Thursday, December 16, 2010

Speed Awareness Course

After a turn-for -the-worse grotty weather drive to a place I've never been or will want to return to, I found myself sitting- alcohol anonymous style- with 15 other offenders, some of whom I perceived as guarded, offended, resigned, terse, cold, loose and warm. We were thrown together here at the speed awareness course, courtesy of our breaking the speed limit a month or two back. We were as a gathering of unwilling jurors at our own trial.

We were a good mix of young and old as well as differing in shape, sex, colour, opinion and attitude.

I found it hilarious to be each made to share the circumstance of our offence...and the speed we were clocked.

In the end we all agreed that our justifications for extra speed were only excuses. We were guilty! The offended became enlightened and softened, and soon there was a warmth and good spirit in evidence. We'd come to terms with and were at one with officialdom. It was a fair cop! Even the impeccable man in his personalised number plated jaguar, lost his arrogance and distance. I swear it was good material for a sustainable comedy series.

There was a good deal of healthy interaction. It was good. We all wore bold christian name tags and, once everyone became fully aware I was to be called Ken and not Kenneth, the presentations, discussions and videos commenced and the barriers and defences dropped.

I left, four hours later, wishing them all to be on my Christmas card list.

The only unnerving experience was regarding the official visitor who was tucked away in the corner silently taking notes. I caught her on many occasions glaring at me.  I'm sure she wasn't staring at others with the same insane intensity.  I thought perhaps it was the frequency in which I attempted to inject humour into the proceedings. Whatever it was, it resulted in her looking positively rabid at times. She soon became the only exception to inclusion in my new-found goodwill demeanour and circle of inmate friends.

We were freed at lunch-time clutching a duly signed certificate of course completion. With a shake of hands and a throwing of my name tag onto the desk, I left to practice my new understanding and awareness of speed as I climbed into my little Yaris and followed the Jaguar out of the car park and into the Lincolnshire murky, freezing sleet and rain.


  1. This brings to mind the fact that my WT had to take a driver's course because of too many speeding tickets, back in the late 70s in Missouri. I like to remind him of it. Often.

  2. Ken,
    Sounds like a great way to meet girls. You remain, my friend, the most entertaining observer of everyday life I read anywhere. Life is an endless diversion when you're Ken Devine.


  3. Did you discover who that secretive woman was? A colleague attended one of those courses and afterwards proceeded to lay the law down on her friends. I must admit it made me more aware of road speeds.

  4. You have a great talent for seeing humour in every situation ! In India, overspeeding draws a "Challan"...fine, which becomes troublesome because you have to go to a particular office according to where you live, to pay the fine. And like all government offices it takes its own blooming's a pain. The only people who have found humor in this are those who get an officer who can be bribed!

  5. Late 70's? You are so cruel,Tess. That's longer than a life sentence without parole.

    Hi Robert
    Isn't a diversion the long way round and an inconvenience? As ever, you are too kind, but I like what you say.

    Hi Valerie.
    No, but perhaps she's compiling a dossier on people like me and our paths will cross again. I hope not, though, on both counts.

    Hi Joy
    And you have a talent for making me feel lucky I was caught in this country.

    I've learned my lesson everyone and it has already made a difference. The snow and ice may have a little to do with it, but I am thinking a lot more in built up areas of the real difference between 30 and 40mph.

    I may come over as a speed freak, but this is only the second time in 35 years.