OK, confession time. I had to do something today that I am truly embarrassed about.
I had to go to traffic school.
You see, in Massachusetts, when you have 5 traffic violations in three years, traffic school is mandatory. And through a combination of a lack of patience, carelessness, and a little bit of bad luck, I managed to rack up those five violations. Your options are either go to traffic school, or have your license suspended. Obviously, I opted for choice #1.
It was a complete and utter shitshow. From the moment I got there and sat down, I thought to myself, "I am so going to write about this." It was a nightmare. It was awful. And as with all awful, nightmarish things, I present it to you folks for your own amusement. Because I love you all that fucking much.
First of all: It started at 8:00 AM on a Saturday. And lasted for 8 & 1/2 hours. 8 & 1/2 hours of being locked in a teeny-tiny, poorly ventilated room at a crummy Holiday Inn in an absolutely dreadful town with a group of reprobates the likes of which I've never seen in one place ever before. If I knew then what I knew now, I would seriously consider just taking the suspension. It was that bad.
When I was on my way there, I was thinking, "well, maybe it'll be like The Breakfast Club! You know, none of us will have anything in common, and we'll work on each others nerves, but by the end we'll come together! And learn to love each other, and gain valuable lessons about people and our differences and traffic... and become friends, and maybe some of them will even fall in love!"
Yeah. . . Not so much. 8 & 1/2 hours later, one person had stormed out, one person was literally drunk after taking breaks at the hotel bar for shots, and one fist fight had broken out. I'm not making this up.
But I digress.
The teacher was actually not a bad guy. He tried his best to get the group engaged, but... given his audience, he had limited success.
Allow me to introduce the highlights of the class:
Me. Your friendly neighborhood blogster. I was there for basic stuff - one speeding ticket (60 in a 45), a ticket for changing lanes without signaling (which was bogus because I totally did because I always do), a ticket for crossing the yellow line when driving around someone who had stopped, an accident and a failure to stop ticket. Relative to this group, it was pretty vanilla.
Other guy kind of like me - the other "normal" person there. A couple of minor speeding tickets, a busted tail light, other minor crap.
Loud and whiny princess who wouldn't shut up: Hadn't had a license in 10 years, but has been driving the whole time. Got pulled over for speeding, running a red light, had two outstanding warrants for possession, and had weed IN HER PURSE.
Stupid kid #1: Just a dumb kid. Probably 21 years old. A DUI, a speeding ticket for doing 110 in a 55. ONE HUNDRED TEN MILES AND HOUR, y'all.
Stupid kid #2: More of the same. DUI, and a suspended license for speeding (while drunk) and then RUNNING FROM THE COPS.
Random Vietnamese kid who couldn't really speak English. I have no idea why he was there. He slept through the entire class.
Scary Ukranian guy: 3 DUI's. Resisting arrest, followed by assaulting a police officer and kicking out the window of the cruiser. Serious facial scarring. This guy scared the fucking hell out of me.
And. . . the Monkey Boys. A father and his son, who were there together on separate lists of violations that included running stop signs, rear-ending a state trooper, cocaine possession, resisting arrest, speeding. . . it was astonishing. They were like this pair of primitive cavemen who'd accidentally been given drivers licenses. They spent the entire session cackling like hyenas, throwing balled-up paper at each other, and gratuitously hitting on the Princess, who for some reason was amused by it (even when Cletus Jr asked her if she'd go down on him during lunch). It was like watching a nature show filmed in Hell. Why the teacher didn't toss them I'll never know. The best part about the Monkey Boys? Apparently, the other brother was supposed to be there as well, but couldn't make it because he'd been arrested the night before and was in jail. Sweet mercy. They were like a criminally, insane version of the Spuckler family.
Needless to say, it was a disaster. The Ukranian guy kept taking breaks and would come back smelling like brandy. The Spucklers got more and more obnoxious, and things really came to a head when Cletus Jr. called another attendee a "darkie" during the lunch break. . . aaaand hence the fistfight. Fortunately, Cletus Sr. had the wisdom to have them take it out to the parking lot to settle their differences.
Sweet Heavenly Humping Buddha on a Unicycle. This was seriously one of the most surreal days of my entire life - and that includes the time when I dropped acid and a dwarf licked the back of my head when I wasn't looking (some other time, I promise).
But I survived it. And I can tell you this - I hereby vow to drive more carefully, partly because of an increased understanding of the importance of safety, and partly so I never, ever, EVER have to set foot in that room again. Because those people terrify me.