Tell Me Another One…

comedy guys defensive driving - instructor stories

Like I said last week, I hate brats. Kids who think they can have anything they want whenever they want it AND the parents who taught them that this is the way the world works.

I’ve seen this first hand when I’ve had to kick young people out of my classes for using the their cell phones after having repeatedly been warned, or for not coming back from breaks on time, or for being constantly disruptive. Ninety percent of the parents call the office or come by the class, and want to know why their child was kicked out of class, and when told, they get up in arms. “Why can’t they use their phone?” “So what if they’re late!” “My child would never lie!”

Ah…that’s my favorite. “My child would never lie to me.” I’ve heard that one many times over the years. I heard it when I kicked a young lady out of class for using her cell phone after having been warned repeatedly. Her father came up to the class, walked into my classroom, and said loudly, “I heard you kicked my daughter out of class.”

“I did,” I came back. “I told her to stay off of her phone and she wouldn’t or couldn’t and I let her go.”

The man looked taken aback. “She said that you never mentioned it.”

Before I could say anything, the class broke into uproarious laughter, which I must say, confused the man a tad.

Finally, a gentleman wiped the tear from his eye and said “She was the third person he kicked out!”

That happened again several years ago. I happened to be in the office when a father called and I heard my boss talking to him. The gentleman told my boss that his daughter had been in my class several weeks before and hadn’t received her certificate. I heard my boss ask for her name. I heard a pause, and then my boss came back with the name Sutton. Anyone who has ever taken my class will tell you that I have a pretty vivid photographic memory. I can have forty students, have them each tell me their name, and then repeat their names back to them. I can also look at their driver’s licenses, memorize their birthdays, and repeat them back to them, so obviously I have a pretty vivid memory.

While I’m sure there are many girls with the name Sutton in this country, I had never had one in my class…or at least in the last couple of weeks, I hadn’t. My boss asked her father if she had the paperwork that all students leave with at the end of class. They’re copies of the forms that the instructors turn in and are used in making the students certificates. The man said that his daughter lost hers. Okay…strike one.

Since she lost her copy, the obvious next to step was to look through our forms, which are the originals. Lo and behold, Sutton’s was missing. Strike two.

Then my boss asked if she could describe anything that went on in the class. She had told her father that the class was long, dull, boring, and would have rather gouged her eyes out with corncob skewers than to ever have to sit through another one. Okay…ball one. You had to give her that one.

After this, we checked the signup sheet where we have each student’s name, their daytime phone number, and their driver’s license number. There were twenty names on the list and no Sutton. Strike three.

And if none of those work, we go to the final proof. The itemized sales receipt from the restaurant for the food that the class eats which is part of their payment. The company pays for it, so it’s all on one ticket. We looked at the list and the first thing that we noticed was the number of customers, which was twenty-one, which includes the class and myself. Sutton would make twenty-two. Finally, we count the amount of meals served. We finished with… guess what… twenty-one. Strike three. I hear my boss say to the man that he maybe…uh…perhaps…eh…his daughter never went to class and she’s lying to him.

“My daughter would lie!” the man said indignantly.

“Well, she wasn’t in that particular class then,” he came back.

“She said she was at Spaghetti Warehouse on Saturday morning, on this particular day, etc. etc.,” the man retorted.

“Hang on,” says my boss. “Let me go talk to Susanna.”

The boss puts the man on hold and walks into the office where Susanna resides. (For privacy's sake, we’ll call her Susanna, but her real name is Susana. One ‘n’. Oops!) The boss asks Susana to look up the girl’s name in the computer. Susana complies, types in the girl’s name, and comes up with a blank, a nil, nothing, bupkis.

“She’s nowhere to be found at all,” the boss says, returning to the phone.

“But my daughter wouldn’t lie! Not to me!” Ah…the desperation of the deluded individual. But the man wasn’t done. He thought he had us.

“Well then…what about her friend?”

“What friend?” asks the boss.

“The guy friend that met her there?”

“What’s his name?” asked the boss, this time rolling his eyes and ready to hang himself with his own shoelace.

I don’t remember the young lad’s name, but we’ll just call him John Doe. “Did you have a John Doe in your class, Terry?” he yells from his office.

“Doesn’t sound familiar,” I told him.

“Well, this man says that Sutton and this boy were both in your class and neither of them have received their certificates.” The man seemed to have a “so there” attitude to his voice. So we went through it all again, and there was no John Doe on the enrollment list, no John Doe paperwork of any kind, and no extra meal on the receipt. The father seemed to think that was extremely odd.

I don’t remember exactly how my boss said it, but he said something to the effect that perhaps they had both showed up too late to get into the class (on Saturday’s, I lock the outside door) or perhaps they just took their parents’ forty dollars and went to the mall, but I do remember that the last thing the man said to my boss was “my daughter wouldn’t lie.”

When he's not rehearsing or performing, Terry Yates
teaches classes for us in Dallas, Richardson, and Plano.

Over the years, he's gained a large following of people who seem
to get tickets just so they can take his class again and again and again.

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