Gator Encounters the Law
Anyone that has ever had the pleasure of driving on I-35 will agree with me. It always seems like the National Conference Of Idiots has just ended, and they have all been ushered onto I-35 at the exact same time. Anytime, night or day, this is where you will find the WORST drivers in America. Hands down.
If ever a check point was estalished, I’m certain less than half of these people would have a valid driver’s license. I can hear my Pops yelling from my youth, “Sears must be giving driver’s licenses away again!” Or, “Did you get your GD license at SEARS!?” And thus the cycle repeats as I yell the same things in addition, adding my own personal, colorful expressions.
So the scenery is set. Idiots all over the road. It’s three lanes, mind you… But the left lane entitlement runs real deep here. That’s how we roll in Texas. No passing in the left lane unless you can fit into half a carspace and wiggle thru all the Cash-For-Clunkers headed to Mexico.
JS and I were heading South for my birthday bash on the Frio River. I took the wheel because my Grandpa (when he was alive) drove twice as fast as JS... When he was 80. Do you ever feel like your going so slow you’re moving backwards? Then you understand exacly what it feels like to ride with my dearest JS.
JS, rather than hear me gripe for 3 hours, graciously let me get behind the wheel. Which is a notable occurrence, because I rarely manage to return his truck unscathed. He usually sees me off by saying, “Let’s try not to hit anything today,” or “Remember my truck takes diesel!”
Gator vs.Truck saga is as follows:
I accidently pushed the wrong button on the automatic entrance gate the first week JS owned the truck… It was truly a horrific sight. It happened in slow motion (with me yelling Nooooo!) as the gate bounced repeatedly against his truck.
The back bumper might have the slightest gangster lean, after I backed into a tree. (This I totally blame on JS. He was standing in front of the truck yelling and waving his arms. Who looks in their mirrors when you have a dance party to watch?)
I might also have had something to do with the cracked side mirror, which might have occurred while trying to fit into the bank’s drive-thru lane. Clearly the Effing drive-thru engineers are at fault for that....
Lastly, there may or may not be horse bite marks on the body of the same truck. This remains to be seen, because the truck has not had a bath in at least 12 months. I guess seeing the damage in the sparkling light of a clean exterior makes it more painful.
Prologue to my 456th traffic stop: JS is coaching me to pass the clunkers and other folks driving less than 5 miles over the speed limit. “Drop the hammer! Hit it! Punch it baby, that hole is closing up! Do it! Drive woman!” I was under extreme peer pressure from the Over Caffeinated Driving Grampa. And the rest, unfortunately, is New Braunfels PD history... Keep in mind that the truck in question is a speeder’s dream. The equivalent of a diesel turbo, whatever that’s called. It’s quite easy to loose your head and get a little carried away. It can smoke a clunker in like 2.5.
Oficer: Mam. I clocked you driving 86 in a 70.
G: Oh my God! Really!? (PRAISE the Sweet Baby Jesus! The Hallelujah chorus is so loud in my head I think he might actually hear it. I was certain he was taking my ass straight to the Pokey for driving a little faster than that.)
G: You’re kidding!? I sped up so those crazy people could get around me. I seriously thought those two trucks were going to run me off the road.
Officer: Yeah… They passed you like you were sitting still. Unfortunately, I clocked you ‘bout 10 miles back there when you cut off that van. And since I already had you in my sights…
G: Oh… In that case, I probably was going really fast back there. Damn it! I've been on my best behavior lately and everything!
At this point I can’t quit giggling. In hindsight, it’s surprising he didn’t give us both a sobriety test. (It was 9 am and we were both totally sober.) The moment we see flashing lights JS turns into Napolean Dork Dynamite. He’s sitting over there, snorting with laughter, hanging out the GD window so his hands can be seen, at the same time trying to effectively restrain the rabid chihuahua with his elbows. (She’s wiley and she really hates when I get speeding tickets. In her skittle sized brain, lunging at the Law Officer seems helpful.)
Officer: Mam. I’m going to need to see your license and registration.
JS: Officer? I’m going to slowly bring my hands into the vehicle, open the glove box and pass you the insurance. Is that okay?
Officer: Scrunches up his forehead like he might be dealing with someone just escaped from a mental institution and says, Uh, Yeah… That’s just fine.
G: Officer? You realize I'm never going to hear the end of this, right?
Officer: Laughs, like really hard. Yes, Mam. I expect as much. Y’all have a real nice day and thanks for being so nice. Drive safe now, you hear?
I told JS if he didn't quit laughing I was kindly going to break his face... Then I had to listen to him change the lyrics to any song on the radio to include speeding or ticket references (He’s so clever) for at least the next 100 miles. He said that he forfited any guilt because he had already caught me passing folk in the mid 90's before our little incident with the Law Man...
G: We need a radio station change. This crap is bringing me down.
JS: Or maybe that's just your 300 dollar speeding ticket.
G: Touche Mister!