Saturday, August 12, 2017

I had a friend once

No, seriously, a real flesh and blood friend....
Wayne and I were in the National Guard together in Minnesota. We both worked construction and liked to fish and shoot. Minnesota has 10,000 plus lakes, and we were trying to hit every one of them.
Wayne had a 1972 Galaxy 500. It had an electric trunk lock, and Wayne had a set of stereo speakers acquired from a band his brother had been in, the big ones they set next to the stage at school house sock hops and they were wired to a decent 8-track player. Fishing gear rode in the back seat.
One night as we were making our way back toward home, we passed through a small town that was deserted. Deserted except for the local yokel sitting in his patrol car smack in the middle of down town Podunk, backed into an angle parking slot, sound asleep. Well, it was a hot July night so he had his window down.
Well, Wayne slowed down and stopped about a hundred feet past the Sand Man's victim, hit the trunk latch, then slowly backed up to Barney's patrol vehicle.  thumbing the volume to max, Wayne slid the tranny into drive, then pushed the cassette home. The one in the player was Deep Purple. Made in Japan. The lead track? Smoke on the water.
As the music began to pump, Wayne stepped hard on the gas, then, after about eight beats, let go the brake and we were rocketing for the edge of town. That poor cop looked like he'd been shot at and missed. It took him a moment to get his wits together, but by then we were a half mile out of town and accelerating like a Tomcat off the Enterprise. About a mile out of town the road crested, and just past that was a gravel road cutting through corn fields full of head high stalks. We took that road sideways, killed the lights,  then slid onto a field approach and into that corn.
Jumping out, we were back by the fence as officer (un)friendly roared down the highway in pursuit of his windshield. Lucky for us the breeze carried the dust from our maneuvers away from the highway, so he had no clue.
Minnesota has lots of paved back roads. We elected to stay off the state roads all the way home. We had more than a few adventures with the law. Mostly crap like that, neither of us wanted to be criminals, just have a little fun.
Minnesota, being very liberal, was at the forefront of the environazi movement. The state and most local governments had replaced their pre-emission standards vehicles with eco friendly crap, so out running a cop was easy, and since every one seemed to be doing it, the chances of getting caught were slim. All you needed to do was not stay on the same road for long after you lost sight of the cop, then switch back several times, and if you saw a vehicle on an intersecting road, use their dust cloud to mask what you did. If you know how to drive on gravel, it isn't a problem. I still live in the back country, and it pains me to no end to deal with drivers who won't go over 20 when they are off the asphalt.

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