Thanks for making it out on a rainy Saturday, kids. Slippery out there, huh? Let’s get started. We’re gonna have some fun today!
Car accidents are a leading cause of death for teenagers. The school board and your elected representatives want to make sure that you and your families are spared from such a tragedy, which is why the money for driver’s ed was eliminated from the budget. Whereas last year I was teaching your older siblings how to shift and brake and three-point-turn during a six-week course, it has since been decreed that I actually need just one afternoon to tell you the only piece of safety information I’m permitted by law to share:
The ONLY 100 percent effective method for avoiding car accidents is to ABSTAIN from driving until marriage.
Yes, yes, I know you’ve been bombarded with messages from popular culture about how much fun it would be to get behind the wheel of a red convertible, find an unbroken stretch of country road, and, with the wind in your hair, see what she can do. I know that up until now you had the mistaken belief that getting a driver’s license was a cherished milestone of your young, sweet, innocent lives. It isn’t. It’s a milestone, all right: a milestone indicating terrible pain, degradation, and certain death.
“What about seat belts?” you might be saying to yourself. “Don’t seat belts GUARANTEE that I CAN’T POSSIBLY die in a car?” Bzzzt! Wrongo. Every single day in this country, seat belts FAIL. In fact, I know of a study that proves—CONCLUSIVELY proves, people—that seat belts will fail 75 percent of the time.
Who did the study? Government workers.
Well, OK, East German government workers. At a single bribe- and patronage-ridden Trabant factory in 1967.
Along with unbridled premarital driving, we have a group of people who threaten to undermine everything America stands for, and that is your parents. Parents who seem to think it’s a good idea to teach their children how to drive a car, to put their precious gifts from the Almighty into the cold twisted-metal hands of certain destruction. “My mom takes me to the church parking lot and lets me practice three-point turns!” you might say. “We only went 5 miles an hour!”
Kids, please direct your attention to the poster above the blackboard here: FASTER THAN PARKED IS FAST ENOUGH TO KILL.
If Grandpa offers to take you out to the cornfield for stick-shift practice, or to an empty suburban street so you can practice your parallel-parking, YOU ARE STILL DRIVING, AND DRIVING IS WHAT I’M TELLING YOU NOT TO DO. Got it? One day you’re shifting with Gramps and two weeks later the thrill will have worn off and you’ll have to up the ante. You’ll have to move on to highway driving. Then, standing up, with your head sticking out the sunroof, you cruise through the big city at night. Then you’ll be doing doughnuts. Drag racing. Sideshowing. Ghostriding the whip. Tokyo drifting.
Oh sure, ghostriding the whip LOOKS incredibly cool and badass. But when your parents are in the hospital waiting room trying to decide whether or not to donate your corneas to science—because you’re BRAIN-DEAD—maybe THEN you’ll regret those parallel-parking lessons, hm?
Please note the other poster, above the door there: DON’T WANT TO DIE? DON’T TRY TO DRIVE. It’s just that simple.
Fear not, kids: there’s a time in your life when driving a car will cease to be an evil and disgusting shame-riddled experience. That happens after you’re married. My husband got me a Corvette for our anniversary. How sweet is that? And take it from ME: NO premarital driving could ever have felt as good as the driving my husband and I do together.
Remember this handy little slogan: “No ring on your finger, no hand on the shifter.”
Maybe it made more sense in Australia, sure. But the sentiment still holds!
Now some of you may wonder if it’s OK to drive when you’re a legal adult yet still unmarried. Sure, it’s “not illegal” to drive when you’re 18. It’s also “not illegal” to drive a car at 17, 16, or even 15 if you are so unlucky as to have some of those horrifically overpermissive parents. But that doesn’t make it morally right.
Imagine the beautiful gift you’ll give your future spouse if you curb your instincts and ABSTAIN from zipping all over town with any boy who sticks a thumb out at you. Think about THAT one.
And for those of you wondering if it’s OK for you to learn to drive because you’re gay and can’t get legally married, well, don’t worry your troubled minds about that, because there’s no driving where YOU’RE headed. Everyone in Greenwich Village takes the subway.
This is all very serious, guys. The incidence of car crashes in this town has quintupled, just since the beginning of Abstinence-Only Driver’s Ed six months ago. QUINTUPLED. Do you know how much that is? Me neither, but it proves you need to do exactly what I say. Class dismissed.
Oh and hey: whichever one of you owns the gray Taurus, you left your lights on.