Baby You Can Drive My Car

November 4, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 9:56 pm   Category: Life

There is a criminal element that runs through my blood. I have a great-great-great-grandfather that was indicted for murder, before he joined the church. I have another great-grandfather that got run out of almost every town he ever lived in. I’m assuming that he eventually settled down in his old age but I’m not sure because he abandoned my great-grandmother and grandfather before he ever felt the need to do so.

It’s hard to outrun your heritage my friends and it was about a month ago that I decided to quit running from mine. To start on my life of crime I thought that criminal or excessive speeding would be a nice way to begin my journey. It was high time that I commit a class-three misdemeanor.

I was driving down a new freeway, rockin’ out when I notice a white car with flashy lights in my rear view mirror. “Oh crap!” I say to myself. I look down at my speedometer and note that I’m going 80 miles per hour. I begin to slow down and pull over to the shoulder.

When the cop leans in to the passenger side window he says, “Did you know that you were going 80 miles per hour?”

“Uh, I noticed that when I saw your flashing lights,” I reply.

“Did you know that the speed limit is 45 miles per hour?”

“Um, not until you pulled me over,” I confess.

To make a long story short the cop decided to be “nice” to me and note on my ticket that I was going 80 mph in a 65 mph zone and not a 45 mph zone. He told me that if he listed the real speed I would be charged with criminal speeding and I would not be able to go to traffic school. Lucky me, now I get to go to defensive driving class.

As I left to go to traffic school I was sure that I was going to spend two nights at 3 1/2 hours a piece bored out of my mind. I thought that the girl who got in an argument with the teacher and called him a jackass in the first ten minutes of class would be the high light of the class.

Then I thought the HUGE girl in tight sweatpants and the big black thong poking out the top would be the most interesting person of the night. Ok, maybe those were the most interesting parts of the class but I did come away with some life lessons and interesting facts. I thought I would share those gems with you today.

My instructor was a man named Dennis who had been teaching defensive driving courses for 18 years. In those 18 years he said he taught more attorneys in his classes than any other profession. Cops ranked number 2 on that list.

He also informed us that the five states to have the most fatalities from red light running were 1.Arizona 2.Nevada 3.Michigan 4 Texas 5.Alabama. We also learned that the top 5 cities with the most fatalities from red light running were 1.Phoenix 2.Memphis 3.Mesa 4.Tucson 4.St Petersburg. I guess we Arizonans are a little “red light challenged”.

Did you know that 40,000 people die in car accidents every year in the United States?

A few other lessons learned at driving school:

– You aren’t allowed to use another car to help you stop your car.
– How do you know when a vehicle has stopped? The car isn’t moving!
– If you have ABS brakes don’t ever pump them. Keep your foot on the brake until your car has come to a stop. The steering will still work when you are braking with an ABS system so make sure to use it.

A couple of more lessons I learned that are good for life in general:

– Family members freak us out.
– If you don’t want the world to know how stupid you are don’t talk. (too late for me!)

The most important lesson I learned was from the girl who called the instructor a jackass at the beginning of the class and then proceeded to tell pointless stories throughout the entire course. If you want the rest of the class to not become completely annoyed with you and want to kick your butt during class breaks, shut up!


  1. Oh, sure Kristen. I bet you want us to believe there was no alcohol involved, right? :>

    Comment by Mark IV — November 4, 2005 @ 11:12 pm

  2. What kind of freeway has a 45 mph speed limit? That is the real criminal here.

    Comment by NFlanders — November 5, 2005 @ 1:27 am

  3. Err, crime, I mean.

    Comment by NFlanders — November 5, 2005 @ 2:28 am

  4. You know Mark I’ve been wondering if the fact that I was crushing my empty beer cans on my forhead and throwing them out the window might have contributed to the reasons why the cop pulled me over. I’m just so happy he didn’t check my 4 year olds sippy cup, phew!

    I know Ned, I know! It was a new freeway and I thought when I was driving down it that it was up to freeway speeds. Apparently I was wrong. I guess they want to break the new freeways in gently around here.

    Comment by Kristen J — November 5, 2005 @ 8:14 am

  5. Is it ok to use a building or a curb to help you stop your car? Cuz I’ve had to do that before.

    Comment by Susan M — November 5, 2005 @ 8:58 am

  6. “You aren’t allowed to use another car to help you stop your car.” In my neighborhood, there’s a very steep major road through a residential area that is sometimes used by truckers. (Yes, this seems stupid to me, too.) About two years ago, a truck was going down this steep hill when its breaks went out. Instead of using another car to help stop, the truck driver ended up using a house: he crashed right into someone’s front door, totaling the house. Fortunately, nobody was killed.

    Anyway, Kristen, the moral of the story is that you should feel good. Your speeding didn’t destroy anyone’s house…

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — November 5, 2005 @ 9:07 am

  7. Is it ok to use a building or a curb to help you stop your car? Cuz I’ve had to do that before.

    Me too Susan! The day after I learned to drive stick I took the ’62 Falcon we just inherited from my grandfather out on a spin. I was cruisin’ along at 50+ when I discovered that the brakes were out (brake fluid had apparently all drained overnight). I then learned that there was no working emergency brake either. I escaped death by remembering an episode of CHiPs where Ponch helped a car with no brakes by having them downshift. I did that and after precariously making it through a busy intersection tried to stall on a curb in a parking lot. Unfortunately I jumped the curb and ran into a bank. (Well actually, it was a savings and loan…)

    Good times, good times…

    Comment by Geoff J — November 5, 2005 @ 9:26 am

  8. Can we hear more about the girl in the tight sweatpants and the black thong?

    Comment by Elisabeth — November 5, 2005 @ 11:04 am

  9. Kristen, Maybe reading not speeding is your problem….the speed limits are posted along side the road on BIG black and white signs. The 45 you passed by was not a mileage marker ;-)

    Comment by don — November 5, 2005 @ 11:41 am

  10. Hey thanks don! I’m sure that knowing what those signs are for will help me in the future.

    Ok Elisabeth here goes. She was talking to the teacher at the front of the class. He was sitting down at a table and she was leaning over and writing something down. It took her like five minutes!

    We all had plenty of time to see every detail (black, lace, string, ewww!). Once you had taken in all the details of the underpants then you got to study all that flesh.

    Of course no one could take their eyes off of it. It was like the worst train wreck ever!

    Comment by Kristen J — November 5, 2005 @ 12:09 pm

  11. Darn those low rise jeans (er, sweatpants)! The same thing happened to us this summer when some friends and I watched a production of “Hamlet” on Boston Common. We amused ourselves sending text messages back and forth to each other like: “A butt crack is showing!!”, until someone next to us graciously blocked our view with their cooler. LOL!

    Comment by Elisabeth — November 5, 2005 @ 1:08 pm

  12. Was the DPS officer waiting behind the block wall of the 202? I always slow down right at that point, just where the speed limit changes from 55 (temporary speed until the freeway is completed) down to 45.

    Arizona has some crazy drivers out there. I spent three years working as a volunteer with a local Arizona agency and worked too many fatal accidents. People just need to slow down (and drink less). :-)

    Comment by Brian Duffin — November 5, 2005 @ 8:57 pm

  13. Yup! That’s exactly where he got me. I know, I know, I was going way too fast. Honestly, I’ve never even been pulled over before. I’d been driving for 19 1/2 years before I was even pulled over.

    Comment by Kristen J — November 5, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

  14. What kind of freeway has a 80 mph speed limit?

    Comment by Kim Siever — November 5, 2005 @ 10:02 pm

  15. Kim, an Italian one. And I will try very hard not to make a kilometer joke here. Anyway, if the speed limit was a normal (for the U.S.) 65 mph, then she only would have been 15 mph over, which isn’t that big of deal. 35 mph over the speed limit and you’re lucky not to be taken away in handcuffs.

    Comment by NFlanders — November 6, 2005 @ 12:52 am

  16. “if the speed limit was a normal (for the U.S.) 65 mph”

    Back East, maybe. Around here the speed limits are usually 75 mph. (OK, sometimes they’re 65).

    Comment by Adam Greenwood — November 7, 2005 @ 10:59 am

  17. It’s 65 mph if we’re lucky (55 is much more common). But if I lived in a desert, I’d want to speed past it too.

    Comment by NFlanders — November 7, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

  18. Errr, that’s speed through it, Ned. ;-) Adam is right, 75 is not an uncommon freeway speed limit out here in the wide open spaces of the Southwest. (Although it was a 65 freeway Kristen was on. It was in Brian Duffin’s back yard basically.)

    Comment by Geoff J — November 7, 2005 @ 12:29 pm

  19. Time for a reminiscence. In the late summer of 2000, I was headed north on the Tonopah Highway about 50 miles out from Las Vegas. My speed was close to 90 mph when I noticed a highway patrol cruiser close behind, so close that my reaction was perfect calm. If he had wanted me, the lights would have been flashing already. Instead, he passed me and continued on at about 95 mph. My thought was “I love Nevada!”

    A little bit further, I headed south on Highway 373 a completely straight and empty road skirting east of Death Valley. For a few minutes I tested what the car’s limit was. About 110 mph. So the correct preposition could be that if you lived in a desert, you would want to speed in it.

    Comment by John Mansfield — November 7, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

  20. Arizona is the only state I’ve ever been in where I feared getting a ticket. There are cops everywhere! Good thing California has so many budget woes. The CHP is the same size it was in 1970! Didn’t they have a comedian driving school? Or internet driving school?

    Comment by chronicler — November 7, 2005 @ 4:54 pm

  21. Oh how I wish there were an internet school I could have taken. Of course every court but mine allowed you to do an online course. The Gilbert justice courts wanted to see us little lawbreakers in school I guess.

    It did get kind of funny when that dumb girl couldn’t keep her mouth shut. After about 80 pointless comments I was amused just watching people’s faces when ever she would talk.

    John Mansfield did you not read that Nevada is the 2 highest state for red light running fatalities? I guess you guys are special in that way too.

    I forgot some more words of wisdom I learned in class. “Common sense isn’t common.” and “In order to change bad behavior the first thing you must have is the desire to do so.” or something like that. I guess they were hoping we would all want to change our evil ways!

    Comment by Kristen J — November 7, 2005 @ 10:20 pm

  22. For those who like speed past/through/in the desert, how about a 52,000 horsepower F-104 conversion?

    Comment by John Mansfield — November 8, 2005 @ 7:17 am