Alic​e M. Batzel 

Published Author, Playwright,

Journalist, Poet, Freelance Writer 




From the collective works of



Steve Odenthal


May 25, 2015


Amazon Digital Services LLC



Humor, clean, general audience.

(word count: 3,960)

MY REVIEW: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)


Driving a car will never be the same for anyone ever again if they read what Humorist and Author Steve Odenthal experienced. It’s a road trip you will never forget. The account of the day his driving style changed forever should be a reading requirement for every student in any high school Driver’s Education course. It’s kind of like those television commercials where you see a hot skillet on a stove, and the narrator says, “This is your brain.” Then an egg is cracked and spilled over the hot surface transforming its structural DNA, and the narrator says, “This is your brain on drugs.” WOW! The unexpected shock value of such images makes you sit up and take notice. What Steve Odenthal experienced behind the wheel of his car one fateful day, is something no driver ever wants to experience. Not, ever. And I can’t stop laughing about it.

His driving style once resembled that of a die-hard raceway driver with little regard for highway courtesy, speed limit signs, or the rules and regulations of his state’s handbook for licensed drivers. Whether he was driving solo or accompanied by passengers, it did not matter. But this day, everything changed for him as a driver. He became a changed man. It was no dainty experience, but in comparison to his former driving style, he indeed did experience a trip to the twilight zone, or perhaps it was an out-of-body experience, as he drove haphazardly for the last time on our nation’s highways.

Any licensed driver would agree there are many dangers lurking upon the highways. Potholes big enough to easily sit a linebacker in, treacherous black ice, absent stop signs that some hoodlum pulled up and discarded, and the Laz-y-Boy chair that fell off the pickup truck just in front of you while going 70 mph are just a few. It’s the menace that no driver ever wants to encounter. But the dangers lurking within the car are perhaps the most menacing of all. You know, the bumble bee that keeps diving at your head, or the mosquito buzzing about your face and you’re sure it’s carrying malaria, and you’ll be the next victim. Such things can make even Rambo become a sissy when driving in traffic. I would dare say that even an angry pit bull let loose within the confines of the family car would be a mild day at the beach compared to what Steve Odenthal experienced. Yep. I still can’t stop laughing about it.

Engaged in significant highway speed and with a firm understanding by all family members in the car that there would be no stopping until they reached their destination, an unwelcome stowaway is discovered by Steve. His leadership position behind the steering wheel of command central had become invaded by an uninvited arachnid of the size and proportion that you would only encounter at the Smithsonian Institute of life specimens. And this one was alive and moving. At this point of my reading of DRIVING DAINTY, I gasped from my dislike and fear of spiders. No doubt, all readers will have their anxiety over such a predicament bubble up at this point. I admit, I refused to see any further Harry Potter movies after the third one featuring a large spider. I cannot abide them and to be faced with one gives me enough reason to justify a concealed weapons permit to draw a gun in self-defense on such an occasion.

Steve’s encounter with this arachnid is not brief by any means, and his methodical step-by-step recalling of the too-close-for-comfort relationship with the menace leaves nothing to the imagination. His wife is the only passenger in the car aware of its presence, and her calm cool-headed reaction is priceless. Needless to say, his driving style transforms inch-by-inch until he eventually takes an exit and sets the multi-legged menace free. Never before has a roadside stop at a Dairy Queen ever been more welcomed by any highway traveler. With my southern roots, I identify with the symbolic value of the Dairy Queen; their dipped top ice cream cone is the cure for many ailments. This day, it was the perfect prescription for the newly humbled driver.

With the brief refreshment accomplished, the family resumed their road trip, and Steve again took his position of leadership behind the steering wheel of command central. But this time, his mood was lighter, his joy in the journey was truly enlightened, and he was a transformed man, a dainty driver, and he was just glad to be alive and to have survived what it took to get him to that transformation.


DRIVING DAINTY is a delight to read. If you have ever taken a road trip or encountered a menace upon the highway, or a menace within a moving vehicle, you will identify with Steve Odenthal’s rendition. It will convince drivers of all ages to closely examine the interior of their vehicle before the ignition is turned on. It will convince you of the need to be alert for other drivers on the highway who might be driving a bit haphazardly and you just might be a little less likely to experience road rage at them because you now realize they might be undergoing a similar transformation. You will laugh, gasp, and be thankful that it was Steve, and not you, who transformed his driving style that fateful day. And most of all, you will be grateful that he shared his laughable and unforgettable experience with the rest of us. Once again, Humorist and Author Steve Odenthal delivers a reading experience that is priceless!

Reviewed by:


Published Playwright, Journalist, Poet, Freelance Writer

Review posted 1/30/2016 on:

Reviewer/Writer’s website

Author notified 1/30/2016 via 

Facebook Messenger on 1/30/2016

Review posted 1/30/2016 on: