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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Man Cave Musings: Sam Walton once said to celebrate your successes a...

Man Cave Musings: Sam Walton once said to celebrate your successes a...:    this is a story of an epic failure which if it occurred today I am reasonably certain there would be jail time. The fact that nobody went...

Sam Walton once said to celebrate your successes and find humor in your failures. Well,

   this is a story of an epic failure which if it occurred today I am reasonably certain there would be jail time. The fact that nobody went to jail is the success I celebrate in the spirit of Sam Walton. The failure part of this tale of woe is that responsible human beings should be in more control of their faculties and motor skills but as any regular reader of this blog knows that was not always the case with me. When I was a younger man I liked to have an occasional drink. But I always knew my limits unfortunately I passed out before I ever reached them. Hopefully this context frames the story better.
   My roommate and I (who will go by the name of Julio for this story) drove from Dallas to the old Arlington Stadium some 30 miles away to take in the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees baseball game in the summer of 1981. We were well stocked with plenty of ice cold King of Beers and may have been leading the early push for recreational use of cannabis on the drive to the game. Once we arrived and took our seats we kept the beer vendor busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest. I'm pretty sure this poor guy should have received hazard pay for the amount of running we put him through. The game was entertaining but the real show started on the ride home.
   Shortly after leaving the very busy parking lot we were driving down the access road next to the freeway we need to get on when the car started the familiar shaking of a blown tire. Julio was doing an expert job of driving (we had only gone a mile). He eased off to the grass and engaged the emergency lights so we didn't get hit. I told him not to worry, I have changed quite a few flat tires in my day. Before I could even undo my seat belt the twinkling blue lights of the police car came up behind us. I'm sure they were there to protect me from getting turned into a speed bump. With a friendly wave to the officers in their car I opened the trunk and removed the jack. Actually it took me a while to line up the key in the lock after I had dropped them twice on the way to the trunk. I'm pretty sure the police were now watching for entertainment value. The show was under way.
   After deftly placing the jack underneath the frame I proceeded to raise the car so I could remove the tire. Then the car fell off the jack kicking the plate out from under the jack. After one or two minutes of staggering aimlessly I located the base of the jack and started the process over again. Luckily I learned quickly from my previous effort and got the car high enough to remove the tire. Working with a type of precision normally seen by blacksmiths I put the little donut tire on and screwed the lug nuts down tight. Once I lowered the car back to level ground I headed back to the passenger seat with a friendly wave to the boys in blue and buckled myself in.
   Julio put the car in drive and hit the gas. The car made the sound of a herd of cats in heat but did not move. I unfastened the seat belt again and jumped out to see what the problem was. While I was standing next to the car with a most drunken befuddled look a voice came from the loudspeaker on the cruiser behind us, "the tire is on backward". Shit! He was spot on. With another friendly wave of thanks to my serve and protect brethren behind me I retrieved the keys from Julio and began the process anew. Apparently the officers had seen enough to want to have a word with me. The officer asked if the driver had been drinking as well. I smiled and asked what made him think I was drinking. He laughed and said he was a highly trained officer and even if he wasn't his 6 year old daughter could tell I was drunk. My assurances that I was the one who had done the heavy drinking was the reason my very sober roommate was driving sounded good. He didn't seem convinced but did let me know they were going to hang around until we got back on the road. How fortunate for us.
   Once I returned the jack to the trunk I hurried back into the car and told Julio we were good to go. The lack of response didn't register until I heard the snoring. Loud, deep snoring the likes of which can only be produced by someone who has passed smooth out. I tried discreetly hitting him, kicking him and yelling at him to no avail. He was done partying for the night and apparently done being awake as well. So I exited the car and leaned in and grabbed him by the arms has best I could. Dragging him across the passenger seat and half way out of the car I sat him in my former seat and buckled him up. I'm pretty sure he looked dead when I had him dangling out of the car. Apparently the cops didn't think so but maybe because they were laughing too hard to notice.
   When I headed around the car to drive, the voice of reason from the car behind us summoned me over for a little chat. They presented me with an interesting option. I could drive the car and go to jail or we could sit in the car and wait for three hours then drive home without any further complications.
Even in my diminished mental capacity I realized a good deal when I heard it. Three hours later we drove home under the watchful eye of a police cruiser until we crossed the Tarrant County line. I was appreciative enough to give a salute to the car behind us. As you can tell it was easy to find humor in this failure. To this day I do not know why we were shown the kindness we were. Maybe it was the lack of an accident, different times back then, didn't want the extra paperwork that close to shift change or another reason that caused them to not arrest us. Whatever it was I am thankful for it.
   Some of the details and names were left out of the story to protect the innocent. My innocence lost its protection years ago.

Till next......

Friday, August 4, 2017