Faster Than a Speeding Ticket
Whit and Eugene Meltsner are running errands in Connellsville when Whit is pulled over for speeding. Eugene and Whit briefly argue that the police officer is mistaken, but Whit is still given a ticket for $125. Eugene, Connie Kendall and Tom Riley urge Whit to fight the ticket, but Whit is hesitant because he can't prove he wasn't speeding.
On the same day, Dwayne Oswald gets a "D" on his history exam, which will drop him off the honor roll. He and his friends go to Whit’s End that afternoon to explain his situation to Whit, and Whit advises him to talk to his teacher. When Eugene and Connie hear what Whit told Dwayne, they question Whit's decision not to fight the unfair treatment he has received and offer to defend him in court.
Dwayne tries to explain the mix-up to his teacher, but Dr. Hawthorne won't allow him to re-take the test. He will allow Dwayne to do work for him for extra credit, which should improve his grade. Dwayne discovers that another student, Stewart LaFaye, who is not normally a good student, got an "A" on his history test, and he deduces that their tests were mixed up, but Dr. Hawthorne is still unwilling to change his grade.
Back at Whit’s End, Whit discovers that his new tires threw off his speedometer by ten miles per hour, thus proving he was actually speeding, though not intentionally. He explains this at the traffic court. Because of his honesty, the judge withdraws the fine and only asks that Whit come back in a week's time to prove that he has had the correct size tires installed on his car.
In history class, Dr. Hawthorne tells his students that he has discovered that his former assistant found two tests without names and put the wrong names on each paper. Now that the mix-up is understood, Dwayne receives his "A" and is not only back on the honor roll, but praised for how well he handled the mistake of his teacher.
- Whit said that Dwayne should tell his teacher that he thought his grade was wrong. Then Connie and Eugene said that Whit should apply that same advice to himself. What did they mean?
- Why did Whit finally agree?
- Why did Whit plead "guilty" in court?
- What did the judge say about Whit pleading guilty?
- Dr. Hawthorne says at the end that Dwayne is an "example" to the class. What did he mean?
- How did Dwayne's persistence pay off?
- Have you ever been in situation like Dwayne or Whit, where you knew that you were right?
- What did you do about it?
Heard in episode
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The album version of this episode adds a scene at the end where the policeman offers to escort Whit to get new tires and cites a few other potential violations; Eugene then suggests to Whit that they find a new route to and from Connellsville.
- In this episode, during the pep talk for Dwayne, Jared says "Climb every mountain! Ford every stream!", a reference to the song w:Climb Ev'ry Mountain from the famous 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music.
- Officer Cliffe sounds like the character Cliff from the TV show Cheers, though his name was originally going to be named Officer Knotts, a tribute to Don Knotts, who played the deputy Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show—several times he uses Barney's signature phrase "nip it in the bud".
- Whit purchases new tires at Nabors Auto Center, another reference to The Andy Griffith Show—Jim Nabors is the actor who played Gomer Pyle, Mayberry's resident mechanic.
QuotesCody Carper: Hey, Dwayne, it looks like you're going "down" in history!
Dr. Hawthorne: I will now pass out your tests. No doubt many of you will pass out as a result.
Dwayne Oswald: I think there's a mistake on this test.
Dr. Hawthorne: There certainly is—the fact that you got so few of the answers right.
Dwayne Oswald: I looked over the test Dr. Hawthorne gave me, and it's not mine. Something's wrong here.
Jared DeWhite: Conspiracy, huh? Okay, so what we need to do is call the media. Trust me—they love this stuff. <reporter voice> Student fights for his honor against the forces of evil! Film at 11.
Dwayne Oswald: I don't know...
Cody Carper: <reporter voice> Pardon me, sir. I understand that Dr. Hawthorne's history class is boycotting the cruel and unusual treatment of students. Is that true?
Jared DeWhite: <reporter voice> Yes, they are, Walter. Someone there is holding fair grades hostage. Wait, I'm here with Dwayne Oswald, the man most affected by this sordid affair. Tell me, Mr. Oswald: What do you think?
Dwayne Oswald: I think you guys are totally nuts.
Cody Carper: Mr. Whittaker, you need to know that Dwayne sometimes forgets to put his name on his test.
Dwayne Oswald: ...Only a couple of times.
Cody Carper: Most of the time!
John Whittaker: I see.
Jared DeWhite: One time, he even wrote a love letter to Mona Mason and he forgot—
Dwayne Oswald: JARED!
Jared DeWhite: <beat> Oh. Sorry.
Cody Carper: We call [Dr. Hawthorne] the meanest teacher in history!
John Whittaker: Is he really mean, or is he tough?
Dwayne Oswald: What's the difference?
John Whittaker: Well, it's been my experience that a lot of the time, when kids call a teacher "mean", it's because he's tough on them—he expects them to do their best and won't tolerate laziness or excuses.