…I usually find this columnist at the other paper about as adept at story-telling as a DOS-era computer program, but every so often one falls into his lap. This is one of those yarns where all you have to do is just lay the fact out like cards in a solitaire game.
It reminded me of an incident a few years ago, where I went down to the garage to take a bike ride, hit the opener button and watched the door rise like a curtain on…a car, and not one of ours. Our garage opens directly onto the street behind us, and someone had obviously mistaken it for a parking place. But wait — someone was in the car. I tiptoed up on him, wondering if I’d find a guy shot through the chest or otherwise in dire need of help.
It was a young man, head tipped onto his right shoulder, sleeping like a baby. One hand was deep in his pants, no doubt clasping his weenie for some childlike comfort, the other wrapped around a plastic cup held between his thighs. I tapped on the window gently. No response. I tapped harder, and he stirred. His head moved to his left shoulder, but he didn’t wake up. I knocked as hard as I could, but no further response.
I called 911 and set off on my bike ride. By the time I returned home, his car was being attached to a tow truck and he was sitting in the back of the squad car, looking very, very bummed out. The cop on the scene said he was so drunk the inside of the car smelled like a distillery. I thought it was remarkable he managed to park so neatly, and not run into our garage door in the process. Apparently that didn’t cut any ice with the law.
Rory said on January 7, 2005 at 11:01 am
Yeah, i DO think about drinking, for the same reason you do: my kids. He’s 14, she’s 16. She’s already been busted by us for having a beer or three at (unsupervised) parties. She knows how the wife and I feel about it. Still, we’ve let her know that we will come pick her up at any time for any reason, with no recriminations, if she’s caught up in a bad situation (e.g., some idiot guy she’s with starts drinking despite promises not to)
I, too, enjoy a Cabernet or two in the evenings, and have also gone on the wagon for the month of January (at least). Side benefit: My night-time snoring has stopped. (Well, at least the well-placed kicks and loud sighs from the suddenly-wakened wife have ceased, so I assume the lack of snoring is the reason.)
Still, I’m grown-up, and take pleasure in my social imbibing. But being a volunteer firefighter, and seeing firsthand what drinking-and-driving can do, I simply don’t drink if I know I’ll have to drive later.
This part about being a grownup certainly sucks sometimes. But at least there haven’t been hangovers fro DECADES.
Caleb said on January 7, 2005 at 9:01 pm
A few years ago, a minivan pulled into our driveway in the wee hours of the morning. The driver shut off the lights and the engine, but no one got out. We live out in the boonies, so my parents freaked out and called the sheriff.
An officer arrived, walked up to the van and shined his flashlight in the window. Three men sprawled inside, in various states of utterly hammered and/or passed out.
The officer reaches in the open window, jerks the keys from the ignition, shakes the boozy driver awake and asks to see his driver’s license. On the first try, the guy hands him a roll of paper towels. On the second, a bottle of perfume. Finally, on the third try, the wallet and license are forthcoming. How did this guy even find his van, let alone drive it?
A few phone calls and half an hour later, the driver’s angry and flustered wife drove out to pick him up. They lived a few miles away on a different road. After a night of drinking with his buddies, apparently turning down the right road was too much for him.
Alas, I slept soundly through the whole show.
ashley said on January 8, 2005 at 2:57 am
Parking under the influence.