So along with the new car, I got a little bit of sticker shock -- insurance. Old cars have really, really cheap insurance, so you tend to forget that insurance for newer cars are nearly as much as the car itself. So when I started looking at insurance for the new car, I found prices ranging from $550/6 months to $760/6 months. This, just so I can drive the car.
So, after checking around, I decided that I needed to do what I could to reduce the payments as best I could. Georgia, and a lot of states, allow you to get reduced rates on your insurance if you take a Defensive Driving Course -- in my case, 10% off. Not bad. The cost of the course is $30 -- easily made up by the price break. How wonderful.
And so I took the course.
Let me pause for a moment and bring back, for those of you who've been outside of school for a number of years, a few thoughts about high school. The classrooms are usually dingy and dark, humorless, barely lit. The chairs hurt. The tables were small plastic laminate tops with sharp metal legs. The material was boring, on good days -- on bad, it inspired drooling and insanity. The fellow inmates were usually mentally tuned out, and cared more about their fingernails than what's being taught. In fact, it was shocking to find anyone who's willing to answer any questions, even when prodded.
This, in a nutshell, was the Defensive Driving Course.
I won't mention the school or the name of the instructor, out of politeness -- but I will say I can't recommend the school, ever.
We spent 6 hours over 2 nights watching one of two things -- either a) videos, 5 hours of them, or b) the teacher hitting the forward button on the DVD the state provided as fast as he could. He wrote two things on the board in the two days of being there. One was his name. The other was the answers to three of the questions on the test.
The videos were classic. I mean that in both the sense of time, and the overall humor of the situation. About 1/2 the movies were made before I was born. The 70s haircuts, the video styles, the cars (Chrysler Cordobas and such). The videos hadn't been updated since then. The other half were from the 80s -- with the exception being, I swear to God, a videotape of a TV program called "The Great American Driving Test" (or something like that) from around 1998, with such luminaries as MC Hammer and Craig T. Nelson. I know it was a TV program, because they kept breaking for commercials.
Two people fell asleep in class. One read Newsweek the whole time. Several people drew, me included. I was the only one there, though, for insurance reasons. The rest were there for driving offenses. One girl, no older than 18, was there for her second time (she was one of the sleepers).
I'm glad I have my certificate. I'm glad it's over with. But I'm certainly glad I don't have to go there any more; I don't think I could take another ounce of humanity like that without breaking out laughing or walking out in disgust.