No, I am not taking a defensive driving course because I did something terrible involving anteaters behind the wheel of a car. I’ve had a modest (cough) number of speeding tickets in my day, less now that I no longer own a motorcycle (but that will be fixed once I’m no longer poor bwahahaha) and at the moment I don’t even have a car to begin with. I’m taking the defensive driving course for work, since I’ll be going on a field trip next week and it’s one of those things that’s required just in case I have to drive. (I also had to take Bloodborne Pathogens and re-up my CPR certification, which was actually nice to do.) My company is very, very serious about safety.
Which is probably why everyone looks so horrified when I inform them that I don’t have a car and have to bike everywhere. In Houston. It’s like having a death wish, apparently.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling that this is not going to be the most exciting four hours of my life as I take this course online. So I’m going to deal with it the way I deal with anything that involves staring at a screen and wanting to grind my teeth: sarcasm. This also guarantees I’ll actually pay attention, since if you want to be properly bitchy about something you do actually have to know what’s going on.
So. (Probably will be updated every 10 minutes or so. Except for the bit where I go to laundry.)
1055: This into is approximately ten years of watching a cheerful yellow cgi car cruise around in a way that indicates the physics engine needs a serious tune up. And there is no ability to fast forward. This does not bode well.
1103: “This course will be meaningful…” I feel oddly threatened by this statement. If this defensive driving course doesn’t make some kind of deep, spiritual impact on my life, will the defensive driving patrol come to my house and regroove me? Will I be prayed over by the defensive driving priests? We shall see.
1108: This course has been updated like the vehicles I drive today… It has clipless pedals? Or it has cruise control like my car? I want cruise control.
1109: “Let’s get personal.” Let’s not. Or at least buy me coffee first.
1109: Wow and then we immediately start with the guilt. If this course asks me why I never call, we are done.
1114: “Every day choices can have a positive and/or negative impact.” Next up: water is wet!
1116: I think this part could be summarized with a nice lady with curly, iron-gray hair saying, “I just want you to make good choices.” Followed by Concerned Face.
1118: I had no excuses for the one accident I had, years and years ago. First got a cell phone, was trying to text someone and drive, and I rear ended someone at low speed in stop and go traffic. Valuable lesson time, kids. So no, I HAVE NO PITY FOR YOUR EXCUSES, COURSE.
1119: I can’t drive for everyone else too. I drive a compact. They won’t fit.
1120: Cutting other people off is unreasonable? I never would have thought. I feel like there should really just be a Wheaton’s Law Defensive Driving Course – “Don’t be a dick.”
1121: Liar. “Preventable collision” isn’t actually in the dictionary.
1125: The how do you drive survey. This ought to be good. I bet I come out as the reincarnation of Genghis Khan.
1125: Communicating via “friendly gestures.” Pffffffft.
1126: “I enjoy driving in a legal manner because it is less stressful and the right thing to do.” I feel like the word “enjoy” is a problem with this statement.
1127: Wow, apparently I’m a defensive driver. Well, I guess I do drive pretty safely other than my tendency to speed. Also, this quiz didn’t tell me what Avenger I should be, so I’m very disappointed.
1130: STOP! Laundry time!
1135: Is there anything better than sheets freshly out of the dryer? Simple pleasures, people.
1137: And have I mentioned lately how amazing it is to be able to do little things, like put sheets on my bed without needing assistance because my right arm is no longer about to fall off? Because it is. Anyway. Back to learning how to avoid vehicular manslaughter.
1139: Excellent choice on adding the thunder effects to the statistics section. Adds some serious gravitas as they fade one person out of the picture of a happy family to indicate the death of a loved one in a motor vehicle crash.
1140: …oh wait. Real thunder. Never mind.
1142: Driving has now been compared to surgery, and to sending out wedding invitations. One of these things is not like the other… I mean, having had to conduct a wedding, I’m pretty sure screwing up the invitations would lead to way more carnage than if a surgeon wanted to play angry birds in the middle of a bypass.
1144: OOOH PEDESTRIAN WITH A BABY MAYBE SHE HAS A PIZZA.
1145: Watching that CGI cyclist fall over makes me feel funny in my tummy.
1150: Keep your windows and windshield clean. And I bet it helps if you keep your glasses clean too. ARE YOU LISTENING, MIKE?
1158: Apparently I’m middle-aged. /sob Thanks for ruining my day, defensive driving course.
1200: The pictures of angry people hanging out of their car windows are the best.
1203: I’m finding the dramatic tension in this section about vehicle maintenance is lacking. It’s a real let-down after the suspense they built up in the section about how feelings are important.
1208: Yes, test the horn. That way everyone in the parking lot will turn and look at you, wondering if you’re some kind of asshole.
1211: Not sure if I’m comfortable doing as much leaning to look at my mirrors while driving as they’re advising.
1213: And… we’re still not done with vehicle maintenance.
1214: No, let’s not learn more. I will have died of old age and you’ll still be wittering on about tire pressure.
1220: “The laws of physics do not know who you or your family are.” That is actually a wonderful statement. And remember. Even if they did know, they wouldn’t care. Physics is a bitch like that.
1223: If a car is going 55 mph, the unrestrained occupants will also be going 55 mph. Shocking revelation brought to you by physics.
1233: I could have lived without watching a long video about the death of Princess Di. It got seared into my brain enough by the unending news cycle when it happened.
1248: Next assignment: write an ode to seatbelts. In iambic pentameter. I am fucked.
1308: Lunch. This course is working me SO HARD. Look at that appetite.
1323: This video just basically told me to put on a sweater, just in case. I am waiting for it to tell me I should wear clean underwear as well.
1324: Driving in snow and ice? I’m from Colorado, motherfucker. I was born knowing these things.
1326: When you drive uphill, gravity is not pulling in the opposite direction. It’s pulling you toward the Earth’s center of mass, just like it is when you’re on a flat road. So there may be a small component of force that is downhill, but not the bulk of it. GEEZE NO WONDER WE ARE TRAILING THE WORLD IN SCIENCE.
1332: I had no idea that my car would continue going straight if I didn’t steer. HOLY SHIT GUYS.
1332: Sharp curves will haunt my nightmares. They’re so sharp, yet curvy. It’s a philosophical conundrum that I’m not prepared to deal with on a Sunday when I’m still in my pajamas. Hold me.
1348: Upon approaching a school bus, make no sudden movements or you might startle it. If the red lights are flashing and it has extended its stop arm, this is an indication the school bus is engaged in its mating ritual and might charge if interrupted.
1352: Pedestrian road hazards: the source of all pizza.
1354: Ooh, cyclists as road hazards. This will be my favorite part. /chinhands
1355: Yes, be courteous to us. I like you, defensive driving video.
1356: Yes, we are vehicles. We have rights!
1356: Also, I wonder why fatalities on motorcycles have increased so much recently. Maybe it’s just because there are more motorcycles. NO WAIT. This is supposed to be snarkarific. Uh… uh… FART JOKE.
1402: Goose in the road? Fuck the goose. Run it over.
1422: Wow, that lady looks seriously pissed at that road map.
1424: Think of nothing but driving! Don’t think about elephants! Only driving!
1431: They’re talking about balls. Context is for sissies.
1442: That dude looks like Don Corleone in a silver SUV. I wouldn’t be dumb enough to cut him off.
1449: What can you control in this situation? The undercarriage mounted machine gun. That’s always the answer.
1453: The bottom line isn’t that speeding doesn’t pay. It’s “don’t get caught.”
1459: This quote is amazing: “So the old notion of having the right-of-way is so wrong–so wrong that it can kill you!” This should be the next bad horror movie to come out. Right of Way – you thought you were safe. It thought you were DEAD.
1530: I think I’ve run out of even minimally clever things to say. I just want the pain to stop.
Day 17. We had to kill and eat the dogs, or face perishing from lack of food. I fear what will happen if we don’t find civilization soon. I caught Scott trying to burn the maps; I fear the man has run quite mad from a combination of cold and despair. We can do nothing but continue on and hope.
Day 21: Scott ran off into the words in the middle of the night, whooping and shrieking like a thing not of this earth. He was also quite shamefully nude. None of us had the energy to follow him. And while the others dare not speak of it, I know they feel the same as I; after his rather unhinged actions of the last few days it was something of a relief. The rotted deer carcass we found two days back will last longer when split amongst only three rather than four. Still no sign of civilization.
Day 26: George passed away in the night. It was Harold who had the idea, the horror– no! I won’t! We can’t! Survival is not worth a man’s soul!
Day 27: We did.
Day 31: Stumbled from the woods into a mining camp. They took in our shameful condition with no small amount of horror and saw us bathed, fed, and properly re-clothed. None of us can look the others in the eye; we all remember well what we did. What we must never speak of. The price of survival is too high, too high indeed.