Ever challenged a Cop?!
Well...when you think about it, it may sound like a movie plot but the truth is that sometimes you get into situations where Sleep Induced Hallucination (my own term for a situation wherein just getting up from sleep gives you great POWER, albeit momentarily...) takes control and you blurt out what you should not have.
So read on for an incident, narrating which gives me great pleasure to notice the fact that I'm still alive.
Spring break holidays. Students are making preperations to decide where to make the trip of their dreams. And then there are others...
For the sake of brevity, we will restrict all the conversation to be between 3 primary characters of the story: DealO, SilentBob and me.
DealO -- he was the gentle giant. If you don't cross his path, he will try his best not to crush you.
SilentBoB -- as his name implies, he speaks *only* when needed but when he does, you better be prepared to be flabbergasted.
Me -- the usual suspect as always.
DealO: "Hey bloomiboy, let's plan a trip this weekend man...I want a break from Madison."
These are those times when I feel that my enthusiasm for outdoor fun should be somewhat influenced by the atmospheric conditions instead of an every-affirmatie answer. I call this HBS -- the Hyper Bloomiboy Syndrome.
It was snowing cats and dogs (for lack of a better term) and people were struggling just to get back home and here we were planning a trip to hell...and back.
DealO: "Let's go to Mount Rushmore..."
HBS strikes again.
A look at SilentBob and his customary nod comes into play; apparently he hasn't looked out of the house for hours now.
We call the car rental agency, and to our surprise, we get a fleet of cars to choose from. Hmmm, shouldn't that have rung a bell as to how good a climate it is for driving? that too over the weekend? that too over the LONG weekend?! Good sense never prevails when we need it.
So we snare 3 other folks and decide to rent 2 cars for the trip. One of the car consisting of the DealO, SiletBob and me -- to be driven by me with DealO in the front passenger seat and SilentBob in the back seat. We decided to leave on Friday evening, drive 12 hours, stay for a day and drive back 12 hours. Sigh...how I miss those good old days of vacationing for a week and relaxing wherever we go.
So off we went, the car literally ploughing through the already 5-6 inches of snow with the weather showing no signs of abatement. It was only a matter of time before we would need something like a car built for the MI5 agent, James Bond, with an option to melt snow in it's path.
The other car was right behing us when we hit the Interstate highway. The only other vehicles on the highway were the trailers with their enormous 18 wheels crushing the snow in their path. I was driving behind one of those mammoths since it was best to let it define a path which we could follow. This went on for an hour after which I gathered enough confidence to overtake the truck and speed a little bit. At that rate, it would have taken us double the time to just reach Rushmore!
The companion car behind us followed suit, but they were lagging behind. After about another hour or so they were no longer in sight. We were not too concerned but wanted to make sure that they were OK. DealO decides to give them a call.
DealO: "Hey guys, where are you?!"
Car2: "We are right behind your car..."
DealO: "Hmmm, the only things behind us are the tracks of the car as far as we can see..."
Car2: "No, no, we are very close, no worries..."
We planned to keep driving as we were, with DealO following up on their progress every 15 minutes. After 3-4 such calls...
DealO: "Hey guys, we really can't see you..."
Car2: "Uhhh...actually our car has fallen into a ditch and we are waiting for some help..."
Hearing DealO scream was enough to jolt the car and it's passengers.
Car2: "Actually, there's not much to worry about...we will be on track in about 30 minutes, let's keep going"
Somehow, it did not sound convincing but we were too motivated to stop now. The snow had not stopped. The visibility had reduced to around 10 meters in front of us and our speed had dropped to 25 miles/hour. Car2 was not in sight. Things were looking ominous for the trip. We decide to take an exit road and stop there until car2 shows up.
So here we are: stopped directly in the middle of an exit with no sign of humanity except the sign boards. The wind is bellowing outside and we decide to rest for some time. The funny part of resting when you are driving is that you never know when you transition over from the real world to the surreal one. All of us were soon dozing off.
The next thing I remember is being woke up by SilentBob...I squinch my eyes, look in the rear-view mirror and see a Cop car parked behind us with t;s flashing lights. I wake up DealO, which was more like waking up a bear from hibernation. But this was no time to worry about sleeping preferences; we needed to be ready for some answers.
I see the cop get out his car, his hand on his gun holster, slowly walking towards our car. He comes towards my window and knocks on it. I slide down the glass.
Officer: "What are you guys doing here?"
Me: "Sir, we are waiting for our other car to show up. They should be here any minute."
Officer (with an unchanged expression): "Do you know you are parked in an exit?"
Me: "Yes". Oh, oh, not a good answer.
Officer(not very pleased now): "Well, you should not park here. Carry on to the exit and park at some gas station ahead."
Me: "Ok officer, sorry for the trouble..."
The officer then starts walking towards his car.
I feel a slight quake then...Oh phew, it's DealO who has completely woken up from his slumber...or sort of.
Me: "DealO, a cop just told us to move from here, so I'm going to drive ahead and park elsewhere..."
DealO: "Cop?...Let me talk to him...we can stay right here, why should we move?!"
I'm thinking now: WHAT did he just say?! And even before SilentBob or I could comment on his question...
DealO: "Hey, YOU!!"
you, yoU, yOU, YOU?! He called the Cop "YOU"?! Another drastic effect of Sleep Induced Hallucination. At that time I wished I was hallucinating. I wished that this whle trip was a figment of my imagination and that I was actually seated in a toilet. I REALLY felt my stomach churn now...but the damage was done.
The Cop had now turned back towards us.
His relaxed walk has changed into a more alert one and his hand was again on his gun. I could see all this in my rear-view mirror. I'm now gulping saliva as if I'm drinking Pepsi.
By this time, DealO has realized the enormity of his statement and I can almost hear him whisper "Holy s***!"
The cop knocks on DealO's window which DealO lowers slowly.
DealO: "Errr...Is there...ummm...a gas...uhhh...a gas station close by?"
Cop(with a stoic and unemotionless face): "I don't know!"
DealO: "Do we have to...errr...move from here?"
Cop: "Yes! I already told your friend. Now MOVE!"
At that time, I don't think I needed to look at DealO to get an affirmative nod from him. I started the car immediately and waited for the cop to return back to his car before I start driving. We were in sort of a panic mode...well, all except SilentBob. He's as usual enjoying the proceedings.
Now that we had parked for almost 30 minutes, there was quite a bit of snow that had accumulated on the car windshield. When in panic, common sense does not apply. I start driving...with no idea where I was going; thanks to the accumulated snow. It was SilentBob who spoke his first words of the trip and something I was always very thankful for.
SilentBob: "Blomiboy, look where you are going!!"
It was then I switched on the wipers to remove some of the snow and then negotiate the exit curve correctly. Thankfully I was at a very slow speed due to the snow, otherwise we would have ended in a ditch ourselves just like car2.
We reached a gas station which was right at the end of the exit where we had stalled (just our luck!). Car2 was still in the ditch. Finally, good sense prevailed between the three of us and we decided to call this trip off. In hind sight, this was the correct decision since we had travelled only about 100 miles in 3 hours!
But...history did not repeat itself the next year. We planned the Rushmore trip, the same time of the year, back to Mount Rushore and had a successful and enjoyable trip with more folks than before!
Edit: Silent Bob pointed out that car actually told us at one point of time that they we ahead of us! When in fact, they were rotting in a ditch! Tch, tch...