Friday, April 03, 2015

Don't Try This at Home---or Anywhere Else


Teenagers do crazy things today, but then, they always did. A few days ago, I was telling an acquaintance whom I’ll call “Sue” about one of my high school friends. After celebrating St. Patrick’s Day just a bit too much, he ended up unsuccessfully trying to outrun a police car.

Sue thought that story was really wild, but I knew I could top it. So I told her about the night, or rather the early morning, that we changed drivers in a moving car.

“Why would someone do that?” She asked.

“There was a state trooper coming after us.”

I had been to a party with four friends, whom I’ll call “Kate,” “Ben,” “Don,” and “Duke.” (Honest, those were not their real names.)

We were heading home around 1:30 on a Wednesday morning. Duke was driving; I sat in the middle, and Ben was next to the window. Kate and Don were in the back seat.

Duke was flying down the road when a car raced by in the opposite direction. He glanced in the mirror and said, “That’s a statey, and he just hit the brakes. He’s turning around. They’ll hang me. Don you’ve got to change places with me.”

Oops! News flash. Duke had no license. Neither did Ben (yes, I knew that). But poor Don sitting in the back seat did. So, with Ben leaning in front of me to steer the car, Duke and Don changed seats. I was lucky I didn’t get kicked in the face.

The trooper initially was so far behind us that he didn’t catch on to the switch. Don wisely pulled over when the cop hit the lights and siren. Unfortunately, after an appearance in court the next day, Don also was without a driver’s license for about six months.

I told Sue that I learned a few lessons from that escapade: 1) Driving without a license is a dumb thing to do; 2) Switching drivers in a moving car is even dumber; and 3) Taking the blame for someone else’s wrong choice is beyond dumb.

“Wow, people don’t do things like that anymore,” Sue said.

Yeah, they do. Check the Internet.

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