Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tales of the Tar

"I am not a good American...I prefer to form my own opinions" - George Carlin

A couple of posts ago, I went through...as near as my brain will allow...all the cars I've owned. What occurred to me during this exercise was that if one is a red-blooded American male with an automobile, or veeeeeehickel, as they like to say down where I grew up, sooner or later one is likely to run afoul of the pooooolice in violation of some traffic law or other. I was no exception.

In that post, I mentioned a '56 Tudor Ford with the bashed driver's side door...the result of being T-boned in a strip mall by another testosterone type. Neither of us had insurance and as a result, my driver's license was suspended for six-months.

Did this stop me from driving...as it should have? No. I wasa baad boy!

I had a date across town on a Saturday night, leaving at Sundown to pick her up. Not the same young lady who endure a night of horror a few years before in my roach infested Buick. A different young lady. We had no history of bugs, but, we did have a shared experience of T-boning...of the car. She was with me that night.

Not far from my house, I crossed a major street and damned if the Sun wasn't in my eyes. Of course, the light was...RED...unbeknownst to me. But not unobserved by a motorcycle pooooliceman.  He pulled up beside me and motioned for me to pull over. Oh crap, I'm thinking...a suspended license, and STILL no insurance. Maybe I can appeal to his patriotic sense...I was about to report for active duty in the army. Or, since this was next to a hospital, maybe I could tell him I was distraught and on my way to see my dying...whomever. I pulled over, with the barest of bones story.

He got off his veeeehicle and approached the driver's side. I couldn't see him very well, plus he had on a pair of those sunglasses...you know them...worn only by aviators and motorcycle policemen...and young smart asses...such as myself. Unfortunately, I didn't have on a pair...hence the blinded traffic light fuck up.

He got to my car, looked at me and immediately said, "sonofabitch...how come everybody I pull over today is an old high school buddy?"

"Oh Jesus and sweet Mary mother of God I will never smoke cigarettes, or drink the devil drinks, or masterbate again for this gift (I'll get back to you on the going to church thing). Thank you, thank you, thank  you...it's Ray...Ray, MOTHERFUCKING RAY, from my Geometry class in high school. The guy who shot spitballs at old half blind Mr. Guntersen when his back was turned, in unison with me. YEEEEEES!"

I didn't even have to produce my expired driver's license...or non-existent insurance card. I was damned glad that my license plate was up to date, though.

We chatted a bit about old spitball times, and ol' Ray went on about his enforcement business. And I went on about my hot date business (don't get on my bachelor case...we eventually got married).

That was lucky break numero uno. There were more to come. Sort of.

A few years later after having bought a sweeeeeeeeeet MGB baby, with toggle switches, short stroked gear shift, leather seats, spoked wheels and a BONNET...that's what the Brits call the hood...a BONNET. How cool is that? Oh, it also had an authentic, original Brit license plate on the front. Just thinking about it gives me...well, maybe I shouldn't go there.

I would put the top down and hug the road. Hair in the wind, pretending that I was James Bond, flat out through the curves of the Swiss Alps. Never mind that Bond drove an Aston Martin DB5...which was not a convertible...but, this was pretty close in my world...and...they both have a bonnet.

The strange part was, I never saw Bond get a speeding ticket. I acquired several. WTF?

I was married by the time I bought the MGB. I went through 3 or 4 speeding tickets over a period of the first six months of ownership, and my wife was not particularly copacetic on the point. It was getting expensive, I admit. Try as I might, there was something about that damned car that just wouldn't be everyday-chug-along. In retrospect the problem was most likely between the seat and the steering wheel, not the car..you gotta love old guy wisdom hindsight, eh?

So one night I am out with a few friends...all  guys. We stopped for a few minutes for A drink, and two hours later...well, you know the story. I left the "lounge" and headed home. Not really shit faced...just...happy. I may or may not have been exceeding the speed limit...probably not...but I will admit that I once again ran a red light. This time there was no Sun to blame...it was about 8 p.m.

Yep, I got the blue light.

This was a very old policeman that got out of the squad car. My grandfather look alike. He says to me, Mr. Smith (do you really think you are going to get my real name here on this left-wing blog...nah)...Mr. Jones, you ran a red light...you were speeding...and you have been drinking. By the law, I should take you downtown and book you. Should? He said, should! Jesus, mother Mary of whozey..and Salome...speak to me again. OK, church it is.

He said, "I am only going to charge you with two of these...speeding and running a red light." Whew.

And so I took the summons to appear, avoiding the Tank...the Tank of pissyness, puke and drunk fuckers. I'm told it is a smelly kind of place. I was very happy not to have to confirm that assessment...and I was very appreciative of this wise old policeman.

I did not tell my wife about this event.

A few days later, I went home after my wife, and she looked at me with THAT look. You know what I am talking about, dudes, guys, and bros...I know you do. She said to me..."you got another speeding ticket...didn't you?" Gulp and huh?

It seems the wise old policeman who didn't want me to go to the Tank, and I suspect, spend the rest of the night filling out his report about my sorry ass, had come by the house and left a note on the front door. It read..."Mr. Black, I entered the wrong court appearance date on your summons, it should read June 6, not June 4th. I just wanted to let you know...have a nice day."

Something about mice and men, methinks.


Punch said...

ahhh, slow down?
look both ways before crossing?
a stitch in time saves nine?
don't count your chickens before they hatch?
a penny saved is a penny earned?

there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Mr. Charleston said...

The problem is clear. A smart-ass in a red sports car. Ticket magnet. I know. Been there with a beautiful Triumph TR4. Probably about the same time as you.

jadedj said...

Punch...ah...never suffer the fool?

Mr. C---But did you have the same kindly, albeit well meaning, old policeman?

Chimp said...

I'm running today so I will read your post later. But had to tell you that when I saw the pictures of the "police roadblock" I burst out laughing.

jadedj said...

Chimp---You were the first to mention it. So did I.

Tom Harper said...

Cool anecdotes.

I have a ticket magnet too -- a T-Bird convertible. It's mostly old retired fucks like me that have T-Birds, but it's a ticket magnet just the same.

Our other car is a Neon, and I don't think I could get a ticket in that car if I tried.

jadedj said...

Tom---Let me guess, it's red. Even if it isn't, there are studies the results of which show a bias by policemen for types and colors of cars...red being at the top of the chain...and I'd bet Thunderbirds are hanging up there as well.

Btw, what year?

Ahem, that's not to say I wasn't speeding...maybe.

Tom Harper said...

j: It's a 2005. I think that's the last year they made any. It's not red; more of a silver/blue. But the cops sure seem to "like" it.

jadedj said...

Tom---Red, Silver/blue...they're after you.

I feel your pain.

Harlequin said...

great post; funny and descriptive in that way that just brings the reader into the story. i had a former boyfriend who drove a spiffy little MG rag top...in the dead of freakin' winter in newfoundland..... not romantic at all... but it is a sweet memory, as this post seems to be.
tough break on the cop message on the door.

Chimp said...

As Pat Robertson would say,"You must have made a pact with the devil."

As Harold Camping would say, "You didn't drink the Kool-Aid?"

As Joe Winer would say, "My weiner is bigger than your weiner."

jadedj said...

Harlequin---You are always far too kind.

When in to sports cars...ice be damned!

He was a kindly old gent who meant well. I'm over it.

Chimp---Pat would know.

Harold can kiss MY rapture.

I'm thinking the reality was, Vienna Sausage...Weiner, that is.

Chimp said...


SUZY8-TRACK said...

For some reason Red cars are ticket magnets, but did you know that birds are also attracted to the color red? In the apartment building where I used to live we had a small parking lot for five cars. One of the cars which was red, would be coated with bird poop, while the other cars remained untouched.

jadedj said...

Suzy 8---I did not know this, but it is good poop to know. Wait...one of our cars is RED. This explains much. Thank you!