Suicide Machines

Never mind how many snowmobile deaths occur as a result, kids are allowed to drive snowmobiles in Minnesota

Back at White Bear High, Michael Kane surveys the room solemnly. "I'm going to talk about alcohol," he says. "You have a couple of drinks, it's night, and you're off on your snowmobile."

Hands extended, he pretends to straddle a snowmobile, feigning a look around at the nighttime scenery. Then he twists the knife slowly: "Maybe they'll see the snowdrift and think, 'Wouldn't it be neat to jump?'" He tells of a snowmobiler who was thrown 100 feet from his machine, and another who was thrown 300 feet. "If I remember right, that person had been drinking," he says of the latter case.

By now he has everyone's attention. "All of a sudden you hit something and you're pushin' up daisies," he says matter-of-factly. "You're dead." Class dismissed.

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