baby Bunting,
    Daddy’s gone a-hunting,
    Gone to get a rabbit skin
    To wrap the baby Bunting in”

    Instead of rabbit skin, we have bungee cord. Yay!

  43. matnkat5 says:

    Safety First!
    Aww..the good old days, when we could throw the kids in the back of a stationwagon, or a pick up truck, let them have candy cigarettes and the worse thing that could happen to kids was a fight after school at the bike rack. Now if we see something like this, the cops would be called, child protective services would take your kid away and you would be spending half of your life savings to get your kid back.

    • latomn says:

      Isn’t that the truth matnkat5!! Not that this in ANY way doesn’t look dangerous, but everyone lived to tell the story!

    • rzul says:

      *like* as well

      Shows a different era. I’ve considered some how putting my children on my motorcycle today, but thought twice about the trouble I’d get into. Not to mention how deadly it would be if something happened. Too funny!!

    • Crystal says:

      You forgot that you could get stabbed with a lawn dart or get your skull cracked with a “clacker” but we survived it :D

      • AndrewT says:

        Well yes, those who survived such an upbringing are here to tell the story. Those who didn’t … aren’t.

        • Joyce says:

          There ya go. I remember a film they showed us in school that had the most awful dramatization of what could happen to a little girl running with scissors to the front door to greet her daddy. And yes, I was one of those kids who curled up in the back window of the car, and it was fun.

          • ScoutC says:

            My father’s grandmother poked her eye with a pair of scissors as a child and back in the old days in the old country there was no such thing as cosmetic surgery to make it look presentable; there was just a sunken socket with the lid not even sewn shut. There was an old b/w photo of her and her husband at my grandma’s house. They both looked gaunt and so serious and THAT EYE! It used to scare the hell out of me. Needless to say, there was NO running with scissors in our house. All Dad had to say was, “Do you want to look like the old lady in the picture?” ICK!!!

        • kat says:

          So true, AndrewT, so true…not that ANY of it was a good idea. I have to admit to getting a bit anxious when I see kids out of their carseats.

    • CarrieM says:

      And real mercury in glass thermometers — we had one that broke, and I rolled the little ball of mercury around in my hand for a couple of days. I expect the black spots on the xrays to show up anytime.

      • Shannon says:

        My brother bit through a glass thermometer on a family road trip to Oregon when he was 5 years old – all I remember is my parents on the side of the highway screaming about mercury! I’m happy to say he celebrated his 33 birthday last week – so he made it.

    • Tom says:

      My wife & her siblings were in the back of a station wagon in the 70′s and they were in an accident. All four kids thrown from the car. The damage from that accident is still evident today in their injuries. Just because laws were not in effect, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been.

      • Brian says:

        I was riding in the back of my grandparents’ station wagon when I was around 5 or 6. We were run off the road and I went flying into the back seat. I was OK, overall, but I banged my head on the fire extinguisher in the floor board. And before anyone asks, yes, my grandfather did, indeed always keep a fire extinguisher in the back seat floor board of his car.

        • Brian says:

          Addendum: I was also in a minor accident when I was about two. I was injured when my car seat broke! I guess you lose either way…

          • chanda says:

            OMG thats funny.. I remember my brother and I going to the lumber yard with our dad in the family pinto station wagon(red) lol we would lay the seat down to where it was like a bed of a truck. There were these S curves dad would always drive and my bro and I would lay down on one side and roll from one side to the other thru the curves. Silly I know but great times!!! I was 6 or 7 and my bro was 3 or 4 now Im 40. Funny how things have changed…

      • Tasha says:

        Same thing happened to my cousins…it was 1968 – car seats were not invented AND the backseat of the car did not even have seat belts installed…so how were they supposed to know what to do. I guess we should follow safety precautions that were not invented and follow laws from the future…sorry, my crystal ball is on the blink!

        • Tom says:

          Seatbelts have been around and installed by the 60′s….even in the backseat. Most people hid them under their seat because they didn’t use them. You also may be surprised that children’s carseats have been around since the early 60′s also. Unfortunately laws didn’t come around until years & many deaths later. Sorry about your cousin’s accidents, but safety was available to them.

          • Tim says:

            NOT ALL CARS HAD THEM INSTALLED…I have worked for car companies my entire life and you are wrong. Yes, seat belts were installed in SOME cars in the 60′s…but not all.

  44. Douglas says:

    “If you can read the back of my shirt, it means my darn kids fell off again!”

  45. Jillian says:

    This is hilarious!!

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