down the same as the thousand before

March 29, 2013

Because I have been doing an awfully lot of time travel recently:


I mean, THINK about it. Cream filled Twinkies? And DingDongs, those cream too. – Jason

2005-01-18 – 6:00 p.m.

Good evening,’ he said, ‘I’m deputy Hammer.’
‘God in His mercy,’ my mind whispered in awe, ‘there IS a silver lining.’

Holly and I are in the process of moving into our new apartment. This is overall delightful, but since we are poor as shit and moving in small increments via minivan at around midnight each night, we occasionally hit the various and sundry snags not usually encountered by, say, those favorites of fortune with U-Hauls and slightly less nocturnal schedules.
Last night we were hauling my furniture from my parent’s house in Tigard, which is a half hour drive one way. A drive this long is misery at worst, pure loopiness at best. Last night Holly and I were both fresh and bright eyed from a nine hour work day after possibly six hours of sleep, which is also misery at worst, pure loopiness at best. Also, it was raining. And there was no food.
However, for some as yet undiscovered reason, we not only missed the misery mood, we overshot loopy as well and landed somewhere between hoopty and just plain drunk. Without, might I add, the aid of any stimulant whatsoever, including the e’er so tempting Smirnoff in our otherwise empty refrigerator. 
We picked up the van, from which Holly’s father had helpfully removed all backseats, and were on our way. I sat in back, and the child in me rejoiced as a strong man to run a race as I sat on not a seat, but a neatly coiled length of orange tow rope. 
‘No seat belts! No seat belts!’ my inner child crowed in sinful delight.
We made it out to Tigard in very good time, considering the cumbersome awkwardness of our vehicle and the deep sluices that tried with all their evil might to run us off the road. 
We took apart my furniture with a silence and discretion that inspired my younger sister to roll out of bed to scream at us to be quiet, and my brother to whisper, ‘I can’t believe you can make that much noise with a SCREWDRIVER.’
Finally everything was in convenient, ready to load pieces, and we discovered that the minivan, not as ambitious as we, refused to carry it all at once. 
We packed it as tightly as we could and resigned ourselves to a second cold, wet, long trip.

Back at the apartment, less one half hour and engaged in a passionate discussion concerning the perversion of the creators of Hostess Snack Treats, we unloaded the van without incident or inordinate noise. 
We departed again, first in search of coffee. The coffee at the 711 by our house was not good enough for us, and by ‘us’ I mean ‘Holly and Jason, who are coffee snobs,’ so we continued our quest cold and uncaffeinated. We did have Cheezits and Diet Coke, which was quite sufficient for me. I ate my Cheezits in small piles from the cupholder not holding Diet Coke, and life was grand, and the many intentions and connotations of Hostess Snack Treats were called into the light to be questioned and mocked. 
Life was indeed grand. 
Then we missed our exit. On the suface this was not a big deal, we simply took the next one and doubled back. But! and dun dun dun…this next exit and doubling back took us straight through the heart of the small yuppie ‘all respectable people are quite asleep at this god forsaken hour’ town of Tigard. 
Which, as well as being small, yuppie and respectably asleep at midnight thirty, is the single most cop infested area I’ve ever known, except possibly the Hawthorne area.
So yes.
Naturally and of course.
Jason had no sooner pulled off the exit ramp than bright lights were dancing all red and blue behind us and we were all saying, ‘I can’t fucking BELIEVE this!’ 
Because, of course and naturally, this van, the one we were driving, the one we were sitting in while being pulled over by a slick, complacent, nasty Tigard cop? This van, the one I was sitting quite unseatbelted in the back of? This van, naturally and of course, was UNINSURED. 
And we all knew it.

Jason rolled the window down and we all waited.
Waited the long ass time it always takes a cop to pull himself together, zip up his pants and make the long trip to the side of your car.
Finally he appeared, shined his flashlight impressively in our faces, and announced,
‘I’m Deputy Hammer. Can I see your license and registration?’
Jason was worried, and Holly was worried, and their faces showed it.
I was sitting behind the seat laughing my ass off with my face in my lap because dammit, you can’t laugh at a cop’s name before he writes the ticket.

We went through the motions, we handed over papers and I put my face into the back of Jason’s seat every time the cop found the need to state his name and title, and then,
‘Sir, this insurance card expired in ’03. Do you have a current card?’
Holly leaned across the seat and let fly the terrible truth. 
‘Um, we’re kind of in between insurance companies right now.’
‘Oh. You mean you have no insurance?’
‘Um, yeah. You see-‘
‘Oh. You mean you’re driving an uninsured vehicle?’
‘Well, folks, I’m going to have to tow your vehicle. Wait here, please.’

We sat in the cold cold van and watched the red and blue lights flicker obnoxiously through the pouring rain and waited.
Wondered what to do.
After the naturally, of course incredible length of time it requires to write a ticket, he returned.
‘Excuse me,’ I said. (fucker, I thought.) ‘I live about five minutes up the street. Is there any possible way we can get there?’
‘Sure, if you want to walk in the rain,’ he replied.
‘Thank you,’ I said. (fucker, I thought, and my face screamed.)
‘Excuse me?’ he said.
‘I said, thank you. I was not of course aware that if I want to walk to my house in the rain, I can do so. Thank you for this helpful information.’ (niblet fuck.)
He looked at me like I had grown three horns out the side of my head, and said nothing. 
Cleared his throat.
Gave us, yes, US, our tickets, yes, ticket(S), and asked us to leave the vehicle.
I looked at my ticket. 
Screamed ’Ninety four fucking dollars! for failure to wear my seatbelt! fucking fucking…!’ , scrambled out the door, and hopped around the wet sidewalk like a hockey puck in an empty rink.
Glared at Deputy Hammer as hard and evilly as I could, considering that I did deserve the ticket and he was the one whose life was tormented with a badge and handcuffs and a pornstar name. 
Muttered, or yelled, as the spirit moved at the moment, ‘Fucker. Fucker!’ and was amazed that I was not impounded along with the van for insulting an officer while dancing violently in the puddles at the side of the road.

After a wee bit, I cooled down and hopped on one foot for awhile, considering our options. My parent’s house is about four miles from where we stood in the rain, carless and cold. My father could probably be persuaded to crawl out of bed and come to get us, but Jason was the only fan of that idea, and since he does not know my father, he was brutally overruled by those of us who do.
We called Holly’s dad, who started out to rescue us, and got as far as the driveway. 
Where of course, naturally, my car and Holly’s were parked directly behind his, effectively cutting off any means of departure.

We decided to walk.
We did walk. 
All four miles.
All four either unnecessarily uphill or unnecessarily downhill. No nice, flat expanses. Not often sidewalks. Bits of gravel left over from the de-icer trucks, too. Grumble.

Our senses of humor had by this time resurfaced, and we wound up enjoying the walk and the night, when it stopped raining. Which it did fairly shortly.
We counted cop cars, (nine in one hour and four miles), and each time one passed we simultaneously jumped and shouted from the bowels of our throats, ‘BAH!!!’ and waved our middle fingers aloft.
Which did nothing but encourage more ticketing, possible arrest, but…well, it made us feel better.

We finally reached my parent’s house, stole my mom’s car, and drove back to Holly’s. 
We then had to replace my mom’s car and the half tank of gas, and then, o then, we at last drove back to pick up our cars. 
We reached our apartment at four AM and collapsed, heeding not the haphazardly arranged new furniture.
Woke up this morning with very sore muscles and three hundred and twenty four dollars in combined ticket. 
Did not even touch the Smirnoff.
And will ever so possibly make it through this workday on the strength of Diet Coke and coffee and the fact that, glory to God, we got Hammered as hell last night, without the aid of alcohol or a rubber mallet.

(I am)

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