Graduation Speech to a Driving School

Every May, I like to write a Graduation Speech I'll Never Give. This year's speech is to the graduates of the A1 Driving School of Lincoln Park, IL.

Good morning graduates of the A1 Driving and Traffic School, family members, and faculty. Er, that is, Mr. Lewis "Big Lou" Polnachek. It is my distinct honor and privilege to speak to you after what has been a grueling six weeks.

And I have to applaud you, graduates. I was speaking with Mr. Poln — Oh, sorry. I was speaking with Big Lou, and he was sharing some of your stories.

(No, Big Lou, I did not put on the t-shirt. We discussed this. I wear a coat and tie when I give these speeches, not an A1 t-shirt. Fine, 50 bucks.)

As I was saying, Lou talked to me about how each of you have overcome hardship and adversity to arrive at this big day. And they're inspirational stories indeed.

For example, many of you know Skylar's story, and how he managed to get, not two, not three, but FIVE speeding tickets in just six short months. But after putting Big Lou's lessons into practice, Skylar now knows how to jam up traffic cameras, avoid speed traps, and evade police.

I don't think that's really wise, Skylar. Just, you know, ease up on the gas.

And there's Kendal, who managed to get into two accidents on the same weekend when she got a new Jeep, took it out for a spin by the old reservoir, and got into her first one. So she took it home, took her husband's pickup out, and crashed it in the church playground, which is how she picked up her second — wait, where's he going? Seriously? I'm sorry, Kendal. I didn't know. Why would you tell him it was stolen? No, I'm sure he'll be back.

I'm sure many of you are pleased to see Officer Bartkowiak — No? Excited? Happy? Wait, that looks like murderous rage — uh, Officer Bartkowiak, whose seemingly random speed traps have led many of you to the A1 Driving and Traffic School.

But Big Lou and Bart had some great stories earlier, from when they grew up in the old neighborhood where they — what, Big Lou? There's something on my throat? No, my throat doesn't itch, I feel — Oh, I see.

Well, no matter how bad school was, at least you didn't have it as bad as the AAAA School of Driving. I hear they were shut down by both the DMV and Department of Animal Health. And thanks to his generosity, Big Lou has said he will give a 20% discount to all AAAA School of Driving students if they transfer to A1 within the next two weeks.

Anyway, graduates, as I look out at your faces, I can see a bag of mixed emotions. Many of you are happy to be leaving this place. Some of you are sad, some of you are excited. Dangerous Dave's face seems to be mostly self-righteous indignation. Just remember, Dangerous Dave, you can't drive slow in the left lane, no matter what the speed limit says. You're not the highway monitor.

Many of you have formed strong friendships that will last a lifetime. For example, Mrs. Bennett — excuse me, the former Mrs. Bennett — and Skylar have struck up a wonderful friendship. From what I've heard, Ms. Bennett gives Skylar a ride home every week, and that the two of them have struck up quite the — er, I mean, they've become good friends.

For some of you, however, this day is more of a class reunion. You must really love the place. Big Lou told me that both Debbie and Meth Head Mike have been here four times. Each. Seriously, you two, I think you have a bigger problem than just bad driving. I'll just leave you some pamphlets.

Finally, as you leave the A1 Driving and Traffic School, I would urge you all to practice the lessons you've learned here. Embrace them. Absorb them. Make them a part of your daily driving habits. Or at least stay the hell out of my neighborhood.

And I would encourage you to remember the spirit of cautious driving and safe living, as expressed in the school's venerated motto, Vae, veniunt porci, which is Latin for "Damn, here come the pigs!"

Now, Big Lou says that we're all headed to the Black Diamond for the graduation party. Last one there is buying the first round. Mrs. Nesbitt, can I ride with you? I can't drive until I finish my classes next week.

Photo credit: Melissa Anthony Jones (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 3.0)

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