Wednesday, July 8, 2009

High School, again

Note: I wrote this a month ago and for whatever reason didn't publish it.

Yesterday I was the victim of the most cruel and unusual punishment.
In order to have a recent speeding ticket erased from my perrrrmenant recorrrrrrrd, I had to attend a four-hour defensive driving class.

Now, the length and name of the course should be frightening enough, but what really sneetched the Zax outta my Lorax was that, essentially, I was sentenced to an all-night High School classroom. Less than half the other prisoners were juveniles, yet it took less than an hour for the brats to assume control of the room's tone. Not only was I stuck in some sort of evil time warp where the stupid questions of the past circle through a wormhole to pummel my tired eyes and ears once more, this was a collection of teens with proven poor judgment. Like, guilty of poor judgment beyond a reasonable doubt. I was in league with the dumb-ass all stars of Peoria county. Imagine their decision making process when it came time to contribute. One halfwit commented that roads are probably safer now than 15 years ago because now we have headlights and better road signs.

Every tidbit of driving law provided by the teacher was instantly questioned by a toad-voiced teen quoting what his drivers ed teacher said, claiming ridiculous laws and loopholes somehow remembered from the most inaccurate imaginary text book ever.

By hour two, the two preppy high school sophomores in the middle row were chatting incessantly.

And when it wasn't debate-the-teacher time, it was, in the grand traditional of self-important teens, MOTHER FUCKING STORY HOUR.

Bratty high school sophomore: "My Dad works at Harley Davidson and this guy that he works with was driving his motorcycle, and this semi-truck driver DIDN'T EVEN SEE HIM. And he just got smashed. He died."

Thank you, I'll remember not to crash my motorcycle into any tractor trailers.

19-year-old who said he works at a meat packing plant: "I don't wear a seatbelt because one of my family members was killed by one. Decapitation."

I'll remember not to tie the seat belt around my neck.

Bratty high school sophomore: "Yeah, yeah I know where he's coming from. There was a couple girls killed from our high school because they were wearing their seatbelts. There was like, seven people in the car and they were the only ones who died."

Teacher: "Were they the only ones wearing seatbelts?"

Bratty high school sophomore: "Um, I dunnno, but they died and they were sitting in the middle of the car."


I quit.

Leaving the parking garage was one of the more terrifying pursuits of my young life, knowing that every other person leaving was an excessive speeder and/or incompetent "Defensive Driving Course" student.


The Juice Box said...

Hey, at least you didn't have to take a four-hour (maybe longer) defensive driving course online. I did that for my last speeding ticket. You'd think being on the Internet, it'd be so much more painless. Definitely not. I had a computer read every single scenario to me, and I couldn't fast-forward to the next slide until he was done reading. And then I had to watch horrible videos, take quizzes, etc. etc. etc. And all at a SLOW PACE.

But now that I'm reading this, I'm scared none of those kids took the class online. Because I sort of did feel like a better driver after sitting through the awfulness of it. Doesn't sound like they learned much at all.

Professor Film said...

About a year ago I got a speeding ticket and when I paid for it I told the cashier that I was going to take the class because I didn't want the ticket to go on my record, raise my insurance, etc. She marked it on my info and told me I had a month to sign up. For whatever reason, I completely forgot to sign up for the class and didn't remember until months later. Upon inquiring with my insurance company, it turns out the ticket had been expunged from my record because, they guess, I had been marked down as having agreed to take the course. Did I find the ultimate loophole? Was I just lucky? I'm not sure. But I thought I would pass along the info in case you're willing to take a chance the next time you get a ticket, because that class sounds like pure hell. Actually, what you described sounds like when I teach film appreciation in the fall, to a class of 100 freshmen. I'm not putting any of them down, but there's a world of difference between fall and spring semesters.