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A year ago today one of our writers had to go to the RMV in Leominster for one of those classes for naughty drivers. His eight hours of observing Northern Worcester and MIddlesex County’s finest was fantastic entertainment. Enjoy.
Recently I received a letter from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that the RMV would be suspending my license unless I took some sort of driver re-education class. Apparently I committed three surchargeable events within a two year period. 1) Inspection sticker past due, 2) Going 65 in a 55, and 3) DPW sign/devices. I have no idea what the third one was. Literally no clue. Googled the shit out of it, still completely lost. Called the RMV and Department of Transportation and would like the several hours of my life back from that disaster.
So I realized that this obviously wasn’t negotiable and I need a license because my magical turtle isn’t fast enough, and thus I had to just write a check and show up. After all, SOMEONE has to pay for people who are using EBT cards at Hurricane Betty’s strip club (and yes, they do take EBT cards there). I went to the class in Leominster today, and figured I’d be with a bunch of degenerates. It was everything I hoped for and more.
I sat down at my table in the front. The instructor told us all to turn off our cell phones, and that if we went on them we would be kicked out. Since I knew that this was a 9 to 5 situation words can’t express how much worse this announcement made the prospects for the day. So to make the day a little more interesting and entertaining I decided I’d just write down what everyone was saying and hope to make a blog out of it. The nudniks I was imprisoned with didn’t let me down.
The class began with us all having to say our names and what we would have been doing that day if we weren’t forced to be in this class. It started off brilliantly when Evander from Worcester said “sleeping.” Then Jamaican Jose from Lowell said “chillin.” Jackie from Fitchburg said “taking care of my kids.” I instantly realized this day had potential after all.
The next thing we did was we had to tell the class what we were in for. I went second. The guy next to me went first. He was a Russian dude with a thick accent named Sergio – one of those hilarious Russians and everything he said was that much funnier because of the way he said it….almost as funny as the instructor. When she asked him where he was from he said “former Soviet Union.” Her reply was priceless: “Where is that town?”
This is not a made up story. Literally, the teacher of the class thinks the Soviet Union is a town in Europe, or Asia, or Africa, or whatever exotic place people with funny accents come from. He said “Russia” because it was clear she was very confused. Everything now made sense and balance had been restored to the universe. So then he went on to explain what he was doing here. This is his paraphrased response:
“When I first come to America, I buy book called “How to survive in USA.” It say police officer in USA are good. Police in Russia hide in bushes. But police in USA also hide in bushes. So I don’t do full stop. I do slow down, little bit, go. Then I find out you must slow down then go back in seat. But, I also have suspended license already, so police officer put me in two cuffs. Then I go to court and I standing next to men who are pieces of something. I was there for three hours in jail cell with criminals. But, I tell jokes for half hour first and police laugh.”
I could literally just listen to this guy talk all day.
Then they went on to a girl named Amanda at the next table who would go on to completely steal the show for the rest of the class. She rambled on for what seemed like an hour about all of the things that are bothering her in life and how it ended up with her being in this class. She had a thick Mass accent with a ghetto twang to it. She also thought she knew everything and was really smart. You could tell that she’s that girl on your Facebook wall who writes really vague posts like, “I hate ignorant people who talk shit.” You know exactly who I’m talking about.
Well, Amanda had some tales. Apparently she was in class because of her ex boyfriend, who had crashed her car and never told her. The problem was it was a hit and run. Yet she didn’t apparently notice the fact that her car was in need of repair and just drove around on it like nothing happened. Then she ended up getting busted for the accident. She said that she “doesn’t understand people” that the last four years have been the most horrible years of her life, and that when she got busted driving the car her boyfriend was in the car with her.
At this point the instructor tried to go onto the next person. She wasn’t done though. “But listen” she said, “we were together for four years and we had broken up, but we were coming home from a date because we were getting back together.” Other people in class were visibly frustrated. I just wanted her to keep going because it was awesome.
She then said to the Russian gentlemen next to me, “You’re from the Soviet Union or whatever town you’re from, you know about crazy people.” At this time I realized that Sergio and myself were the only people in the class who knew what the Soviet Union was.
She then moved onto this kid with a classic Worcester Voke mustache in the front row. To say he looked grimy would be mean. So lets just say he looked like he really enjoys the Summer Nationals car show and is entertained by burnouts. Apparently Luke lives with Mom and he was there because his license was suspended but didn’t know it because Mom opens all his mail and doesn’t tell him. He also kept falling asleep and she threatened to kick him out twice.
Then she moved onto Lucas from Webster. Lovely town in Webster. Lucas hasn’t had a license for ten years and has a rap sheet a mile long. Of course he admitted to driving to Leominster to take the class which is an hour from Webster. Nevertheless he told us that for his latest infraction he got a Continuance Without a Finding in court. When the instructor started to explain what a continuance is someone in the back shouted out, “I have a feeling everyone in here knows what a CWOF is.” Everyone including myself started laughing because it was true. For you altar boys out there it’s when you agree to go on this kind of temporary probation period. As long as you don’t screw up again the charges are completely dropped. It’s probably the most common thing that happens in courts to clear out the riffraff.
Then they moved onto this junior smokeshow from JUCO. Her quote had me cracking up, “I’m here because some idiot who works for the city of Gardner cut down a tree that fell on my car.” She also said that she, “always gets fucked in Templeton” and “my aunt fuckng told me not to speed but I did it anyway because I’m a pro at court.”
This open display of vulgarity was fantastic. The fact that she has no problem just dropping f bombs in front of a bunch of strangers like nothing is wrong with it tells me that this girl gives zero fucks about anything. If you’ve ever traveled through the Templeton-Gardner-Winchendon area this would make perfect sense.
The next interesting story came from a young fella. He was here because he got into a high speed chase on Interstate 93. Apparently he had a suspended license already and when he saw a state trooper trying to pull him over going 80 in a 65, according to him he said “screw it” and accelerated to 160 mph. Interesting choice. He ended up getting away and made it home. Then the fuzz showed up at his house an hour later because some “do-gooder” called in his license plates. He was charged with “being a danger to the world“, which is apparently a crime you can be charged with, and lost his license for three years, along with his job and apartment.
The girl behind me was named Raychel. Not Rachel, or Rachael, but RaYchel. This should’ve been the first sign that I was in for a treat. Raychel was easily the most grizzled person in the room. She started off by saying that she had multiple felonies and had done a lot of time at Framingham State Prison. She also volunteered that she’s a recovering addict and had thousands of unpaid fines in Maine and Vermont.
Amanda wanted to ask her some questions and give her some advice because at this point she had established herself as the person in the room who knows everything and relates your story to something that she or someone she knows already went through. When Raychel said she didn’t want to talk about it Amanda re-emerged with the quote of the day:
“You should listen to me because I know mad shit about this.”
It was awesome and I wish you all could’ve been there to hear it.
The instructor then came to Evander who said he was originally arrested for doing 45 mph in a 55. According to him the Shrewsbury cop who did this pulled him over while he was accelerating from a red stop light. So obviously that was a lie and Amanda told him that he should’ve fought that because “that ain’t right yo.”
There were some heavy hitters in the class who apparently knew the instructor well. I guess they just keep sending you back to these classes until you reach seven surchargeable offenses in a three year period. A seventh is an automatic four year loss of your license, because five is too much like Russia and three is too much like France. So the instructor pretty much knows everything about these people by now. Jeff from Worcester was in for his fifth class with her, and is one more ticket away from seven. Sean from Winchendon is taking the class for the third time, has had no license for 2.5 years and has been guilty of an OUI, and a handful of infractions including tinted windows and low-riding cars.
Jackie from Fitchburg was also in the class for tinted windows violations – her third such offense. Because after all, when you’re an unwed mother the most pressing thing you have to do in life is make sure you have tinted windows. She says she does this because sometimes she has up to 10 people in the car and doesn’t want the cops to see. Do your thing Jackie from Fitchburg.
Some people asked me what we could possibly do for eight hours. Well half of it was spent on these war stories, and the other half was spent filling out this booklet and writing all of the answers to the test that would come at the end of class onto our cheat sheet. We had to fill in a lot of blanks in the 40 page packet and she randomly called on people to share their answers. One of the questions was what do you need a car to do, that you consider fun? Luckily she asked Sergio (my Russian boy) and he said:
“I need car to go to liquor store to make bad feelings go away.”
Love this dude. Had lunch with him at Subway and he told me that he ran a chemical engineering plant in Leningrad back in the 80’s. His biggest problem was that all of his employees came to work drunk on Vodka. I asked why he didn’t fire them. He said he did, but then the new workers just came to work drunk. God bless you Russia.
We also had to write what we planned to do differently after the class. Amanda was called on. She said, “I ain’t gonna speed up follow people no more, because I got mad road rage. And I’m gonna wear my seat belt because of inertia and all that shit.”
Somehow Amanda doesn’t know what the Soviet Union is, but she can use inertia in a sentence. I think I miss Amanda already.
Finally the last person to share an answer was Raychel and she didn’t let us down:
“I don’t want to change because I’ve been a great driver for the last five years. I have to be a great driver because I drive illegally without a license. I didn’t know it was a big deal before this, but now I do, but I’ll probably just keep doing it anyway.”
Class was dismissed and everyone went outside to rip butts and wait for grandma to come pick them up. It was a wonderful experience and well worth the $125. Thank you RMV for this eye-opening cultural experience.
So what do you think? Anyone else ever been to one of these things? Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.
Turtleboy has gone mainstream. Check out our blogs for WEEI.COM’s Dennis & Callahan’s Producer’s Blog.