So first things first: you ought to buy my album. If you haven't bought it, you oughtn't be reading my blog! I'm serious! Go away. Come back after you've bought this thing: These Are The Times.
Alright, well... a couple of months ago, I had the severe misfortune of being caught speeding on my way home. Bummer. This would be my first time getting a ticket, and Lord willing, my last. Now if we're being strictly honest, it was really a speeding trap- they have this 55mph zone switch to a 35mph for just about what feels like 100 feet (if you're going 65 wink wink), and then switches back up to 45mph. And I was on my way home from babysitting my favorite niece. I'm just throwing that out there for extra sympathy. This girl. This is the one I was babysitting:
Anyway. Went to court, got a Prayer for Judgement, and scheduled an appointment for Defensive Driving School. Yippee!! It's this little 4-hour class you take and it basically provides atonement. A real salvation-by-works system we have here in North Carolina. I was feeling a little down about having to go to this class- 6pm to 10pm on January 7th- because my bedtime is 10pm and this place was all the way up by the airport. Feeling down for other reasons too, but the bedtime thing was at the top of the list.
All of the above is really just background info for me to type a couple of sentences about the 'instructor'. I wanted to brag on this guy for a little while. Easily one of the niftiest guys I've ever met. This is a cooky picture I found online of him:
He's only 44 years old, but he had some straight-up wisdom. His family is from Germany and they're all about making white liquor :D When he was twelve, he drove 200 gallons of white liquor across North Carolina for $500. How insane is that? He served in a combat unit in the Army for 12 years, doing some pretty messy stuff that he wasn't allowed to talk about but that he ended up telling us anyway but that I'm definitely not allowed to mention on my blog because the NSA is reading this and they'll notify his former superiors and get his benefits taken away.
He lives in Boone and speaks with such a southern accent that I had to send it through my built-in Redneck-to-English translation department.
He told this story about his one and only traffic ticket... when he was 18, he wasn't popular at all in highschool. He was an excellent baseball player, but still no popularity. So he and his dad (former Marine) put together some crazy fast hot rod to impress all his non-friends. And so one night everyone was out and they told him that he should try to outrun a cop that was on the side of the highway. STOOPID. But he was 18 and we all know 18-year-olds. So he zipped on by that cop, got his attention, and started the chase. His car was really beefy, so he had the cop completely beat and out of sight in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately for Mr. Moose (That's his name. Really. High five.), he hit an intersection and found about 6 squad cars waiting for him. He briefly considered blazing a trail right through them, but wisdom must have kicked in at some point and he stopped. By then, pretty much the entire highschool had gathered around this intersection- all his peers and some of their families and suchwhat- to see what was gonna happen to this awkward baseball player with the fast car. Now it turns out that his dad (the former Marine; they have pictures of this guy carrying bodiless heads from his 4 tours in Vietnam) knew everybody at the Police Station, and they knew him and his family. So the cop called his dad. And his dad showed up pretty quickly (as Marines are apt to do). He pulled his son out of the squad car (for he had been handcuffed and gently deposited in the back seat), had the officer undo one of the cuffs, reattached the cuff with it laced through the door handle, pulled his son's pants and underwear down, and beat the living daylights out of him with his belt in front of all his would-be friends.
Hehe! I love it.
He was charged with a felony; his scholarship to go to Clemson to play baseball got revoked, his dreams of ROTC and joining the Army were shattered. But his dad pulled some strings in Washington and President Reagan gave one of the four Presidential Pardons to Mr. Moose. Clean slate, he joined the Army and became the man he is today. A man who, by law, must pull over at every wreck and save the lives of strangers. A man who teaches 4-hour and 8-hour classes to miscreants 3 times a week, because he values his 5 children enough to try to save their lives from irresponsible drivers. A man who goes to bed at 11:30pm and gets up at 4:00am every morning. A man who drove to Oklahoma because a random student from a random class he taught called up at 2am needing help.
Oh yeah, and he owns a giraffe.
This guy didn't need the accompanying text book- in fact, we never even read it or the powerpoint. He just told us story after story, lesson after lesson, until we got the point.
This is the point: drive safe.