Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And the rocket's red glare/ the bombs bursting in air/ gave proof, through the night/ that our {RED} flag was still there.

We had a weird 4th of July.

Scratch that.  Actually we had a fairly typical-for-the-midwest 4th of July; we packed the pups in the car, headed up north to the in-laws' lake house, and lazed around on a pontoon boat.
Also there were a LOT of dogs at the lake house.
Pictured here: The Mister, teasing Remmy, Mac, Bear, Cooper and Dixie with breakfast sausage. 
And this is still not ALL of them.

The night of the 4th, we discovered poor Miss Addie-Pants is not a fan of firework any more than Mac is, and so instead of watching our lake-neighbors attempt to blow off all their fingers by lighting off crappy roman candles, we had a movie marathon with the dogs all snuggled up next to us.  Went to bed somewhere around midnight.  Yeah, we party hard.

honestly, I don't really feel like we missed anything.

But around 1:30AM on the 5th of July.  Well, that's when it got weird.

The in-laws' lake house is located at the end of a street.  Meaning if you keep driving down that street past our house, you end up in the lake.  Generally speaking, if a car pulls up that road, it's probably someone we know coming to visit.  We weren't expecting anyone at 1:30AM, so when we could see the headlights and heard a car engine working really hard, we knew something was up.

The Mister and I trotted downstairs and went outside to investigate.  Turned out a nice, elderly man had come down our road, saw he had taken a wrong turn somewhere, and when he tried to u-turn, had ended up putting his van half-way in the ditch that runs along either side of the road.  It's a narrow road, and in the dark, The Mister and I could both see how easy it would be to make such a mistake.

Unfortunately, this ditch is a drainage ditch, so it's too swampy at the bottom to be able to stand in there and push a car or a van back out.  This gentleman needed a tow truck.  For the sake of the story, let's call him Fred.

We offered to call one for him, as Fred and his walking-cane wandered around the van in disbelief, apologizing for ruining the grass in the ditch (we were not upset about the grass).  He asked instead of a truck, if we could call his friends - who he had been trying to drive out and visit when he ended up stuck in our front yard.  The Mister obliged, and ended up talking to the man's friends on the phone, trying to give directions on how best to take the side country roads out to where we were located.  The friend asked The Mister "has he been drinking?"

Hey there, red flag, how's it going.

And thus started the downward spiral of bad news/ red flags for this gentleman who wound up in our ditch.  Or I guess maybe it started when he got stuck in the ditch.  But up until that point, the Mister and I just thought this was going to be a quick conversation with a tow truck and then we could go back to bed.

Two minutes after we called Fred's friends (who said they were on their way), two squad cars showed up.  We still don't know who called the police.  They asked if Fred had been drinking.  Fred replied that he'd had just one beer.

dramatic re-enactment.

I know working as a college administrator does not qualify me as a cop, but I do know from that experience, when someone tells you they've only had just one beer, they've actually had at least eight, and are just hoping you believe the one beer story when you smell it on their breath instead of asking them to walk a straight line.

So The Mister and I walked back to the front of the house in order to give the cops some space and let them do their thing.  Fred was super cooperative as they lead him away from his van to the squad car, and gave him a breathalyzer (he blew a .17).  They loaded him in the car, explained that his van was getting towed, and he was being taken to the nearest hospital for a blood test to confirm the breathalyzer results.  Fred remained cooperative and apologetic about the whole thing.

I would estimate Fred somewhere between 180 and 220 pounds.  
I know that's a big window, but remember it was dark.  
In any case, Fred was DRUNK.

Right before the first squad car left with Fred, his friends pulled up.  Disappointed is not a strong enough word for how Fred's friends looked.  They offered to stay with his van and use the money he gave them to pay for the tow (if they couldn't cover the cost of the tow, the van was getting impounded).  They came over and apologized to us for ruining the grass on the side of the ditch (we still didn't really care about the grass).  They also explained that this was, unfortunately, not Fred's first experience with DUI charges.

The tow truck arrived a few moments after Fred was whisked away to the hospital, and that's when Fred's downward spiral got down-right STEEP.  (The Mister has some photos on his phone.  When he gets home tonight I'll ask him to send them to me, so I can share here.)

I don't know how to format this in story-form without it getting very long-winded, so here's what happened:

  • Fred had taken his van's keys with him to the hospital, so the tow truck driver had to try and pull the van out of the ditch while the van was in park.  With the van unable to turn it's wheels, he tore up the grass/ rocks in the ditch something awful (we started to care a little bit about the grass then), but more importantly, he DESTROYED the bottom of that van.  It's driving approximately nowhere for a looong time.
  • The police ended up having to go and fetch the keys from Fred at the hospital, because without them the van's wheels were angled in such a way that the winch on the back of the truck was pulling the tow truck into the ditch with the van instead of pulling the van out.  All of this extra time and effort resulted in the tow truck cost coming out to exactly six dollars more than Fred had given his friends to pay out.  So the van was getting impounded.

Which ended up not mattering, because when the keys showed up, they also came with some information...

  • Fred had a warrant out for his arrest in the next county over.  He skipped a court appearance in regards to his involvement in a whole bunch of larceny.  
  • Fred's van was not... Fred's van.
  • The plates on the van that was not Fred's, didn't match up to any vehicle.  Anywhere.
  • And the icing on the cake that's going to land Fred in prison for a VERY long time - Fred had a bottle of yellow nail polish in his van, which he had used to paint over the "year" sticker on the license plate to make it look like it was not expired.  Fun fact: that's a felony
That sticker up in the right hand corner is what we're talking about here.

So.  That's the story of Fred, 
aka why The Mister and I didn't get any sleep the night of the 4th of July, 
aka why the grass is all torn up in front of the in-laws' lake house 
aka remember kids don't drink and drive.

Do you have a weird story about a run in with the law/ 
a non-law-abiding citizen?  
Share in the comments!


Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

Holy crap. I mean that is, I don't even. I mean at that point, when you get your not-van stuck in the ditch is just to start running. I mean just go. Hide in the woods. Run free. Whatever. But don't just hang around waiting for the cops to show up.

Kp said...

Well, I didn't touch too much on it, but he had a cane, so I don't know how much running Fred was about to do. Maybe it was a cry for help. Who knows.

Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

Ack! I hope you don't end up getting another visit from Fred when he gets out of the pokey!

Kp said...

I hope not either. but I believe that would require Fred to both remember how to get to the lake house (which I still have trouble with sometimes) and also for Fred (who is elderly) to get out of prison before he shuffles off this mortal coil... his friends were not of the impression that this was a likely scenario.