Special Needs

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Prototype Special Needs Driving School vehicle. Note sliding axle.

“I daresay George Bernard Shaw has special needs!”

~ Oscar Wilde on Special Needs

Special Needs is an American driving school franchise established in 1987. Unorthodox businessman and jew Ron Popeil saw the potential to carve out a niche market and boldly leapt in, but initially fell flat on his face as he set the seats too far back and students could not reach the pedals. Fierce market research including waking potential students up in the middle of the night and demanding answers while they were stuck in bed determined the cause of failure and Popeil changed his strategy. The school teamed up with automated door openers and wheelchair manufacturers, resulting in the first and only set of sliding axle cars. Armed with this technological innovation, Special Needs returned triumphantly back into the marketplace. Consumers were again not quite ready, however, and the Department of Transportation recorded fifteen firey crashes in as many weeks. News networks were advised.

Public Controversy[edit]

Special Needs spokesperson Christopher Reeve issued a smiling but tense statement saying that the firm was not to blame: it was the retarded students. They were mentally incompetent in real life if not in legal fact. He showed waiver after waiver to the camera. He slobberingly ate a mango and made the public wait. Then he intimated the bastardry of the viewing audience. The public's outrage was complete.

Popeil never sought controversy for his products or services, but stood by his spokesperson and issued a twenty-seven hour infomercial decrying the editorials appearing in the New York Times and Washington Post. Protestors appeared outside of the company headquarters, although investigative journalism revealed they were not entirely sure what they were protesting about. After two and a half weeks, super lawyer Clark Clifford finally realized he could make some extra cash and brought suit against the school for negligence. Special Needs affiliate Stephen Hawking appeared on Oprah in retort and went beserk, leaping out onto a set couch and jumping up and down like an enraged infant until someone had the presence of mind to remind him of his debilitating disease, whereupon he crumpled to the floor beside his scooter and pushed the "OH, OW" button on his speech synthesizer keyboard repeatedly until dragged away.

Financial Success[edit]

Supreme Court Supreme Justice Felix Frankfurter was all set to rule against the fledgling school, but it turned out he was dead. The case fell out of favor with the court. The media dropped it like a dead skunk. Popeil eventually settled for just sticking a blue magnetic wheelchair logo onto the sides of his vehicles and being done with it. Popularity instantly soared as handicapped potential drivers 'got it'.

Having finally achieved a return on his investment, Ron Popeil liquidated his shares and went on to co-invent the world-famous "On a stick" product series and retire in the resulting lavish profits. Special Needs is now a well-respected driving school with a federally-low fatality rate of 0.6 per annum.

Program Details[edit]

Spokesperson Christopher Reeve just after mango break during Special Needs defense on CNN.

Offering an eight-week special lesson series or single "Hot Wheels" sessions, Special Needs has positioned itself as the most responsible and obvious choice for even normal persons wanting to learn how to or improve on their driving skills. A significant attraction is that students need not even have a license in order to take lessons.

Students are taught:

  1. Basic flight theory.
  2. Periodic table of the elements.
  3. Identification of common roaches.
  4. How to make the cheesy potatoes.
  5. Secret masonic handshakes.
  6. Brake-and-annoy emergency manuever.
  7. Proper abuse of the horn.
  8. Ninja instant-yet-natural-looking death technique using seatbelt.


  • Most North American horns sound in the key of F. Special Needs vehicles' sound in the key of AAAAAA.
  • The sliding axle automobiles were sold to the Australian film industry, who used them for bit parts in Mad Max:Beyond Thunderdome. Tina Turner learned to drive on one.