Driving School

Taught By a Vietnam Vet

Okay. Driving. Shit. It’s a lot like going native and building a secret jungle base decorated with human skulls: it requires planning and care.

How can I make you kids understand just what driving is like?

[sits in silence for ten minutes]

Well, I’ll guess I’ll try and explain it to those of you who didn’t leave while I smoked that cigarette. Question? Yes, you, in the back, wearing the green T-shirt, next to the girl with the youth I never had. What’s that? Fire marshal won’t let me smoke? Well he can’t tell me what to do, he’s not even a real marshal.

Not gonna lie: driving is a scary thing, and it’s also unfair. I had this friend named Joe. Real devil-may-care type. He would coast through stop signs, and sometimes through tunnels without throwing a grenade into them first. He never got a ticket in his life. On the flip side, I also knew this guy named Larry. Larry always checked his blind spot, always had his seatbelt fastened. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, don’t be like Larry, he died of a heroin overdose.

[grins] Man, I feel old. Is it just me, or do kids nowadays cry and send desperate, furtive text messages to their parents more often?

Okay, the state of Arizona says I have to make you guys watch Red Asphalt, which I guess is supposed to be traumatizing or something. Let’s just pop that in the VCR, now…

Goddamit! Everyone shut up! Oh, sorry. For a minute I thought that bird outside was signaling our  position to Charlie. Anyway, watch the movie. Seatbelts, right. Wear ‘em. Remember, they save a life you’re not sure you want to live.

Ooh, look, he broke his neck flying through the windshield. Yeah, that’s much scarier than six of your best buddies getting decapitated by a falling helicopter blade simply because God has abandoned you.

Class over. Go out and try to drive considerately through an America that cares more about its automobiles than the souls of those driving them. Oh, and don’t put M-16s to heads of people with their blinkers on, even when it’s clearly laughing at you. That’ll get you what they call “points” on your license.