Sunday, August 13, 2006

August 13, 2006
Spent almost all day in traffic survival school. Not because I wanted to but because I got caught on photo radar last month (see incriminating radar photo). I tried to duck the ticket with the photo when it came in the mail. I told the Department of Public Safety official, “Hey, Man, there’s no way that’s me. In fact, the overweight guy driving that truck is obviously gay and has a glass eye! Come on people, get a clue! Someone stole my truck!” But evidently they can take DNA samples off the lens of these sophisticated radar photo deals, and they said it matched my overweight gay genes, so I had to attend the class.

Had to be at the Hampton Inn at Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright at 7:30 this morning with my ticket and a cashier’s check for $124. I wasn’t alone. Fifty-nine other grumpy Scottsdaleans showed up as well (all of us hoping to get the ticket expunged from our driving records and thus, avoiding a higher insurance premium). More than a few looked hung over.

I sat in the back row, so I could practice my POV sketches for the top secret project. Managed to whip out 54 sketches, mainly the back of the heads of all my classmates (except those sitting right next to me, who were quite big, with tattoos). Here’s a smattering of images from my sketchbook.

Of course in every class like this, you have The-Know-It-All: “I have so many photo radar photos I could make a photo radar photo album.” (he liked this line so much he used it twice). And, then there’s the Angry Young Man: “How come cops have computers in their cars? I’ve seen them driving erratically and using the computer [probably looking up the Angry Young Man’s license plate to peruse his priors], swerving from side to side. They are the real danger on the road, not us.” He seemed to expect applause but we were too tired to join his angry windmill tilting. The teacher, Jane Hoyt, a cowgirl turned truck driver, turned traffic survival school instructor, from Wyoming, had a quick retort: “You’re just mad a cops today.”

Angry Boy said brightly, “Everybody in here is mad at cops!” Still no applause, or hanging mob joined him.

A middle-aged woman up front came to the defense of cops. “The police put their lives on the line for us every day.”

This digusted the Angry Kid: “What does that have to do with computers in cop cars?”

It went on, but I won’t bore you—like it did me.

So what did I actually learn? Well, we need to lock our doors when we drive because there is a carjacking gang loose in the Valley who accost motorists at traffic lights and whisk you right out of your car as the light is turning green and they carjack your car and your valuables and leave you on your butt on the pavement.

Phoenix kills more people in its intersections than any other city in the U.S. of A. Why? The lagging left turn, where we were trained to go out into the center of the intersection, wait until the light turns yellow, then turn left as someone barrels through the red light at 73 miles per hour and hits you broadside. Huge problem. What’s the answer? British roundabouts, according to Jane, which brought collective groans from the jocks in my section.

Oh, and before I forget, at the beginning of the class you have to present your ticket, your driver’s license and a money order or cashier’s check for $124, and this young, hot blond starts whining, “Nobody told me!” (it’s all over the ticket packet) ”Where will I find a place that does money orders on Sunday morning!” And Jane Hoyt, the instructor, says, “Circle K, AM-PM,” so the pouting girl struts out, doing her best hair dance, and, are you ready for this? She evidently got a ticket while going to a Circle K to get a money order so she could take the class and avoid the insurance spike on her policy. Oh, life! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again, Y’all.

Speaking of Y’all:

Southern Logic 101 Y’all
“If you move from the north and settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits. “

“It’s a sad day when you find out that it’s not accident or time or fortune, but just yourself that kept things from you.”
—Lillian Hellman

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments