Parents, don’t buy your college kids BMWs

The college kids are starting to return to town, an event that happens every year around this time and coincides with my mood taking a nosedive for the worse. It’s only Aug. 2 and school doesn’t start until the 28th. So, how do I know they’re already returning?

Well, let’s see….there’s the long lines at Wal-mart, full of young people accompanied by their parents, buying everything for their kids from Aisle 7-33. You’d think it was the Destin, FL. Wal-mart during summer.

Then there’s the increase in car accidents.  Hell, just yesterday we had two separate drunk driving accidents on the news (one ended up in the middle of a restaurant and one landed another car on the median of Highway 6).  One of those was at 7:50 in the morning. What the hell? Both 20 year olds….bored with nothing to do, so let’s get drunk?

Come January, I will have lived in this town for 30 years.  I’ve been on campus for 20 of those, first as an undergrad, then as an employee.  (And FYI, as an employee, I’m obligated to tell you that everything I write in here is my own opinion and not that of the fine institution that employs me). I figured it was time to impart my wisdom to the parents who are sending their children to live in this town for the next 4, 5, 6, hell 30? years. Today’s topic will be on transportation.

First, parents, I know you love your little rugrats and you want to keep them safe, but for the love of all things human, STOP buying them BMWs and Lexus and the like.  (By the way, what IS the plural of Lexus…Lexi?) Let them have a nice Ford or Chevy that’s several years old at least.  Odds are, they’re going to ram it into one of us locals and you’re going to have to replace it anyway.  There is NO reason a 19-year-old needs to be driving a luxury car.  Let them earn it the way everyone else has to – by old-fashioned hard work.

Now let’s speak to those of you that don’t care so much about your kids’ safety and you went out and bought them a Scooter.  If you are going to let your kid drive around these streets in a scooter….first have your head examined.  Second, come drive the streets yourself in a nice armored car the first 2 weeks of school  Bet you’ll change your mind.  And all that gear that you bought Sissy…the helmet, the gloves, the jacket…and Sissy swore she’d wear?  Well, mom, she ain’t.  I see gals and guys flying down Texas on their scooters with shorts, a tank top, flip-flops and their hair blowing in the breeze.  I guarantee you, they will not look pretty smacked up against the side of their fellow student’s BMW.

And since we’re on the topic of transportation, remind your kids that when they drive their luxury cars to class, make sure they can read their hang tags so they can park in the correct spot.  Those poor dear kids that have a parking spot in lot 51 somehow end up in my lot.  Now I’m sure it’s not at all because my parking lot is closer in to campus than theirs is. I’m sure it’s just because they didn’t read the lot sign…or their hangtag….or they got lost driving…..or got distracted by a scooter.

Also, remind them that they aren’t handicapped (unless they are….if so, skip this paragraph). Every semester I watch students pull up in my lot (the one closer to campus – see where I’m going with this?) and park in the handicapped spaces.  Now sure, some of them are handicapped….at least I’m gonna give them the benefit of the doubt.  But the ones that jump out of their car and physically run or skateboard to class….well, those have me doubting them a bit.  Especially when they pull out a hangtag from under their dash and stick it up on their mirror.  Then when they leave class, that handicapped permission slip comes down and gets hidden in their car again.  Coincidence? Remind them that they are healthy young adults that are fully capable of walking an extra 500 yards. And that one day when they are old and broken down, they may just need one of those spots for real.

Alright, I think that’s enough tips for today.  Tune in next time when I’ll discuss etiquette and dress.