Carry on Tuesday 8/18/09
"When a journey begins badly it rarely ends well."
The year was 1976. The month was February. The location was Jacksonville, NC. The occasion was a going away party for me, I was going home to Minnesota while my boyfriend went on an overseas tour with the Marine Corps.
The guys decided that my leaving was reason for a party. Not that any reason was ever needed for a party. There were about 20 people at the party. Nineteen Marines and myself.
I lived with four of these Marines so after the party, when the others had left, we decided to drive into the town proper to get some carry out food. We should have known better, but we were hungry and had the munchies.
As we were driving down the main highway to get to the string of fast food places the driver of our car missed a red light. He sailed right through. We all yelled, "Wood!" He just said, "OOPS!" Which cracked us all up. We were laughing so hard that he started to swerve into the other lane, or at least that was the excuse he gave for swerving.
We neared the next stop light, saw it turn red, and he decided he better stop. Only thing is, it was the middle of the block. We cracked up again. "Wood!" "OOPS!"
We turn into the Hardee's I think it was. Immediately we were surrounded by Jacksonville's finest. Talk about a sobering moment. Their guns were drawn. They pulled us out of the car. They frisked the guys, but not me. They put me back into the car while they decided what to do with all of us.
One of the officers stuck his head into the car and asked me if I had been drinking that night. I told him only a couple. (Isn't that always the response when asked by law enforcement if you have been drinking? "Yes sir, but only a couple.")
The officers decided that they would take us all to the town jail. That I should drive the car over since I was the most sober.
I followed the police and my dear friends with my heart in my throat to the station. The guys were booked but because there wasn't a female officer on duty they could not process me. I was handcuffed to a bench in the lobby. Hours and hours later the guys came out.
We were being released. But only because they could not find a female officer to come in and take care of me.
The journey began badly with the idea of driving so far after imbibing as much as we had, missing a red light, swerving into a different lane, and stopping in the middle of the block.
The journey did not end well because I missed my flight home. The tickets were non-refundable. We didn't have much money. I had to take the Greyhound Bus from Jacksonville NC to Minneapolis MN. I had $2.00 in my pocket when I left Jacksonville. Four days later I arrived in Minneapolis.
The journey did not end well. It was a horrible bus ride. Not one I would recommend.