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Generational Disconnect

Sometimes we just don't get each other.

By Mark GagnonPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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The official-looking sign posted on the door read, “Safe Driving for Seniors.” In many states, the term seniors could apply to high school seniors, but not in Florida. The attendees in this room were all past retirement age and had one thing in common besides age — they had all received a ticket for unsafe driving. The instructor was in his early twenties and displayed the confidence of youth. He was given this assignment because no one more senior than him wanted to do it.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Safe Driving for Seniors. This course revitalizes some of the driving skills that may have become rusty over the years. My name is Martin, and I’ll do my best to answer any of your questions and concerns.”

“Excuse me, Marty, came a voice from the back of the room. Will we be getting regular bathroom breaks during this course? The notice said it’s a 3-hour course, and I can’t hold it for that long.” Many of the attendees grumbled and nodded in agreement.

“Yes, sir, we have built-in breaks during the course that should suffice. One other thing, it’s Martin, not Marty.” He needed to establish dominance over this potentially problematic group. It was obvious to him that his pupils considered him a kid that couldn’t teach them anything they didn’t already know. “Any other questions?”

A woman with a frizzed-out Pekingese in her lap raised her hand to speak. Martin pointed to her.

“My name is Lorraine, and I want to know why do the local police hate dogs? I have been stopped and ticketed twice now simply because Fifi was sitting in my lap as I was driving along doing the speed limit. They called it distracted driving. I don’t understand; I wasn’t texting. I don’t even know how to text. Fifi sits in my lap all the time and never bothers me.”

“Lorraine, the police don’t hate dogs,” replied Martin. “They would hate seeing you involved in an accident because Fifi somehow got herself caught in the steering wheel, and you lost control of the car. All you need to do is put her in the back seat, and the problem is solved.”

“I would never make her sit anywhere she isn’t comfortable, young man. She likes my lap, and that’s where she will stay. Back seat indeed!”

Lorraine no sooner finished speaking when a man in the row behind her spoke up.

“My name is Bob. I want to know why they’re making these new cars, so they always beep at you. The cop stopped me and said he followed me for over a mile, and I never turned off my left blinker. I tried to explain to him that if I turn it off, the car beeps at me. He didn’t want to know.”

Martin had an answer for him. “Your car keeps beeping at you because you’re drifting over the centerline. When the blinker is on, the car thinks you’re going to make a left turn and doesn’t beep. It’s trying to save you from a head-on collision.”

“I don’t drift,” was Bob’s response. “The system is faulty.”

Martin continued to field questions. Why are cars coming with tv screens built into the dash if we’re not supposed to watch them to whatever happened to three-on-the-tree transmissions? The man who asked complained, “Every time I move the lever to shift, the windshield wipers come on.”

Finally, after 30 minutes of baffling questions, Martin ended the class. He told them he would sign their paperwork verifying their attendance. In unison, the students said, “Thank you, Marty!”

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About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling around the US and the globe. Now it's time to draw on these experiences and create what I hope are interesting fictional stories. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I've achieved my goal.

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  • Tina D'Angelo18 days ago

    https://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/search/database.cgi?Category=Fiction I'm officially contest bombing you

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