Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cannonball Run Day 28; this day in 1990

Woke up to the aftermath of the storm! No wonder they call Louisiana the WET state!

Another uneventful drive (note; I don't know why I kept calling the drive "uneventful"? Perhaps I expected to see a 400 foot tall Mr Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters every time I put the key in the ignition!!).

We finally made Florida and pulled into a gas station where we saw a serious drug bust. There were bags of heroin or cocaine here, there and everywhere, just like on TV.

Got to a place to stop for the night and decided to have a party 'cos it was early. We drove to a garage to buy some drinks and a police officer pulls up next to me at the gas station. Thanks to me not having our headlights on when I drove in, we had a conversation which went like this;

Old Cop: "I wanna see your licence".

Me: "Err, you can't". (note; bad choice of words)

Cop: (shouting) "Dammit boy, I wanna see your f***ing licence NOW!!" (applies his handbrake and gets out of his car).

Me: (crapping my pants) "Err, well, you see, it was stolen in Santa Monica and I'm from out of town ..." (stutter, stammer, blah blah)

Cop: "I.D. NOW!"

Me: (running to the back of the van and waking up a dozing George). "Wake up George, we've got trouble".

(note: Now, in my diary, I skip to another part of the scene but I can clearly remember another part - I don't know why I omitted to write it down. What happened was, the old cop (who, by the way, reminded me SO much of Sheriff J.W. Pepper, the Southern state cop played by Clifton James in The Man With The Golden Gun), followed me around to the back of our van to watch me while I tried to find my ID. As I was rifling through the mess that was the back of the van, half a dozen or so empty beer cans and bottles literally fell out onto the floor, rattling as they went. In the USA, it's an offence - or at least it was - to have ANY alcohol that had been opened, while you are driving in a vee-hicle.

So, you could have a bottle of whisky on the seat with you, but if the seal was so much as broken, you could be arrested. And although I hadn't been drinking and driving, the empty beer bottles said otherwise. Thankfully however, Sheriff "Pepper" didn't seem fazed by them).

Anyway, he seemed satisfied with my passport and my story and we all calmed down. Inside the cafe/gas station, he comes up to me and the usual conversation commences between him, me and the store clerk, about where I'm from, and how not many people from out of town happen through there.

It ended with me slapping him on the arm and saying in a loud, Southern American state accent (think the Dukes of Hazzard), "well, I'm gonna get me back in my van and turn my goddam lights on 'cos you damn near scared the s**t outta me back there".

He cracked up and slapped me on the back.

Thank God!

Went to bed knackered (and relieved"!)

p.s. Finally made Florida

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