Big red sign says it all

Biggest stop sign in El Dorado and I was too pre-occupied to notice it. Of course the city police were trying to increase the public’s awareness of the stop sign that day.
I paid my fine and asked to take a defensive driving class to expunge the deed from my record. That was another $25 and a Saturday.
Saturday morning as I left the house I said, “I won’t be back until late this afternoon. Probably four or five o’clock.:
“Where are you going?”
“Defensive driving class at a conference room in the hotel.”
The class started at 9. Last minute enrollees delayed us 15 minutes as more tables and chairs were set up.
Study manuals with notes, diagrams and questions indicated we would be having four sessions. In the back was a tear-out page we had to fill out and hand in along with a certificate of completion.
The clerk filled in and signed the certificates before she left.
A half hour into the lecture, a crowd of late comers interrupted us. They had been waiting at the city hall, the old location for the class. We took a break while they registered.
The lecturer began again, “We will not be taking an hour lunch break. A waitress will take orders at 10:30 for anyone who wants lunch. We will go on through the lunch hour and aim to be out of her by 1:30.”
Fine with me, I had not slept very well the night before and the guy promised to haul any sleepers up to the front of the class.
No on slept. Using our name cards, he frequently addressed statements to us individually: “Joan did you know that STOP stand for State Trooper On Patrol?” “Semis have to figure I lag time for stops, don’t they, Nancy?” That, plus his vignettes of accidents he had encountered as a state trooper, kept it interesting.
I made note when he cautioned women drivers, “Make sure three things on your vehicle are always in good repair: The tires, the belts, and the radiator. And carry a can of instant fix for flat tires.”
“That will hold most tires to the nearest station.” He advocated for cellular phones as a great deterrent to crime besides being a quick way to get help in emergencies.
The whole class gasped when he said, “if you go from the entrance ramp of an eight lane highway, straight across the central lane, it is $97.50 per lane for illegal lane change.”
We ended up having 20 minutes for lunch and four sections of class, but did not cover the four sections of the manual.
I guess I never will find out what seven energy absorbing devices are or what a circle check is, let alone what five things I am checking.
By 1:20 p.m. I was in my mini-van heading home. I pulled out my certificate. I had just officially completed an eight hour safe-driving course. I would be home long before my estimated 4 or 5 o’clock.
To bad I can’t keep those extra hours handy to cash in the next time I am speeding along and think I am too rushed to come to a complete stop at a big red sign.