“Drivers Ed” By: Sam Slaughter

He had a sign for everything. Slow down. Speed up. Nice blinker. One even had a hand drawn on it, middle finger raised. The New Jersey state bird, his father, a Southern transplant, always said with a laugh.

They were all written in black sharpie. Nice and bold, easy to see as the drivers sped by him on the highway. Or, in the case of those that James had to speed by, they were easy for the crawlers to see. James had glued each white cardboard sign to a Popsicle stick for easy access. He set the signs in small box with dividers and memorized where each was. While driving, all he needed to do was finger pick his way across the sticks to the right one. Three in for speeders, six deep for reckless drivers.

It took James a solid week of practice, but he had it down after that. He didn’t need to look over to see what he had picked. With a forty-five mile trip each way to the plant that he worked at, he had plenty of time to practice.

Most people laughed and that was okay. James knew what he was doing was right. He was educating. He was an educator. He may have gotten paid to assemble things, but at heart he educated people.

The car he sought to educate had tinted windows and sped by with all the force of a tidal wave. He heard the engine roar as if it were his own. He pulled the appropriate sign and a moment later he registered the lights, blue and red, flashing. The car made a maneuver and got behind him. James pulled over as the officer got out of his car. That day, James was educated on his own style of reckless driving.

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