Monday, April 12, 2010

The Sobriety Test

image I have this “Left-Hander’s Calendar”.  I have it because I write and eat with my left hand.  I do everything else with my right hand, but I think because I write with my left hand then people think I am left-handed.  I’m proud of it, but truth be known, I’m probably more right handed.  If it requires strength, I use my right hand.  If it requires dexterity, I use my left hand.  I play guitar right handed, I throw a ball with my right hand, I can play tennis and racquetball with either hand, but I don’t get much zip with my left hand.

And that whole introduction has nothing to do with my story.  But, it was fun to write.  Today my calendar has a quote from a left-handed individual named Marcel Marceau.  He said, “Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?”  I was speechless Friday night (or very early Saturday morning).

I went out for happy hour with a friend of mine from work.  We had dinner and a beer or two at 5:30 in Grapevine.  Later on, at about 9:30, and after being met by another friend, we decided we’d go to Cowboys Red River.  I think I might have mentioned that in a previous post.  Not really, I know I mentioned it.

I drove home, changed into my country attire and went to Red River.  It was a horrible experience.  The band sucked.  The place was half empty.  We stayed about an hour and a half.  I got there at 10:45 and left at 12:20 or so.  I had a bottle of beer that I nursed for an hour (I ordered it just as I arrived).

At 12:45, I was approaching my house after a 30 minute drive from Dallas and the police lights came on behind me.  I had that little thing snap in my head where I lose my temper.  I don’t know what causes it.  My kids say that my mouth gets small and I start shaking.  I also lose the ability to talk.  Normally, when I find this happening, I walk away.  When a 20 year old punk ass cop pulls you over at 12:45 AM, you can’t walk away.

PAC – Can I see license and insurance please?

I don’t remember exact verbiage.  I’ll get as close as I can.  What I am thinking during this fiasco will be in italics so you know I thought it, but I didn’t say it.

GAR – Here ya go.  Make this quick because I’m tired and I’m two blocks from home.

I really didn’t say anything.  I was trying unsuccessfully to calm down.

PAC – Did you know one of your headlights was out?

GAR – Nope.

PAC – Can you turn on your lights and I’ll check it for you.

I turned on my lights and was thinking… This f’er is looking for something.  He’s going to make me sit here until he finds something to entertain his feeble little punk ass brain.

PAC – Yep.  Driver’s side headlight is out.  Where are you headed?

GAR – Home.  Or to the local police station if I can’t calm myself down.  Do all PAC’s have to be so stupid?

PAC – Where have you been?

GAR – Red River in Dallas.

PAC – What’s that?

GAR – A country bar. 

My mother blessed me with the inability to lie.  999 different points of origin went through my head, but the truth escaped.  It’s inexplicable.

PAC – Did you have anything to drink?

GAR – A beer.

At this point the PAC leaves me alone to go check my insurance and license (I guess).  It gave me a chance to count backwards from 100 and try to calm down.  I also practiced my ABC’s.  I can say them forwards and backwards equally well when my blood pressure is not about to make my temples pop.

The PAC returned to shine that piece of shit flashlight in my eyes again.  All benefits gained by my calming techniques were immediately lost.

PAC – So, you telling me you’ve been out all night and all you had was 1 beer?

GAR – I had a beer for dinner.

You see the honesty there?  It’s a killer.  Why can’t I just keep my mouth shut and nod.  It’s like I’m afraid I’ll get in more trouble if I lie.  But I love my momma.

PAC – You’re not doing yourself any favors.  You started out with one beer and now we’re up to two.  Could you step out of the car please?

Gar quietly stepped out of the car and thought, “You’re not even old enough to drink you f’n moron.  Are you just jealous or what?  You asked me two different questions you bastardized shithead and now you’re accusing me of changing my story!  You wait until my momma finds out!”

Mr. PAC proceeded to ask me a series of medical questions mostly about my eyes.  I threw him a curveball when I informed him that I had Type I Diabetes.  That was one of the questions (do you have diabetes?).  I started to get scared that he was going to take me to jail just for the hell of it so I started trying to be smarmy.

He asked me if I wanted to take my boots off.  “They have heels,” he said “and you might do better if you took them off”.  I almost hit him (not really).  But I left my boots on.  I told him some story about diabetics getting their feet amputated for stepping on random sharp rusty objects when walking around in the middle of town with no shoes on.

Once he put the pen in my face and told me to follow it without moving my head I figured he had wanted me to take my boots off so it would be easier for him to get me to fall on my ass (which I didn’t).

He finally decided I was being honest and said something along the lines of, “Take care of that headlight and don’t go anywhere else tonight.”  He just said the last part to push me over the edge of tyrannical rage.  Somehow he knew that he had struck a nerve.  I just said, “I’m done” and quickly got in my car.  “I’m done” can be taken in so many different ways.

The funny thing is once I sat back down in my car, the rage enveloped me and I started shaking so bad I didn’t think I could drive.


  1. Gartholomew---
    That is just about the saddest thing I've heard today. Why would getting stopped by a cop send you into such a case of the vapors? And why did you tell the Gestapo Agent the truth? Why didn't you just say you had to work late, were dead tired, were 2 blocks from home, please let me go to bed?

    Instead you turned this into a spectacle for your neighbors, whom I'm sure are all gossiping about that new kid on the block getting pulled over for driving drunk with the cop doing all sortsa drunk tests on him.

    And how did you not notice you were driving with one eye out?

    It's all very perplexing.

  2. It made me mad because he pulled me over and I was 2 blocks from home. He further made me mad by digging. Thus, the vapors.

    He could have said, "I just wanted to let you know you have a headlight out."

    I would have said, "Thanks for letting me know. I hadn't noticed that. I'm almost home now, but I'll take care of it tomorrow."

    The rest of his shitty dialogue was a 20 year old PAC trying to show off how macho he thought he could be.