comedy guys defensive driving - instructor stories

I hate brats, especially those needing lessons in teen driving safety.  They come in all shapes and sizes and I hate them with the passion of a thousand white-hot suns. We live in a world now where parents would rather be friends with their kids than actual parents, and when their kids do something wrong, they blame everyone but themselves for anything that their children do. It’s always someone else’s fault.

One of my most vivid brat stories took place several years ago when I had a young lad of sixteen in my class. Of course, not all teenage drivers are bratty and dangerous, but this one was.

He’d been driving about six of his friends around when he got pulled over for speeding. As he pulled off of the road, he ran a stop sign. Upon request from the officer, the lad told him that he had left his wallet at home. Then the officer asked him for the car insurance, which he couldn’t produce. Finally, the officer got his name, went back to the patrol car, and looked him up. He found out that the boy has only had his driver’s license for a few weeks. In the state of Texas, teen driving safety laws only allow teenage drivers one person with them in the car, and he’d had six.

I’m guessing that the officer saw the attitude of the lad and wrote him tickets for speeding, running a stop sign, too many people in the car, no driver’s license, no insurance, possessing firecrackers, and he even wrote him a ticket for a concealed weapon because the kid had a rather pointed letter opener on the seat. (I’m not sure I agree with that one.) So, there he is: sixteen-year-old in my class, who got seven tickets at once.

Now, had this happened to me at sixteen, I would still be grounded.

But no, this young lad still had his nice car and was showing the other kids how great a stereo system he had. The kid was also a bit disruptive, constantly talking during the videos, coming back from the breaks, and THEN having to use the restroom, and pretty much just getting on my nerves, but he didn’t seem like a bad kid, so I tolerated him…that time.

About two months later, he resurfaced with another four tickets, and another month after that, another two tickets. Sorry, folks, but by this time, I have absolutely no respect for this kid’s parents whom I’ve never even met.

The second class that he was in, he was equally as disruptive as the first. I had to clamp down on him harder this time. I finally told him to shut up or to leave. He quieted down a bit for the rest of the class. When he came through the door the last time, I just had to ask him, “What do your parents say about you getting all of these tickets?

“Nothing,” was his only response. I thought I would vomit.

Now, I must admit, that by the third time he was there, I was ready with both barrels to let him have it if he so much as said a word. He started off great, but then his natural bratty personality came out, but there was only about an hour left, so I just told him to be quiet and not speak again.

As the class filed past me at the end of the day, I took his arm, pulled him aside, and said, “Look, this isn’t working out, so have Mommy and Daddy send you somewhere else the next time you get a ticket, okay?”

With this, he stormed out of the room. I gathered my things and left. As I was walking to my car, I was chatting with one of the other students who had parked his car next to mine, when I heard someone yell loudly. I turned to see the boy sitting in his car next to the parking lot exit, revving his engine. He yelled again, and this time I heard it. He basically let me know that my parents weren’t married and that I had a thing for my mother…who was a female member of another species.

“What did you say, Boy?” I asked, walking towards his car.

With this, the kid sped out of the parking lot and onto the service road, squealing his tires as he did so. There is a hedge that sits about fifty feet from the parking lot. As he passed the hedge, I saw these two lights go on. One red and one blue. It was a Plano police officer who had been sitting behind the hedge.

The other student and I began to crack up with laughter. We walked over to the two cars. The kid was already outside of the car and trying to explain to the officer that he’d just left defensive driving class like he thought that might help.

“Oh yeah?” we heard the officer ask. “Yeah,” the kid replied back. “I can prove it.”

I began to laugh as the kid ducked back into his car looking for his paperwork, because I had seen it on the table when I had left the restaurant, along with the notes that he took and the pen that he used.

“I swear I was in defensive driving!” he exclaimed. “There…that man was my teacher!” he cried, pointing at me and the other student.

“I don’t teach defensive driving,” I answered back. “I’m just going into the convenience store.”

“What’s defensive driving?” the other student asked loudly.

We both walked into the convenience store and looked out the window as the officer wrote the kid what looked to be several tickets. When they’d both gone, the other student and I went back to the scene of the crime. We stepped off the distance that the kid had gone from the restaurant parking lot to where he got pulled over. It was about ninety-two feet.

It wasn’t as much fun knowing that nothing would become of it. He would just go home and tell his parents that he wasn’t doing anything and that the officer just had it out for him, and they would believe him. It was kind of nice knowing that I wouldn’t be seeing him again, though.

Some other teacher could have him for a while.

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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