There are few terrors comparable to a teenager's dawning realization that there's absolutely no chance they'll make curfew. The helpless panic, the flop sweat, the knowledge of impending doom—it's a Greek tragedy in miniature. It can also get much worse from there, as a 17-year-old in Michigan found out last weekend when he was busted speeding home at 138 mph outside Detroit in a failed attempt to beat the clock.
Michigan State Police laid out the story in a cautionary Twitter post on Thursday afternoon. A trooper spotted a "2012 Chevy" flying up the northbound lanes of I-75 between Pontiac and Flint around 8:45 pm on November 23. At a radar-confirmed 138 mph, it had to be either a Camaro or a Corvette. Need a better argument for not tossing the key for one to someone whose brain is still developing?
Making things even more dangerous, the driver was also reportedly weaving around other cars on the darkened highway. One wrong move—or even one innocent lane change at exactly the wrong time from another car—in that situation could have easily turned this tale into a genuine tragedy. The trooper immediately flicked on his lights and chased after the speeder, who tried to dodge the law by dipping off the highway at the next exit. It didn't work.
When the officer approached the car, he found a scared 17-year-old in the driver's seat who immediately admitted to speeding because he was going to be late for curfew. It's likely the kid's in greater parental peril now; while the trooper decided to cut him some slack and held back on a reckless driving charge, he still handed the teen a ticket for doing 138 in a 70 zone.
As adults, the vision of a panicked teen feeling the mortal stakes of making curfew is funny. The reality of that teen actually putting innocent lives in mortal danger out of a misplaced sense of urgency is decidedly not. Hopefully, he now understands there are fates far worse than being late.