This year is coming to a close and I am pondering what I will put on my new years resolution list. Perhaps it would be a better idea to have someone else make my list for me. Perhaps another point of view with more honesty. But not a family member, they know me too well. Perhaps someone I’ve just met online. Which reminds me, there’s one resolution I need to put on my list…no more giving out my phone number to strangers. Some of the pictures I get texted to me are a bit shocking…and the cell phone camera doesn’t always add ten pounds, by the way. Everyone thinks they’re Annie Leibovitz with a cell phone camera. In 2014, I think I’ll drink more water, I already eat healthy but may completely stop eating animals and I may start running again. Not from the law, but jogging around the lake. I will walk my dogs every day, perhaps twice a day if I have time. I will make an effort to see more of my neighbors.

And, I will make an effort to become a better driver. I really need to set a better example for my defensive driving students in 2014. Yes, I joke about being pulled over and getting one ticket in 2013. And I joke about getting out of another ticket in 2013. And, it’s all true. It really happened. But prior to 2013, I hadn’t gotten a ticket in nearly 26 years. Of course, the ticket I received this year was on my way to teach a defensive driving class. I took a right turn at a stop sign and didn’t stop long enough for my car to “settle.” Three seconds is what they teach in driver’s education now. The law doesn’t indicate that you have to stop for a period of “time” but that your car has to “settle.” So, three seconds will ensure that your car has settled. That’s not a bad habit to get into. I think I’ve got that one down, now that I’ve paid my dues for my mistake. And, I didn’t tell the police officer that I taught defensive driving in an attempt to get out of my ticket. I didn’t want to get a lecture. I was already detained enough. Then, this summer, I got out of a ticket because I told the trooper I teach defensive driving. He pulled me over because he said I didn’t signal. I did signal, but I shut it off before I completed my lane change. I knew exactly what I did wrong. One of my big pet peeves is the “eternal signaler.” Someone who forgets their turn signal is on and leaves it on for eternity. So, I have a bad habit of keeping my hand on my turn signal and shutting it off prematurely so I don’t forget about it and leave it on. It’s a habit that I am still trying to break, so that is going on this year’s resolution list as well. I told that trooper that I was so embarrassed. I teach defensive driving and I always lecture my students to use their signal at all times. Even when no one is around. Even when they’re pulling into their own darned driveway. Because cops write piddly little tickets for piddly little stuff. He said “Really? You say that to your students?” And he let me go without a lecture or a ticket.

I also need to take better care of my car. Of course, I do the basics…oil changes, fluids, belts and hoses. But I really need to flush my radiator, rotate my tires, balance them and a few other things that I haven’t been doing. And, I need to drive the speed limit, even at the risk of making other people angry. So, happy new year everyone. I hope 2014 is a good year for us all.

Until next year…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Happy New Year – Comedy Defensive Driving