The other day I gave two traffic presentations at a junior high school. The first class were eighth graders and the second were seventh graders. Before the first class started, the teacher told me the seventh graders were going to be a challenging audience compared to the eighth graders.
The first presentation went off without a problem. The kids had good questions and liked the crash pictures I showed them. When class ended, the kids clapped and most of them shook my hand as they walked out. Wow, what a group.
Then the next class came in. There were nice and attentive for a while, but the teacher was right. This group of kids were more challenging for sure.
During the second class there was this boy in the front row that was restless and talked a lot. I figured he was one of the people the teacher was talking about. At one point he held up his hand and said, “I’ve driven a car before.”
“Really? Where?” I asked.
“In the desert.”
I didn’t know what to say to him other than, “OK.”
He then said, “And on the street.”
“You mean the city street?”
As a joke I asked, “Where do you live?” but I didn’t expect anyone to get it.
The boy was about to answer when another boy in the front row started laughing. I looked at him and asked, “Did you get my joke?”
He nodded and said he had. I put my hand up in the air and said, “Give me a high five since you were the only one that got that.” The kid smiled and slapped my hand.
I looked back to the the unlicensed driver in the front row and asked, “How old are you?”
I stood there and shook my head because I knew the kid was telling the truth.
He then asked, “What would you do if you saw me driving?”
“I’d take your car away and give your dad a ticket.”
The kid give me a funny look at the same time some of the kids started laughing. I then told them a story about a 12 year from a long time ago that I caught driving. The kids were amazed and paid attention while I told it because they were all about the same age as the kid in my story.
At the end of the class I spoke to the teacher again. She told me the unlicensed driver in the front was one of her challenging kids, along with a few others in the class.
Something tells me I might be seeing that kid again. Let’s just hope it’s not on a car stop when he’s 12 years old. If i do, I’ll be writing an impound report that night…..