I just got back from taking my driver's test. I didn't pass. I was taking the driving part of it. The instructor was the really mean fat guy who was acting like a real jerk the whole time. "Too fast" he would say, even though I was five under the limit. Did I mention this guy was Huge? I'd guess, a good 300 pounds. I vaguely recognized him, I learned later that he was a city alderman, I'll call him Todd.

We were wrapping it up. I thought I was doing OK, I missed a signal on a lane change, that was about the only thing. I noticed the guy behind me was following real close, about maybe six feet. A light suddenly went yellow, and instead of going on like I expected, the car in front of me slams on its brakes. I stop. The car behind me does not stop.

It tries to, but its brakes squeal and the tires slide on the wet asphalt. There was a light impact. I put the car in park and look over at Todd. His face was red. "God can't help you now, kid. You're in trouble," he said.

Todd went to call the cops. I surveyed the damage, or rather, looked to see if I could kill myself with anything handy. I couldn't find the window scraper. Todd came back and talked to the guys in the other car. They didn't seem too mad, but you never can tell. I decided to wait for the cop before I got out of the car.

Anyway, long story short, a cop came and surveyed the damage. He deemed that it was in fact the other car's fault, a fact which Todd contested. "Any injuries?" asked the cop. Everyone kind of muttered that they were OK.

"Uh, my back, uh, kind of hurts, a bit" said Todd. Yeah right. UPDATE: see the end of the writeup.

It turns out that the other driver was driving with repo plates, when he was not in fact a repo man. Apparently this is illegal in Illinois, so he got in a little bit more trouble than I did. I can retake the test as soon as I get my white slip back, but I think I'm gonna wait to find out what day Todd has off.

Update: Two weeks ago I got my drivers license. I decided to go to a small town a few miles from here, Pittsfield. The people there were very nice, and I found out that Todd is in fact infamous in these parts among DMV persons.

FINAL UPDATE: The insurance company settled for something like $15,000. Fortunately I didn't have to pay anything.