Okay, now let me see if I got this right: You came into my Comedy Guys Defensive Driving class not for ticket dismissal but because a judge ordered you to do so. It seems that you were caught riding your motorcycle down one of the busiest freeways in Dallas, Texas, at a speed of one hundred and thirty six miles per hour. As the icing on the cake you were standing your “donor cycle” up on one wheel, popping a wheelie in the middle of traffic. Is that what you’re telling me?
Actor and Western recreationist who has been teaching defensive driving classes for Comedy Guys for 7 years. He teaches our classes in Denton and Carrollton.
Now what was your question again?
Oh, that’s right. Do I think that the police academy that you’ve applied to will find out about this ticket and will it affect your chances of being accepted?
Gee, how do I put this gently…
After being a licensed driving safety instructor here in Texas for almost 16 years, I have heard hundreds… nay, thousands of criminals — er…uh, students — with sob stories and asinine excuses for doing dumb things behind the wheel of their car or as in his case on the back of a motorcycle.
What has always amazed me is the sincerity with which they defend their actions. Whether it’s the young high schooler trying to get back home before curfew or the band equipment salesman who had forgotten to leave a trombone at the last junior high school he visited, they all argue adamantly that they were justified in doing the dangerous deed for which they were cited and sent to spend the day with me. When I asked one high schooler how his excessive acceleration effort turned out, he showed me the large obvious divot in his skull and the Frankenstein-ish track left by the surgical staples all down his right arm. It seems that when a Honda Civic tries to take a sharp corner at eighty-three miles per hour and misses, it has the ability to completely sheer a telephone pole in half, but a tree? Not so much.
The laws of nature will not be violated without consequences. You may get a temporary stay of execution for a period of time, but the Piper comes a callin’ eventually. He’ll take everything he can as payment: cash, credit, careers, and mabe even a life.
The fact that this young crash test dummy starter kit was still alive was indeed amazing, but when he revealed that at the time of his aforementioned audition for “World’s Dumbest Drivers,” he was very drunk and barefoot and actually left the scene before the cops arrived. His confession made more than a few jaws in my classroom drop. The fact that he was drunk — even at seventeen and under the legal drinking age — unfortunately was not the reason for dismay. That happens all too frequently.
What was shocking was that he was able to leave the scene of the crash in something other than an ambulance, a police car or a body bag considering the injuries he incurred. The time he spent in the hospital and the doghouse he was in at home seemed to have dimmed his little bulb but there was still a detectable amount of smug invincibility about him that told me that this probably wasn’t his last adventure.
It’s this bullet-proof mentality that both gives me job security and scares me at the same time. Regardless of the results some people will keep doing dangerous stunts until the consequences become scary enough. He hadn’t reached that point yet. His parting comment was something about going to look for a newer and faster car.
When I’m performing in a comedy show and one of the audience members makes a comment as asinine as this, it’s to be expected because alcohol is usually involved. But when a stone cold sober person sits in front of me and ten to fifteen fellow felons and tries to convince me that he or she is a “safe speeder,” you have to wonder if there actually was one child left behind. Way, way behind. Considering the fact every year in America over 30,000 lives are lost on our roadways, and the most common factor in those fatalities is speed, it might lead one to believe that ignorance abounds.
The young Evel Knievel-wannabe who was popping wheelies in traffic actually stated that since he was eventually going to be a police officer and upholding the laws of the land he figured he would have as much fun now and “get it out of his system.” I informed him that the only thing he was most likely going to get out of his system was internal organs and life-giving fluids.
You would think that he would be aware of this since he shared with the class the fact that he had lost his best friend six months ago. It seems that his best friend was riding his crotch rocket down I-35 at over a hundred miles per hour and hit a reflector attached to the road. Oh yeah, he was popping a wheelie at the time, and the laws of gravity are still being enforced.
Sad but true.