My Facebook “friends” already know about this, but for those who haven’t heard: Over the weekend I had to attend an 8-hour defensive driving course. Since moving to Nashville, I have accumulated too many “points” on my driving record, and this was my punishment (in addition to paying the tickets, which actually weren’t as expensive as I’d worried). I’d like to say my brush with law enforcement was due to my rebellious nature, but actually I got the tickets for things like:
* Going 42 in a 30, and not seeing a cop in somebody’s driveway.
* Sitting at a red light at 12:30am with no other cars in sight, and going through it because I really had to go potty, not noticing the cop with his lights off hanging out in a parking lot on the corner.
* Failing to move over to the left lane when driving at 38mph by a cop who was giving a ticket to someone else.
Anyway, I’m in a bad mood going to this thing, which started at 8am. (What a way to kill a perfectly good Saturday.) But I warmed up to the instructor who had a nice Tennessee drawl and said things like this in his opening remarks. Note, he wasn’t saying the following with any type of judgment; he was just letting us know that this is how it was, and we’d better understand it if we didn’t want to keep running afoul of the law:
“You have no right to privacy anymore [since 9/11].”
“Due process kinda went out the window.”
“If you see a car on the side of the road [in Nashville], trunk open and being stripped down, you know somebody tipped them off that somebody’s coming from Chattanooga that the police want. And if your car looks like that guy’s car, it’s your bad luck.”
“Take out your license. You see the DD number? That’s your Department of Defense number. It’s your national ID card. If you get stopped anywhere in the world, they can run that and in a few minutes know everything about you.”
“If there’s a lot of wrecks on this curve [referring to a dangerous stretch of road], rather than spending the money to fix it they’ll put up a $100 sign [warning dangerous curve ahead].”
“Who owns the most alcohol in the country? The U.S. Treasury.”–referring to some quirk in the production process of alcohol where it’s not the property of the distiller until the tax is paid.
He also said that the #1 cause of truancy in Tennessee is fast food restaurants, because they’ll call up teenage workers and say, “Hey, Jim called in sick, we need you to work the morning shift. Just call in sick to school.”
—Shared by Elle.