What About The Slightly-Vexed Chicken?

, , , , , | Learning | July 23, 2018

(In our sophomore year of high school, we have to take Driver’s Ed classroom instruction for one of the four quarters in our P.E. class. Mostly, we watch educational films on the topic and then discuss them. Some mornings, our teacher will come in with an anecdote to share of some horrible thing he witnessed during his morning commute.)

Teacher: “All right class, today I have a very important lesson for you. This is possibly the most important one I will ever teach, so pay attention!”

(We all sit up a little straighter.)

Teacher: “If, for some reason, you are ever in a situation where another driver is confronting you outside your vehicles, DON’T. DO. The ANGRY. CHICKEN!”

Classmate: “The what?”

Teacher: “You know, the Angry Chicken.” *suddenly thrusts his chest out, palms forward, but with his hands down and behind him* “What? WHAT?! You know, like that. The Angry Chicken.”

Classmate #2: “Why not?”

Teacher: “Because it’s stupid. Not only do you look like an idiot, but you’re going to piss the other guy off, and your hands are all the way back here, where they can’t do any good. He’s going to knock you flat before you can do a thing about it.”

Classmate #3: “So, what should we do, then?”

Teacher: “Ideally, not get into a confrontation outside your car. But, if needs must, keep your hands up and in front of you, so can actually block a punch if he throws one.” *brings his hands up about a foot in front of and to either side of his face, palms toward himself* “What? WHAT?! Like that.”

(It’s been more than a decade since I took his class, but I will never forget that one lesson: don’t do the Angry Chicken!)

Don’t Drink And Parent

, , , , , , | Learning | July 19, 2018

(My sixteen-year-old daughter is taking drivers’ education at her school. The first part takes place in the classroom, followed by practical experience driving a car. Parents are allowed to attend the classroom part if they wish.)

Instructor: “Now, the law for drinking and driving for new drivers is very strict. It’s a zero-tolerance policy.”

(The mother of one of the kids raises her hand.)

Mother: “What does that mean?”

Instructor: “That means that your kids won’t be allowed to have any alcohol if they’re going to be driving within a certain timeframe.”

Mother: “I don’t get it.”

Instructor: “It’s actually very simple. If your kid will be driving within [number of hours], they can’t have any alcohol.”

Mother:None?

Instructor: “None.”

Mother: “But let’s say that my son is at a party, and he’s going to be there for an hour; it’s okay if he has just one beer, right?”

Instructor: *stares at her* “No.”

Mother:No? But it’s just one beer!”

Instructor: *starting to lose patience* “No alcohol. Period.”

Mother: “But—”

Instructor: “NO. ALCOHOL.”

Mother: “…”

(Her son looked mortified.)

A Cycle (P)ride

, , , , , | Related | May 14, 2018

(My brother and I take a two-day motorcycle course over the summer. It is a state-certified program meant to teach the practical skills needed to ride in a safe environment. My brother has always been protective, but in the strange older-brother kind of way. He says that it’s okay if I drop the bike or fall over; that people will only laugh a little. This happens when we are taking a break the second day. I am heading one way, and my brother the opposite way.)

Instructor: “Uh, [My Name]? Your brother isn’t moving.”

(I look, and sure enough he’s tripped over a small, hanging chain and is lying on his back on the ground.)

Me: “You okay?” *he nods* “You need a hand?” *he shakes his head* “You just want to lay there for a second?” *a nod* “How’s your pride?”

Brother: “Kind of hurts.”

(He managed to crack the visor on the helmet he was carrying, and scraped up his elbow. He was the only one all weekend to need any type of bandages. I stayed upright the whole time. He still hasn’t lived it down.)

They Don’t Teach You THAT In Driver’s Ed

, , , , | Learning | December 11, 2017

After being tailgated twice in two days, I remembered a story my Driver’s Ed teacher told us:

When he was a teen and newly licensed driver, he had the loan of his dad’s car. Unfortunately for him, he either wasn’t paying attention or didn’t notice a short concrete post when he backed up, and he did some severe damage to the tail end. He drove around a bit thinking, “Oh, God… what am I going to tell my dad? He’s going to kill me.” Then he got an idea.

He was wearing his seatbelt and was traveling city streets, so wasn’t driving fast. He deliberately drove slower and waited until he got a tailgater. Then he slammed on the brakes, and the inevitable happened.

He got out shouting, “Look what you did to my dad’s car!”

The other guy got the ticket, had his insurance pay for the repairs, and probably got a raise in rates. And guess what? It was perfectly legal of my teacher.

It’s your responsibility to maintain a safe stopping distance… not the driver in front of you. A driver CAN bring a car to a stop for whatever reason.

Just keep that in mind next time you get the urge to get on someone’s tail on the road: he just might REALLY be asking for it.

 

This Lesson Took A Bad Turn

| CT, USA | Learning | July 15, 2017

(Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that driver’s-ed teachers have a hell of a job. But I swear my instructor was just making things worse for himself. This is just one example.)

Instructor: “Okay, so, you’re going to make this turn coming up.”

Me: “Okay.” *slows down and moves to turn the wheel*

Instructor: “No! Too soon! Wait!”

Me: “Um… okay…”

(I’ve slowed down quite a bit now because he’s made me nervous.)

Instructor: “Not yet!”

(We’re now half-the-car through the intersection.)

Instructor: “Waaaait…”

(The nose of the car is now almost PAST the intersection.)

Instructor: “NOW! TURN TURN TURN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

(I try to turn, but this is hindered by the fact that we are WAY too far past the turn-off, and the fact that immediately after yelling for me to turn my instructor slams on his failsafe brake, and I end up almost in the grass on the corner.)

Instructor: *turning to me* “So, you turned too wide.”

Me: “…?!”

(Now having been a driver for almost a decade, I have learned that there is, in fact, a window of more than a nanosecond in which you can make a right turn. I give some credit to this instructor for the fact that I’m STILL a nervous driver.)

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