Saturday, July 14, 2007

One More Phil Story

In the spring of 1989, Denver D, myself, and Ghank (a friend of Phil's who lives in Colorado) were riding with Phil up to The Cabin. Phil at that time drove a 1975 or '76 light yellow Volvo 240 that ran better going over 55 mph. Denver D was furtively drinking a beer in the back seat and Ghank had just held up a clear baggie while looking for papers to roll. Just after we made the big left at Balltown, consisting of a cabin motel and no people I ever saw, we were pulled over by the highway patrol. Denver D dropped the can into his empty boot and put his foot over it - I'm not sure what Ghank did with the tobacco pouch, but it disappeared.

"Do you know how fast you were going through there?" the CHP officer asked. Classic CHP: Brown uniform, wide brimmed hat, reflective sunglasses. We were very very nervous.

"No, sir," replied Phil.

"The speed limit is 55. You were going 62."

"I didn't see a sign. I'm sorry."

"May I see your license, registration, and proof of insurance?"

Phil gave him his license and started digging through the glove box. He found the registration and POI card and gave those to the officer.

"This insurance card expired a year ago. Do you have a more recent one?"

Ghank folded up his long legs so Phil could more easily access the glove box, and Phil dug through glove box detritus to pull out POI card after POI card. He gave each one to the CHP, who each time told Phil, "This one is expired too." I couldn't see well from the back seat but I think Phil gave him six POI cards. The officer told Phil he could stop looking; it was clear that Phil carried insurance but he should throw these old cards away and only keep the current card in the car.

"Yes, sir."

"I'm going to let you off with a warning, but remember to drive more slowly through here. It's dangerous, a small town, deer, that big jog in the highway. You know."

Phil agreed and thanked him, and the man walked back to his car. Ghank, Denver D, and I were holding our breaths and all four of us sighed loudly as soon as the officer was out of earshot. Then of course we started laughing.

We crept away from the Balltown Left at a mere 54 mph and absolutely pussy footed through the next hamlet, about 15 miles away.

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