LISD Driver’s Education Director, Frank Machacek, made an alarming presentation at the School Board Meeting Thursday night. Machacek reported that 96 percent of his students have absolutely no idea where any street or building is located in LaCucaracha. “In a nutshell, they’re habitually lost every time they get behind the wheel,” Machacek revealed in a Power Point presentation as the letters, “L-O-S-T” danced across the screen, one at a time, underscored by the intro graphic from the popular TV show.
“We Built This City” was the title of Frank’s next slide that chattered across the screen with a Courier font and the sound of a typewriter followed by a sampling from the Starship song. “For heaven’s sake, even a lost dog can’t get lost in LaCucaracha! Why is it taking hours for our children to find their way back from their first solo driving experiences?”
Machacek’s theory is that historically, kids would stare out the window and naturally learn to find their way to church, the supermarket or the football field. But now, during the early developmental years, children in the back seat of the family SUV are entertained by animated videos, then video games, and later text messaging. “Honestly, you could paint the rear SUV windows black, and most kids would never notice.”
Machacek developed his theory after a student accidentally left his phone in class. “I exercised my absolute right as a faculty member to invade the privacy of students, so I read his text messages.” He explained that there was a four-way conversation, which he projected on the screen, about a classmate whose parents were out of town for the weekend. The School Board President asked Frank to please mute the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for your Right (to Party),” audio soundtrack for the slide. The students were excited about a big party at “this hottie’s house,” but no one understood how to find it on the corner of Travis and Sam Houston Streets. Finally, they gave up and settled on playing “Call of Duty” together online. At this point, everyone in the room directed a stern glance towards Secretary, Kayla Thompson, who lives at Travis and Sam Houston, and is the parent of an unquestionably hot senior daughter.
“First, I tried a buddy program, pairing retirees with student drivers,” said Machacek as an animated HEB Buddy mascot did the Macarena on the screen. “These older adults could find their way around town blindfolded. At first, it seemed to be working, but we realized these seniors continued to use street names that had not existed for many years. For example County Road 102 was previously called Horned Toad Trot in one section and Buffalo Bluff in another during the 1950s. The older buddies were teaching the younger buddies all the wrong street names, leaving them more confused than ever.” A photo of a frowning angry baby’s face materialized from a dissolve pattern into a full screen image.
“Next, I contacted the Sherriff’s Department, since I knew Homeland Security had sent them $150,000 worth of extra GPS navigation units they weren’t using. I thought since these devices had full color screens, the kids might actually use them to find their way around town,” said Machacek. But, Deputy Rodriguez explained that LaCucarcha County isn’t indexed on the units. “If you get within 50 miles of town, it just says, ‘Out of area; ask someone for directions,’” said Rodriguez.
Machacek said that before that Pakistani exchange student was deported for suspicious activities, he developed a series of fun video games for the Driver’s Education Department called, “The Streets of LaCucarcha.” In one mode, students can launch a post apocalyptic ground assault on zombies while learning area street names and landmarks. In another mode, students can steal and race exotic cars through the streets in a battle of cops and robbers.
Machacek announced early testing was already showing a vast improvement after implementing the video game teaching tool. He also suggested there may be licensing potential with other school districts “since we tricked that deported kid into signing over his intellectual property rights.”
The presentation concluded with a YouTube video of armadillos driving Shriner-style mini parade cars accompanied by a series of safe driving tips sponsored by Machacek’s Weekend and Minor Holidays Defensive Driving School. Secretary, Kayla Thompson, reminded Machacek, “This is a school board meeting and not an advertising venue,” as she turned off the projector.