Michael Murray's Adventures in Driver's Ed

By Michael Murray | Miscellaneous | September 30, 2011 | Comments ()

By Michael Murray | Miscellaneous | September 30, 2011 |

"I was playing Angry Birds and I was in the Zone. I could have been going a million miles an hour for all I know."

This got a big laugh from the classroom.

Clark gave them a look, "You could have killed somebody, Michael!"

"I am a very angry bird."

Clark sighed.

"Do you think this is a joke, Michael? Driving is a privilege not a right, you have to take it very seriously!"

"Well, I take Angry Birds very seriously."

This got even more laughs, including hoots from All-Star who was slapping his desk in appreciation. Clark screamed at the class to be quiet.

"We've now moved into the Road Rage stage of our performance," I added.

liberty.jpgI had the room.

I was on fire.

A hero.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Clark made a notation in his book, sent me back to my desk and gave me the stink eye. I didn't care, during the break two girls complimented me on my hat and All-Star offered to smoke me up.

When we returned I decided to build on my earlier success and raised my hand. Clark pointed a pencil at me. "Clark, since you're an expert on driving and everything, can you tell me why Ryan Gosling always wore that disco jacket with the Scorpion on it throughout The Driver even though it was all blood-smeared? I mean, for a guy as discreet as he was supposed to be, it didn't make much sense. And also, how many demerit points do you think he got for stomping somebody to death in an elevator??

"I haven't seen the movie yet," Clark said quickly.

Drivedad.jpg"Oh, I thought you would have been better prepared," I responded. And when I looked around for all the approval and laughter I was expecting from the other students, I got nothing. Just a bunch of blank, disappointed looks. All-Star, in full slouching retreat said, "Dawg, that was not cool, some of us still haven't see it, you know?" I nodded and began to mumble an apology when a brand new student piped up, "The only reason a guy that old is still trying to get his licence is because he has mental issues."

The class thought this was really funny.

This new guy was probably 18, wore sunglasses, a t-shirt that said, "The Party Starts Here," and couldn't stop talking about his hangover from clubbing the night before and kept answering all of Clark's questions correctly. He had a stack of fucking rice crackers on his desk.

I hated his guts.

It was clear to me that I had to immediately step up my game if I wanted to maintain my Alpha status, and so I began to speak over Gio and belittle everything he said, referring to him as "rice cracker."

He took this as the challenge it was.

"You better get off my ass head-case," he said without bothering to turn to face me.

"You're going to make an excellent pizza deliver driver one day, rice cracker."

He turned and pointed a finger at me, "I could break you in half."

I was quiet for a little bit here.

After about 45 tense minutes, Clark decided to make learning fun again and divided the class in half to play a Driver's Ed version of "Jeopardy."

I completely dominated, running the category of "Cars and Movies."

"What is Smokey and the Bandit, Clark?"

"Who is Lightning McQueen, Clark?"

"What is Gone in 60 Seconds, Clark?"

"Who is Herbie the Love Bug, Clark?"

"De Niro in Taxi Driver, Clark!"

Each time I nailed a question Gio would make the "pfft" sound, which is what losers do in the presence of a winner.

I gave him a look, "Bit of slaughter, eh?"

"You didn't phrase the Taxi Driver answer as a question, loser."

I told him that I did, but before I could even begin my argument, Clark immediately sided with Gio and my team was given a loss.

I lost my shit.

"What sort of name is Gio?! It's stupid, like the name of some new age band from the 90s, and dude, no matter how much of that AX shit you pour on yourself, the only person who's going to lay you is the fat one, okay?"

Things got a little bit slow and quiet. Gio stood up, called me a bitch and then slapped me across the face, knocking me to the floor. All-Star it turns out, did not have my back. Clark began to blow a whistle he kept concealed beneath his shirt and the building security guard came to restore order and escort Gio and I off the premises.

Apparently this sort of thing happens more often than you would think.

Michael Murray is a freelance writer. He presently lives in Toronto. You can find more of his musings on his blog, or check out his Facebook page.

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