A Better Driver’s Ed

It was the summer after I’d turned 16 and I still didn’t have my driver’s license. This was mainly due to the fact that my parents are the only two people who have ever read the Florida “Jesus Christ, Your Kid Is About To Start Driving” Manual, which recommends that each teen complete 50 hours of supervised driving before becoming licensed.

i totally paused

RECOMMENDS. The manual actually uses the word “recommends”, as in, “our chef recommends the 2007 New Zealand Pinot Gris as a pairing for the salmon” or “ma’am, we recommend that you put your pants back on or you’ll need to come down to the station”. In no place does it say that a parent will need to provide a signature or even a verbal statement that they’ve followed the recommendation- “I solemnly swear on my life that I have allowed Asjhlaiie to chauffeur me around in my Chevy Malibu for 50 hours”- but all of my well-planned arguments about recommendations versus requirements fell on deaf ears.

That’s how I ended up in a week-long Driver’s Ed course at my high school, taught by the girls’ basketball coach, who went by Coach (of course). We spent our days driving Coach in lazy circles around the parking lot; driving Coach and 3 of our peers in lazy circles around the slower parts of town; and, when it was too hot (in Florida, this is every day except select occurrences of January 11th), watching Coach’s bootlegged version of “Anaconda: Hunt For The Blood Orchid” in a musty portable classroom.

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