Friday, February 16, 2007

Identifying and Coping with Utah Drivers

I cut my driving teeth on the merciless Utah roads back in the winter of 1992-93, a harsh torrent of snow-filled weeks spent navigating the kamikaze terrain of the Viewmont High School parking lot. At first I thought my high school was bad, but as I ventured out into the limits of Utah’s expressways and back roads, I realized that the phenomenon was hardly bound by the demographics of age or the limited geographic boundaries of my alma mater. No, after crossing over time and time again to cities like Evanston, Malad, and Mesquite, I realized that the phenomenon was bound by state lines, strange as that may seem. Once I crossed back into my home state, and especially once I neared the Wasatch Front, the highways seemed to change. Behavior intensified. Speeds increased. And so did my blood pressure. Driving was a passion for me, but commuting in Utah quickly became a purgatory, a mortal prison, a veritable third-circle of automotive Hell.

Categorizing the various offenders that make the daily commute so miserable is at best an impossible task. Each individual driver adds his/her own infuriating nuance to their particular offense. But here is a foundational list, a fundamental attempt to catalog the primary guilty parties that you will encounter while cruising the Beehive State. Like the US Constitution and the rap sheet of the Cincinnati Bengals, this list is a living document, subject to growth and change as further evidence comes forward to better prepare us for the dangers that await. In a state as large as Utah, we may never be able to fully depend on the convenience of public transportation. But if we can but warn our neighbor, we might at least link arms, look each other weary eye to weary eye, and mutter, “I feel you, brother. I feel you.”

* * *

NAME: The King of the Road

DESCRIPTION: The most pervasive of this type can be found in a large SUV or a full-size truck, but the King of the Road is by no means defined by his/her large mode of transportation. Indeed, the King of the Road can be found in the smallest of Geo's.

BEHAVIOR: What makes the King the King is the attitude. The King has staked out the passing lane for the extent of their journey, and has no intention of getting out of that lane no matter how many cars are backed up behind them. Whether this behavior is sprung from arrogance, general obliviousness, or a missing rear-view mirror, the King of the Road has generally forgotten that most critical of road rules: you must yield the left-hand lane to passing traffic.

WARNING: Besides the aforementioned behavior, a driver must also be aware of the King's other distinctive trait: a tendency to cut off other drivers on their way to the off ramp. Here we must also wonder at the possible deafness of the King, as no level of honking can ever seem to dissuade the King from cutting you off on their way off the freeway.

* * *

NAME: The Ghetto Suburbanite

DESCRIPTION: One of the most perplexing of drivers, this is the middle-aged suburbanite that drives an SUV which seems to be better equipped for the Urban Ghetto. The SUV typically features tinted windows and low profile tires, along with extreme chrome wheels that may or may not include spinners. While this is socially acceptable for, say, an up and coming rapper, notice the strange double-takes that occur when a man in a suit exits the SUV on his way to a hard day of accounting.

BEHAVIOR: Aside from typically arrogant SUV behavior (general obliviousness/wanton disregard for other smaller vehicles), the Ghetto Suburbanite exhibits no distinctive driving characteristics.

* * *

NAME: The Headless Cruiser

DESCRIPTION: While this driver most often occurs in large domestic vehicles, best described as “boats”, the Headless Cruiser can be spotted in a variety of vehicles. The only specific qualification is the inherent difficulty other drivers encounter when trying to determine whether the vehicle has a driver at all.

BEHAVIOR: The Headless Cruiser exhibits a variety of ill road behaviors, even tailgating in some instances. (There is perhaps no more perplexing and surreal a situation than a twenty-something male tailgated by an 80-something Headless Cruiser). But for the most part, the HC drives far under the speed limit as opposed to well over it. While many stay far to the right on the freeway, others wander left to create an overlap with the King of the Road category. Also like the King of the Road, the relative ratio of driver size to vehicle size in the case of the HC is quite dramatic. Indeed, the smaller the driver, the bigger the vehicle.

WARNING: One noted side effect of the HC is a tendency for other nearby drivers to become preoccupied with trying to locate the HC, since they are so hard to spot. Be careful with this; If you spend too much time trying to spot the HC driver, you run the risk of becoming a “Multi-Tasker”, which will be described later.

* * *

NAME: The Drifter

DESCRIPTION: The Drifter largely travels incognito, with no particular taste for any vehicle, color, or location. Male, female, young, old, Democrat or Republican, the Drifter can be found in any form on the highway. Laziness and obliviousness, ladies and gentlemen, knows no prejudice.

BEHAVIOR: One of the most aggravating of all drivers, perhaps second only to the King of the Road, the Drifter is a menace primarily because of unpredictability. This is the guy that wanders back and forth across lane lines regardless of whether another driver is in the next lane or not. This is the guy that sometimes swings all the way into onto the shoulder of the road when making even gradual turns. Most of all, this is the guy that must have gotten his license before the invention of the turn signal, since it is never used. While the fault here is more due to obliviousness than maliciousness, the Drifter remains an extremely dangerous and irritating road companion.

WARNING: This driver, perhaps more than any other, justifies the term “Defensive Driving”. This is why whenever you pass by another driver in another lane, you get this suspicious feeling inside that tells you, “this moron is going to veer over into my lane”, and sure enough, the twit is suddenly close enough for him to reach out and adjust your passenger side window. Beware, good driver. Beware.

* * *

NAME: The Frustrated Activist

DESCRIPTION: Here we find the automotive embodiment of Utah's intense political landscape. The vast majority of Frustrated Activists come in either oversize trucks and SUV's or small foreign-made vehicles with extremely high mileage ratings. More importantly, the Frustrated Activist is distinguished by the moderate to obscenely high numbers of message-related bumper stickers plastered towards the back end of their vehicles. Many Frustrated Activists subscribe to conservative viewpoints (typically their stickers are overtly patriotic or make some mention of Charleton Heston, and are always pasted on the backs of large trucks, large SUV’s, or large Cadillacs), but the overwhelming majority of Frustrated Activists lean (if not dive headfirst) to the left. The exact level of frustration per Frustrated Activist is roughly proportional to the number of stickers on his/her car. Some college campus-based FA's have been known to completely cover their cars in stickers, perhaps in an effort to hide the fact that they are in fact driving an automobile.

BEHAVIOR: Even if the politics are extreme, neither the conservative or liberal Frustrated Activist typically harbors any unique driving behaviors. The conservative FA's may exhibit tendencies consistent with other types--IE, Kings of the Road and Headless Cruisers, but most left-leaning FA's can be found in the mid-to-right lanes of the freeway, trying to keep pace in a vehicle that while fuel efficient, tops out at about 55mph.

* * *

NAME: The Overly Defensive Driver

DESCRIPTION: The ODD comes in a variety of forms, and has few consistent characteristics. Other drivers must be prepared to face the ODD at any time and in most any place.

BEHAVIOR: The only way to spot an ODD is through their distinctive driving habits. This is the driver that slows down at green lighted intersections. This is the driver that comes to a complete stop at yield signs. This is the driver that refuses to pull into the intersection while waiting to make a left turn, then waits until traffic is clear for an estimated quarter mile in either direction before making the turn. This is the driver that hits the brakes hard every time the freeway makes an even gradual turn to the right or left, causing the vast majority of rush hour congestion. This is the driver that merges onto the freeway at 45mph, and gets so flustered when other people try to merge that they freeze up and refuse to either speed up or slow down, thus blocking would-be mergers and causing even more highway congestion behind them. This driver also tends to leave a two car-length gap between them and the car in front of them WHILE STOPPED AT A STOPLIGHT.

* * *

NAME: The Suicide Lane Driver

DESCRIPTION: Like the ODD, the SLD also lacks a specific description, though they do not tend to be older drivers.

BEHAVIOR: The SLD is so named for their insufferable habit of making a left turn onto a busy street when there is clearly no room for them to do so. Then, instead of blending with traffic, they continue to drive in the turn lane for long periods of time, inconveniencing other potential turn lane users while waiting for the traffic gap they couldn't find in the first place.

WARNING: 95% of the time you encounter an SLD, you will be prompted to panic, since the only warning sign you get is the quick flash from a vehicle as they barrel across traffic into the left side of your peripheral vision, clearly with no place to safely merge. Even though they only intend to use the left-hand turn lane as an illegal merge lane, they still look like they are going to hit you, and you may be tempted to swing right to avoid contact. And rightfully so. The SLD is a complete idiot.

* * *

NAME: The Wide Turn Driver

DESCRIPTION: Contrary to their name, the WTD is not found behind the wheel of a large semi or any other vehicle that may actually need to make a wide turn. Rather, the WTD shows up in any standard size vehicle, and can come in any age bracket. It is possible that many WTD's suffer from their condition due to an equilibrium problem, but there is no way to determine this from outside the vehicle.

BEHAVIOR: A close cousin to the Drifter, the WTD usually drifts a considerable distance in the opposite direction to which they plan to turn before actually making the turn, IE, swinging wide left for a right turn, or wide right for a left turn. The heinousness of this move is complicated by the fact that the WTD typically neglects to bother with using a turn signal to let anyone know that they intend to swing back in the opposite direction they are drifting.

WARNING: On a residential road, if the driver in front of you slows down and veers to the left without using their turn signal, it is usually safe to assume that they plan to turn left, since the vast majority of idiot Utah drivers never had the turn signal lever pointed out to them back in Driver’s Ed. However, the WTD stands as a stark warning for any driver tempted to veer right and pass by the supposed turner in the same way STD’s stand as a stark warning for anyone tempted to take the Free Love of the 60’s too seriously.

* * *

NAME: The Mad ‘Gater

DESCRIPTION: The MG, like many local drivers, is known more for his behavior than for any particular choice in automobile. Indeed, the MG could be driving an ’85 Jeep Cherokee just as easily as a fast and furious 2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse. In fact, MG’s frequently appear on bullet bikes. The driver himself could be a 19-year-old high school graduate as well as a 57-year-old soccer mom. But regardless of form, a quick tap of the brakes will turn any MG into a very animated person.

BEHAVIOR: MG’s are so named for their propensity for tailgating, obviously, at high speeds and most often on the freeway. But their profile expands far beyond this one foible. MG’s are also the people, like Kings of the Road, who will sail across multiple lanes of traffic at the last second in order to make exits they would have seen coming if they hadn’t been so busy flipping off other drivers. They are the vehicles that slash in and out of traffic and average about 10mph faster than the driving demographic that is already 10mph over the speed limit. More commuters secretly want to see MG’s get in head-on collisions than any other group.

WARNING: If an MG runs up on your tail, shift to the right, unless you’re in the mood for some high-risk fun. If an MG comes up on your right or left and you get the instinct that they’re going to cut you off, you’re probably right.

* * *

NAME: The Multi-Tasker

DESCRIPTION: The MT is another driver defined by his/her behavior. Demographics in this case do lean heavier towards the young female end of the spectrum, but MT’s frequently come in male form driving sedans and SUV’s as well. The tasks themselves are equally diverse, and come in any or all of the following: cell phone use, makeup application, stereo adjusting, eating, shaving, drinking, talking to a passenger, intimate scratching, text messaging, day trading, tooth brushing, hair brushing, child abusing, nose picking, online poker playing, air drumming, model airplane construction, and farting.

BEHAVIOR: The behavior of an MT is painfully easy to spot. In fact, the title MT is an ironic one, since the MT really has no capacity to multi-task at all. If the driver in front of you suddenly slows down to 25mph in a 40mph zone for no apparent reason, they are likely an MT. If the driver next to you on the freeway suddenly veers into your lane as the road curves (or even if you’re going straight), you’ve got an MT. If the driver in front of you at a stop light fails to move for a full ten seconds after the light turns green, MT. If the driver of the white Lexus SUV in front of you has been speeding up and slowing down 15mph in either direction while swerving in and out of their lane for a full ten minutes before suddenly careening off the road headlong into a billboard for The Blue Boutique, you’ve got yourself an MT, baby.

* * *

So there you go. A mere sampling of the people that make our highways in Utah a singular joy to cruise. Of course, simply listing these offenders without offering a way to remedy or perhaps rehabilitate their behavior is akin to griping about the world’s problems without offering any solutions, and no one likes whiners. That’s why after extensive thought and meditation, fourteen years of driving experience, fifty-seven headaches, half a dozen traffic citations, three wrecks and a bottle of Ibuprofen, I can offer the following solution:

Move to Montana.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How to heckle professional basketball players


This handy guide will give you simple instructions for enjoying one of the most important roles of a basketball fan: taunting professional basketball players. Heckling is a high art form that spans a wide range of professional and amateur sports, but professional basketball provides a unique venue that offers both prime opportunity and high risk for its participants. Following simple instructions like these will ensure a fun night of mockery for both amateur and veteran fans, and will protect you and your loved ones from unfortunate episodes like 2004’s “Malice at the Palace”. Have fun!

Required Equipment:

Today’s heckler can use a myriad of tools and appliances to augment his efforts, but keep in mind: no matter what you bring, be careful not to actually throw it at your chosen target. That’s when players start rushing the stands.

A well-prepared heckler will use any or all of the following:
multi-colored afro wig
obscene t-shirt
offensive poster
cow bell
air horn
Regis Philbin


The actual steps in heckling are quite simple, more a basis for improvisation than a series of mandatory technical instructions. More important is the application of these steps in regards to the KEYS TO SUCCESS that follow.

  1. Go to a professional basketball game.

    It may be fun to scream at the TV at home, but the true heckler feels actual game attendance is a must. It is not necessary to attend an NBA game, however, though by heckling at a NBDL or CBA game you run the risk of provoking an ex-NBA veteran who has bottomed out and has nothing to lose by charging the stands.
  1. Pick a player.

Again, you can vary instructions like this, and instead choose to taunt the team owner, the referees, or a member of the dance team. But since heckling is an extension of cheering your own team more than anything else, tradition holds that the smartest target would be an actual player.

  1. Yell at them.

Actual heckling can be anything from yelling “you suck” to burning them in effigy for fifteen seconds before security removes you from the arena, but the effective heckler manages to strike that perfect balance between creativity, originality, and legally protected speech.

Keys to Success:


This is one of the most vital elements of any heckler’s effort. No one can hear you if you’re sitting in the upper bowl (see Figure 1), but if you’re sitting on the row behind the team bench (Figure 2), you run the risk of getting attacked by your chosen player’s posse (which would waste the $500 you spent getting that ticket in the first place!) The best range for heckling is somewhere between 5-15 rows from your chosen target (Figure 3).

Washington Bullets super-heckler Robin Ficker is a good example of the 5-15 range. For years, Ficker hovered half-a-dozen rows behind the opposing bench in Washington, taunting the NBA’s best with a variety of exciting insults and visual aids.

Spike Lee is an example of how you can take a front-row angle to heckling. Since Spike sits at center court across from the team benches, he can exchange verbal jousts with folks like Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan without concern for any unseemly posse interaction. Of course, Spike can sue anyone that messes with him, so that helps out too.


Expressions like “You Suck!” and “Airball!” are well-worn tools of the trade, but most players have learned to block such verbiage out. In order to properly announce your presence, you need to put in more of a creative effort. When I heckled Mayor Rocky Anderson at the 2002 Pioneer Day Parade in Salt Lake City, I yelled “Yah Bum, Rock!” in my best “Mickey” impression from the “Rocky” movies, thus distinguishing myself from hecklers using common expressions like “Boo” and “Burn in Hell, Rock!”


Now, good heckling is a firm tradition of basketball, and one of the key reasons wanna-be sports like golf and tennis will always be second-rate. But sometimes lines need to be drawn, if for no other reason than to avoid provoking your target from charging into the stands to go Stephen Jackson on your behind. Topics like race & ethnicity, religion, and a player’s mother are no-no’s. But there are plenty of other topics that are fair game, such as:

head size
driving record
free-throw percentage
butt size
resemblance to ET
failure to earn paycheck
failure to read and/or write
age (excluding Dikembe Motumbo)


It’s fun to yell and boo a player when he’s standing at the free-throw line, but chances are, he’s not going to hear you above the rest of the crowd that’s yelling and booing at him. Unless you’re heckling a member of the home team, which is a different circumstance entirely. While you should feel free to yell and boo on occasions like these, you shouldn’t waste your best stuff on moments when your target won’t hear you. Repetition isn’t always a good idea, either. You might sound clever the first time you yell, “I could shoot 3-for-20 on fifteen mil a year, Iverson!” But after twelve or thirteen times, people around you might begin to think you’re stupid.

The key is timing. Save your best material for quiet moments when your target is most likely to hear your barbs, such as during timeouts, between quarters, during the National Anthem, or when the team trainer is working on his hyper-extended knee.


Following tips like the preceding will give you a healthy jump on your heckling pastime, but be advised: don’t expect immortal status right away. Skills like public mockery and humiliation take time to develop to their full potential. As with any other important skill, heckling is an art that takes practice, persistence, and time. So don’t get discouraged if Kobe Bryant doesn’t writhe on the court in the fetal position and pound the hardwood with his fist the first time you tell him only pansies wear yellow, but don’t let that stop you, either. Just remember how much they’re making for every one of those fouls and traveling violations the ref isn’t calling.

Troubleshooting Guide


Player ignores you/Yell louder

Player can’t find you in crowd/Wear more obnoxious clothing

Player sends posse member to intimidate you/Run

Player follows you into stands/Use date as human barrier

Player tries to laugh along, be good sport/Insult his sister

Player is putting up 50+ on your team/Maybe it’s time to throw that beer

Sample from “Official Politically Correct Heckler Database”

“You draw liquid from a straw”
“Eat my trousers”
“You are an inferior basketball player”
“Your play and conduct does not merit the salary you make”
“Those shorts make you look like a non-masculine person with poor dressing habits”
“My unskilled female relative has a higher shooting percentage than you”

How I broke the Del Taco Cycle

One down, many more to go...

It's been two weeks and a day since my last visit to Del Taco. On a Tuesday night after a moderately successful English 1010 class out at the West Jordan Fire Station I made my semi-customary stop, and resolved to cease and desist from that point onward. So far so good.

I say class was moderately successful because I'm fighting the notion that I chickened out with my lesson. The subject that night was Process Analysis, one of my favorite rhetorical modes, a particularly good vehicle for satire, in fact. But instead of go hog-wild with an awe-inspiring lesson, I decided to turn the chapter over to my students and have them teach the material to themselves in small groups, with the idea that since Process Analysis was a rhetoric often used in instruction, that they could get practice by teaching the concept to each other. It was a valid move, but one of convenience, I think, more than academic innovation.

But that doesn't have anything to do with Del Taco. What I'm saying is that whether it was a mediocre class or general frustration over the other hang-ups in life, I was looking forward to something I could depend on, even if it was something as simple as a few cheap tacos.

When I placed my order--six tacos and a spicy bean burrito without cheese--at the drive-thru, the guy quoted me a price that I knew was at least a buck-fifty over the usual price. I know because I order the exact same thing every time, and the reason it irritated me was that the only reason I felt inclined to patronize Del Taco every Tuesday was under the notion that I was being economically responsible.

So when I pulled up to the window and heard the dude quote me the wrong price again, I corrected him, reminding him of their Tuesday night 3 tacos for 99 cents deal. This wasn't the first time I had to correct this guy; the week before he had neglected to put down the fact that I wanted no cheese on my spicy chicken burrito. Now, the pessimist might point out that I am being irrational for demanding no cheese on the burrito while being perfectly silent on the status of the cheese on the tacos, but I'm fine with it. Asking to hold the cheese on all six tacos AND the burrito just seems a little extreme. But if I don't want cheese on my burrito, I don't want cheese on my burrito. And I'm the one paying two bucks for the thing.

What I'm getting at is my previously upstanding track record with Del Taco had taken a turn for the worse over the last two weeks, and now here I was correcting the same guy again. So he recalculates the order and comes back with a price that is now at least fifty cents UNDER the usual price. I'm about to correct him again, but then I hesitate, remembering all the stories of what fast food merchants do to food orders for people that give them a hard time.

Now I'm stuck driving home with an order I know I underpaid for, well aware that it is hypocritical to demand justice for the overcharge but remain silent on the under. In my quest for rationalization, I judge that if the kid has shorted me a taco or otherwise screwed up the order--which of course is very likely--I can consider the matter closed, as technically I will have paid for the product I was delivered. Because the last thing I want to do is go back there. By this time, I'm already thinking this was my last visit.

But when I get to my driveway and open the bag, all six tacos and the spicy chicken burrito are all accounted for. I even check the burrito for cheese, thinking that might be another way to justify the discrepancy.

No go. The cheese is noticably absent.

On the other hand, the hot sauce packets I requested are also absent. Well, technically, wonder boy gave me three mild sauce packets to accomodate my six tacos and full-size burrito. Even though I asked him for a dozen HOT sauce packets. Clearly someone wasn't listening.

So I sat there in my car, pretty much just sick of the whole thing. I guess it was selfish of me, while others are perishing of hunger in cauldrons of violence at home and abroad, to feel fed up with the cards I was being dealt. But I resented having to babysit the people that were being paid to follow my simple requests. And I resented getting drawn into some kind of ethical crisis because some 17-year-old didn't like having to work the drive thru at Del Taco. What I resented most was knowing that within five minutes I was going to be back over there paying this guy an extra fifty cents.

But I did. I drove back to Del Taco and walked inside, muttered a sheepish explanation to some bewildered girl behind the counter--my buddy was nowhere in sight--and dropped a few coins in her hand before walking out. Probably for the last time. I returned to my home, fired up some forgettable movie, and ate my last Del Taco smorgasborg with a clear conscience.

And the cycle is broken.

Last Tuesday night I made homemade tacos instead.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Ethics Test

Last night in my Introduction to Technical Communications class out at the West Jordan fire station, we covered the chapter on ethics. As part of the lesson, inspired by a test case provided at the end of the chapter, I conducted a brief ethics test, which is posted below:

1. Your boss has put your co-worker in charge of the company Christmas Party. At the last minute, this co-worker takes you aside and tells you he forgot to buy everyone Christmas presents, and asks you to download a list of twenty songs off the Internet and make copies for everyone at the station. Do you:
A. Follow his instructions
B. Refuse, telling him you think downloading music is a copyright infringement
C. Rock him like a hurricane
D. Quickly assemble your old band Rubber Spleen from high school, record some Christmas-flavored demos in your garage, and distribute them to your coworkers.

2. You have been patiently waiting for a rumored promotion for six months, and today the boss took you in his office and indicated that you should be getting the good news by the end of the week. After thanking him, the boss calmly mentions that his eighteen-year-old daughter, who is a compulsive gambler and bears a striking resemblance to Richard Simmons, needs a good man in her life, specifically one that can take her to prom on Friday night. Do you:
A. Accept the promotion and begin dating his daughter
B. Accept the promotion and stand her up on Friday after the paperwork is already signed
C. Turn down the date, thus risking your promotion
D. Rock him like a hurricane

3. T/F: Under “Fair Use” law, you can photocopy entire chapters out of “Impaling for Dummies” book so your students don’t have to buy it for your EMT class.

4. Excited to try out your new digital video camera, you record footage of yourself bowling wearing only your official Utah Jazz boxer shorts and post it on your personal web site. Two weeks later you discover that a Jazz employee has used the footage in a promotional TV spot for the team. Do you have copyright protection?

5. Rolling out of bed at 11am, wiped out after a wild evening in Wendover, you suddenly remember that you are scheduled to turn in a research report to the boss by the end of the workday. You would ask him for an extension, were it not for the fact that you missed the last three reports he requested because of similar circumstances. Do you:
A. Hastily write the best report you can possibly construct in six hours, even though you haven’t even started the research yet
B. Patch together a report from material taken from the web, other reports around the office, and the ingredient list on the wrapper of a Hostess Fruit Pie
C. Plead for an extension and offer to take the boss’s daughter to prom
D. Head back to Wendover and go out in a Blaze of Glory

6. In question #5, you opted to turn in a vastly plagiarized report, and the boss didn’t mention a thing. In fact, his plan was to immediately turn it over to a group of legislators who have a tremendous influence on how much money your department gets next year, and he didn’t even look at it. Do you:
A. Tell the boss what you did, knowing that the plagiarized report will likely cost him his job and yours
B. Throw your boss under the bus and claim he ordered you to fake the report
C. Call your third-cousin Stan, who is a state legislator, and beg him to give your department the money anyway. You also ask him if he has any daughters you can take to prom.
D. Head back to Wendover and go out in a Blaze of Glory

7. While working on a research paper for an English class, you find an article that perfectly matches the argument you are trying to make. Do you:
A. Choose another topic, since there’s no point writing your paper if someone’s already made your argument
B. Use key quotes from the article to provide external support for your thesis
C. Build your paper on the same framework as the other paper, quoting lengthy passages from the other article and periodically throwing in a line or two on your own for context.
D. Just turn in the other article with your name on it, because you suspect your instructor isn’t even reading your papers, anyway.

8. T/F: It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

9. While heading out on a fire call in a brand new residential neighborhood, you accidentally punch in the wrong address in Mapquest while getting directions, and Andrei Kirilenko’s new 14 million dollar home is completely destroyed. Fortunately no one is in the home when it goes, but the blaze manages to destroy Mrs. Kirilenko’s entire collection of autographed 1980’s Russian pop records, as well as documented evidence that Andrei has been regularly exceeding his marital infidelity allotment. As you stand in shame, watching the blaze, do you:
A. Take full responsibility for the accident
B. Blame Mapquest for being a crappy program, and Al Gore for inventing the stupid Internet in the first place
C. Tell Andrei it was your fault and try to blackmail him with the infidelity stuff
D. Cover your guilt while you doggedly try to discover evidence that implicates Laker coach Phil “Zen Master” Jackson in the incident.

10. For the last five years, you have been responsible for monitoring the emissions levels of a manufacturing plant to make sure they don’t exceed federal limits. In a push to increase production of your specialty product—rubber chickens, your boss has modified operations to the point that even though you are producing a record number of units, your pollution output is dangerously close to breaking the legal limit. You have already brought this to your supervisor’s attention, but instead of show concern or attention to the threat, he instead told you to order take-out from Beto’s for the entire 7,500 employee staff, who are staying late tonight to push for a new unit record. You are positive that if the entire staff has Beto’s for dinner, the emissions level will exceed legal limits and your factory will risk federal prosecution and sanctions. Do you:
A. Convince your boss to opt for BLT’s
B. Break into your network system and alter the numbers to hide the violation
C. Enter the Federal Witness Protection Program and look forward to your new life as Gary Gee, humble accountant and part-time fly fishing instructor in Fairbanks, Alaska
D. Stay late with the crew and succumb to a slow toxic suicide, wondering how on earth you ever wound up in the rubber chicken industry in the first place