Ok, lets face it. We all mess around a bit behind the wheel, unless you are like my grandmother (who never actually did drive). Some people occasionally will text (Oy) others will go a teeny bit over the speed limit, and others may forget to get their inspection sticker done in the requisite time.
It is shameful indeed. But here here is the worst of it, Rabbi’s too are guilty of this, at least this rabbi is. Well, it finally came time to pay the piper. Thus I found myself in class at the Massachusetts Driver Retraining Course earlier this week.
In fairness, I did learn a lot that day. Most driving related, (but since I am prohibited by law to share any actual course material) I will share some of my own driving reflections and some of the other funnies that comprised my day.
For starters, the eclectic makeup of the group is a story unto itself. (I’ll get back to that in a moment.) When asked to share what brought you here today, the answer ranged from expired inspection stickers, and speeding tickets, to too many insurance surcharges which is what brought me in.
The winning answers however were for sure the gal who admitted that she had hit a parked car on the street and saw no one so she drove home, only to find out that the car she hit was her neighbors’. Or the guy that had not had his license since 2007, and was involved in high speed chases (plural) to avoid getting arrested. He failed. He was arrested.
There was a break out session, where we had to split into groups to problem solve, and I learned that I could be as intersectional as the next. Our group consisted of a bearded yalmukah’d rabbi, and golden chain wearing gang banger, to a very pierced up young woman, and not so well dressed, and very tattooed mechanic. We passed our little test with flying colors.
The teacher was pleasant and focused but she was all business. She threatened that if you are even one minute late to class, after a recess or lunch break, you will not be allowed back in, or if she couldn’t see your eyeballs – you dozed off – that you’d get an automatic fail, and have to retake the class.
Well, she was true to her word. There are two folks who will be redoing this class for one of each said offenses.
Lesson: Rules are rules.
Being the diligent student that I am, I of course had pencil in hand ready for important notes to be taken. Invariably I found myself writing some of the funnies as well. Some comments included the following.
“I drive really good drunk.”
“I haven’t been in prison in over ten years.”
“I don’t get tickets, my problem is driving on a suspended license.”
On a more serious note, since the above funnies, are really not very funny. Peoples lives are at stake. The Ba’al Shem Tov teaches that whatever situation we are in there is a lesson to be learned (and shared), so here are a handful of what I will call fun facts, though they are more like real truths.
The Left lane is ticket lane.
If you don’t submit to a breathalyzer you lose your license for 180 days.
Just because you get there first, doesn’t mean you get to go first.
Saying the name “Nechemia” correctly is not possible for people without a Semitic background.
The aggressive move is a ticket-able offense.
The only one who can control your behavior behind wheel is YOU!
Slow down, no emergency will be resolved if you are dead.
Better late alive than dead on time.
In closing, while driver rehabilitation school was not what I had in mind for the day, every one occasionally needs a “wake up call” and this was one for me.
It was educational and informative, but most importantly, to taught me, to quote the instructor, “Slow down Rabbi, and put your phone down, the world needs you and your sermons.” (That’s a direct quote – I didn’t add anything of my own in that quote :-))
SLOW DOWN AND PUT DOWN THE PHONE! (I am talking to myself, and anyone else who wants to listen in.)
Blog 23/52 Photo Credit My Iphone X