I had been trying to find a contractor who would replace the retaining wall in the back of our yard. The wall had been damaged by THE GREAT STORM OF 2003. Our trees had fallen, taken down the phone lines, etc., etc. Just finding a contractor to do the job for $13,000, which was all the insurance company would allow, or under was a major prob. It took a fucking year. So, I finally find a contractor to pour a cement wall, deal with neighbors, etc. But the insurance company deadline of May 24 came and went, and I never heard from the contractor. Plus a neighbor wanted to bring in a lawyer to write up a liability agreement. Plus - I had always hoped tom pocket some money on the deal.
Plus, the contractor wanted to dump everything on my adjacent lots, cause disruption to other stuff - etc., etc. - so, I just decided to repair the fucking wall myself, and keep some of the insurance money for myself. Soooooooo - having made that emotional decision - and having made a little progress correcting my slight case of scoliosis - I felt like celebrating...............
So, I went out and bought a six-pack of Pete's Wicked Ale - beer, that is - and had a few drinks at home, then, I went out and ordered a Pizza from Ciminos - which has GREAT cheesy pizza, which doesn't stretch and string all over the place. I guess I had, by now, four beers, plus one with my pizza - the pizza was supposed to help me sober up, actually.
I drive to Belvidere, just to drive...
Anyone who knows me, knows speeding and driving are synonymous in my lexicon. I get so sick of the old fogies who drive here, provoking major accidents, and bunching all up like lethargic blood clots travelling at 20 mph in 35 mph zones. I prefer to travel at 25 miles above the speed level, at least until I can clear away from these morons. This strategy, I believe, is the safest and most prudent one to take for anyone who is as intelligent, capable, and non-risk-adverse as I...
Unfortunately, the Belvidere Police did not agree with the assessment. They pulled me over for going 48 in a 35 mph zone. Which is about normal - isn't it? Actually, I think a
jealous driver must have called them because of my adept passing and lane-changing
So, the officer asks, "Where is your license?"
"Well, I usually keep it right here", I said, as I reached to my right, riffling through a pile of cassette tapes...
"WHY DO YOU HAVE A GUN IN YOUR CAR?" asked the now nervous officer.
"STEP OUT OF THE CAR!"
"OK - Should I turn the car off first?"
"DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING. STEP OUT OF THE CAR. - SEE WHERE WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM?"
I am handcuffed.
"OK. Its just a toy gun, you know..."
"TOY GUN OR NOT, WE'RE TAKING YOU IN. WE'LL SEE IF ITS A TOY GUN OR NOT..."
For, yes, I had a nice black luger-type gun tucked away next to my drivers' seat. It was one of the many fine resources I carried regularly in my fine, spiffy Eagle Summit Wagon, along with a BEWARE OF DOG sign, my lap-top, beer, etc....
"I live in a bad neighborhood..."
"HOW MANY BEERS HAVE YOU HAD TONIGHT?"
"Well, I had two at home, and one with my pizza...."
Well, the now numerous police are beginning to inspect my car for drugs, paraphernalia, women's lingerie, etc., while I am escorted into the back of a squad car. And they're having a jolly time chatting about the gun that turned out to be plastic - as if my word were to doubted!
And, then, comes the big question....
"DO YOU WANT TO TAKE A SOBRIETY TEST?"....
A choice? They're actually offering me a choice. Hmmmm. This is the world I have always dreamed of living in - all my whole fucking life!!!!!........
"What will happen if I don't?"
"WELL, THAT'S YOU'RE CHOICE. YOU CAN TAKE A BREATHALYZER TEST, OR WE CAN JUST GIVE YOU A WALKING TEST..." - that sort of thing.....
Again, I inquire what will happen....
Of course, the sober me had read about this standard TRAP, but that was long ago, and my memory had all been washed away by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I was, after all, drunk... Or was I? I had never had this experience before. Who the hell knew if I was drunk or not? And who the hell knew how drunk I was, even if I was drunk? And who the hell knew if I couldn't pass the fucking "walking test" even if I was drunk? So, maybe I'm just over the limit - maybe I'm legally intoxicated - maybe the alcohol is just, by chance, sticking profusely to my lungs, and my tongue, just waiting to exhale, and ruin my entire life. And who would forgo the embarrassment and bother of taking a breathalyzer test? Drunk or not, given the choice, who wouldn't simply say no?"
"No," I said.
Whereupon, the officers grabbed the top of my head, and began forcing me into the car once again, "ALRIGHT, BUDDY, YOU'RE GOING TO JAIL!"
"YOU REFUSED TO TAKE THE SOBRIETY TEST!"
"I asked you what would happen if I didn't take the test!"
"DOESN'T MATTER - YOU REFUSED TO TAKE THE TEST!"
"I didn't "refuse" - I just said, 'No'! I don't actually care. It's no big deal - I'll take the test if you want me too -"
"But I asked you what would happen..."
And I am forced into the car...
"Wait a minute. Don't you guys have any MORAL CONSCIENCE?!"
"I asked you what would happen if I didn't take the test - and you didn't say I'd be arrested!"
This whole guilt-by-default thing, it's the same crap as random searches, anonymous incriminators, victimless crimes, three-strikes-you're out..." Thank GOD Reagan's dead! We were all allowing ourselves to become THE ENEMY!
"DOESN'T MATTER... ETC. YOU REFUSED... BLA... BLA... BLA..."
"How do you feel about yourselves, doing this?!..."
At which point, they began thinking about their wives, I was later to construe.
"WE DO IT ALL THE TIME."
Hey? Somehow, the police are allowed to live by such standards - - like an addiction, frequency makes it "right"? Because everybody else, (every other police force), is doing it, that makes it right?
And, I ask my officer to let me take the test - and, he caves. I guess it was after I talked about being in a bad neighborhood, about the time some guy drove by and pulled a gun on me, how I was a model citizen... "YOU SEEM ALRIGHT..."
I take the breathalyzer test...
Silence. Measurement. Measured silence...
My officer steps into the car. Driver's seat. Says nothing. Calls Control - "We'll need a wrecker...."
I was three points over - I finally extracted from the officer. So, I guess that meant that I was at .11. That's drunk. But I am the world's best driver. So, I compensate. My IQ is 138 - I must lose as many brain cells as I can just to fit into this asshole society...
I'm a writer.
I was born in Australia.
What the hell am I supposed to do?
I am a beer connoisseur!
My car is taken away. My beautiful wee car.
I am taken away...