Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dead Al Davis meets Barney Fife

   We had gone to a Halloween party in October down in Antioch at a friend's house. Since Al Davis died recently I decided to dress as dead Al Davis with eye sockets blacked out, sun glasses and a pale deadly skin color and a couple of band aids on my forehead while Sheri was a dead zombie-like Raiderette. Having only 2 beers, (Coronas) and topped that off with a few taquitos, pepperoni sticks, a handful of stinky cheese cubes and some chips we left some 3 1/2 hours later. We stopped at a Starbucks for a cup of coffee and drove an hour back on the river road that we always take. The moment I turned off the river road onto I-5 the red lights in my mirror signaled me to pull over. After glancing at the speedometer quickly, which read 67 in a 70 mph zone,  I immediately pulled over. The CHP came up to the passenger window and asked for the registration and my license. About 5 seconds later he said he smelled alcohol. Sheri and I looked at each other in disbelief. I was asked to step out of the car and go through a series of tests to determine if I had been drinking. This was a first for me in some 41 years of driving. He asked me questions such as, "Where are you coming from, where are you headed, do you know where you are now, how many drinks I had had? What brand of beer I had drank?" etc. After each reply he wrote down my answers and mixed up the questions and asked me again to determine if my answers remained the same. I had to point out to him that he was asking me the same questions over again, and he said, he knew.
  Next came the series of drinking tests. I had to watch his finger move from left to right without moving my head. After that I was to close my eyes with my head tilted back and touch my nose with my finger as he called out right hand, left hand, etc. So far, so good! Just like Simon Says! Then the finale: with my feet together, head back, and eyes closed, I had to lift my right foot, toe pointed out and do the Hokey Pokey and shake it all about, (just kidding on the Hokey Pokey part) then hold my toe out while counting 1001, 1002, 1003 out loud. I made it to 1044 and I decided that was far enough. I put my foot down and he asked me how far I had counted. Weren't you listening? Hello? 1044. Do I win something? Is that a record?
   Having passed all the tests, he continues to repeat the same questions again and then asked about my health! Wow, a cop who cares about my health! Not really, he was trying to determine if I was on any prescription drugs. "Any diabetes, injuries, aches and pains?" he asked. "Of course I have aches and pains, I'm 58 years old and work for a living," I calmly replied. I could see right through his questioning and wasn't going to go there. Too bad he didn't know me. Let's see, over the years: broken clavicle, broken scapula, 3 crushed vertabraes, broken neck, broken wrist (twice), broken humerus, ruptured disks, a tree falling on me, broken toes, fingers etc. etc. Do I have any aches and pains? Take your best guess.
   Since his partner wasn't bringing out a shiny new toaster  for me for getting all the answers right, I had to assume there was more. There was. The dreaded breath analyzer. "Blow into this until I tell you to stop," he told me. I did willingly and he looked at it and began putting it away. "What was my score?" I wanted to know. Begrudgingly he said, "Zero." As I read the LED in the dark it wasn't just zero, it was 0.00! Barney Fife was sure he had me for at least a hundredth of a percent. Not so fast there, Barney. That's when I said, "You didn't believe me, did you?" He answered that he didn't. Poor Barney, I'm sure I wasted his time and he didn't get to haul me off.
Al Davis before he was dead!
Me with my prize for most creative costume
  The next day at work I was thinking about all the smart-ass comments I could have made to him that may have earned me a pair of chrome bracelets in the backseat of his car. "Sorry you didn't believe me. Rookie mistake." etc.          I half expected him to profile me during the questioning and ask me what I did for a living. I would've answered, "painter" and he might have replied, "Oh, alcoholic". To which I could've profiled him right back and said, "Cop huh? Oh, wife beater." Had it been some 41 years earlier I probably would have said that. Not tonight though. One o'clock in the morning, dressed like a zombie on the side of I-5 with my zombie wife in the car praying, I said all the right things and kept my mouth shut. We were good to go and home in 5 minutes. I was hungry again and decided that a piece of leftover microwaved pizza and a glass of wine out on the patio was just what I needed. I gotta tell you. Microwaved pizza never tasted so good especially when I think of where I could've ended up had I been drinking and driving.

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