Well, I have finally completed ”Comedy Traffic School” as part of my being able to expunge the point I got for the speeding ticket from Officer Shortguy last spring. (See the blog Traffic Tales: http://ocactiveseniors.com/2011/06/17/traffic-tales/)
Apparently in California you can do this and it’s like you never got caught doing 92 in a 65 mph zone. You have choices of what type of school to go to, so I chose what I thought would be a funny one I could take online.
“Comedy Traffic School” was no laughing matter.
As I do with so many things that I just really don’t want to do, I put it off and put it off and put it off…until in the middle of one night I awoke and realized that time was running out for me to do this. I had three months from the court date and that anniversary was merely two weeks away. Yikes!
That was on a Friday night. I spent all day Saturday and all day Sunday of that weekend in “school.” Deargodinheaven! why did I think this would be a quick one-hour tutorial on driving safely, a little quiz and bingo, all would be well in the driving world of this OC Active Senior? Wrong!
It took me more than seven hours, I had to take a quiz after every one of the 20-something modules and had to score 100% on each of those before I could take the final exam. If you got even one quiz answer incorrect, you did not “…pass Go, did not collect anything.” To add insult to injury, you had to go back to the beginning. This was a comedy, alright…a comedy of errors!
I now know entirely too much about the traffic laws in the state of California. I’ve even become a bit of an authority. This pleases MOTNSO (“More Often Than Not Significant Other”), since he taught drivers’ training for thirteen years. He obeys every single law at all times, so much so that I have, on occasion, said to him to please stop driving like an old man. On one visit to New York City with me at the wheel he not only white-knuckled it the whole time but when we finally came to a screeching halt at one of our several destinations he turned to me and said “You broke at least 13 traffic laws that I am aware of…and I never lived here.” My godfather drove a cab in New York; I like to think he passed on his talents to me.
So, you may ask, what did I learn in this Comedy Traffic School??? Here’s the highlights:
There are only two things that can be legally dropped on the roadways in the state of California: clear water or feathers from live birds. Why? What will happen if you drop slightly dingy water, or are carrying a load of dead birds and they let a few feathers fly?
Ever get drowsy while driving? Here’s the list of hilarious suggestions made by other errant drivers when asked how to keep awake:
~“Don’t go to the bathroom – Ever tried to sleep when you have to urinate very badly? It’s hard, isn’t it? If you have to use the bathroom and find yourself getting drowsy, don’t stop at the nearest restroom. Keep driving until you can’t hold it anymore.”
~ “Pouring water in my shoes helps me stay awake, although it eventually causes blisters.”
~ “Stop at the store and buy the $1.99 hot beef jerky; make sure it is hot and not mild. If you’re immune to hot stuff, then buy ultra hot.”
~ “Take a bag of baby carrots on a long trip, you can’t fall asleep while you’re chewing!”
~“Make your face wet with water and have a sour gum, which makes you alert and increases your circulation.”
~ “Truck driver’s trick – If you are feeling sleepy and need to get to the next rest stop for a nap or coffee, hold a $100 bill out the driver’s window. There will be no accidental nodding with that sort of incentive.”
~ “Crush an ammonia capsule and place under your nose intermittently. Do this cautiously at first so you are not startled.”
~ “When driving long distances, take a lemon along. Poke a small hole in the lemon and suck from it when you feel drowsy. It’s a very fast wake up.”
~ “Don’t trim your nose hair! Save them for when you are really sleepy. Yank one out and you will be wide awake for ten minutes. Do expect a few tears to help wash away the drowsiness.”
The correct answer, according to the Comedy Traffic School, is to keep your eyes moving constantly. Isn’t that called blinking?
Last, but not least, here are some of the top incidents actually seen on the road and reported; the top three unbelievable acts while driving were submitted by readers of the Ezine AOL Money and Finance.
~ “Driving down the 495 Interstate in MD, I once caught a gentleman playing his saxophone while cruising at 55 mph in his Suzuki Samurai — lucky it didn’t flip!”
~“I was driving behind a woman who kept looking down in her lap and her arms were moving in a flapping motion. I couldn’t imagine what she could be doing! When she stopped at a light I had to honk to get her moving again. Finally I got along side of her and looked in her car. She was knitting!”
~ “A guy actually had an easel set up in the passenger seat with paints and several brushes and was painting a picture while we were going 70 mph down a major highway.”
~ And from a survey conducted by the American Iron and Steel Institute on distracted driving: a U.S. doctor was seen examining X-Rays while driving.
I’ve seen some strange things on the road, too…but nothing I could write about here. Feel free to share your own experiences!
By the way, I somehow got a 95 on the final exam. The only question I got wrong was the one about what you are allowed to drop on California highways. Foolishly, I chose “Nothing” as the answer to that one. I forgot where I live. I’ve heard it said that “California is where, when they shook the country to the left, all the loose nuts and bolts wound up there.” And I guess I am one of them.