Friday, April 28, 2006

Getting Pulled Over SUCKS!

The past few days have been wonderfully unproductive. I’ve only left the couch to eat and use the bathroom. The rest of the time I've been sedentary, surfing the internet and sleeping. It’s nice to relax after driving like a wild banshee for the past week. I left Vegas on Thursday and got to Alabama on Wednesday, driving for 35 hours and over 2200 miles. Madness.

The drive from Houston to Alabama was pretty eventful. Eventful drives are never good. Getting out of Texas was fine but in the middle of Louisiana it started raining harder than I’ve ever experienced. I really thought that the paint was going to be stripped off of my car. I was driving 30 on the freeway, following the taillights of a trunk in front of me and I felt like I should probably drive even slower. After about an hour and a half we got out of the rain and I was happy to be alive. I drove for about 15 more minutes then pulled over to eat dinner at Applebees. I had a grilled chicken salad but I’m not going to post a picture because meat is sexy and sex sells. Pictures of salad will just turn people away from the blog. Anyway, after dinner I went to my car and discovered that the lightning storm had caught up to me and I had to drive in the driving rain, pun intended, for about 15 more minutes. The drive through Louisiana was actually pretty cool when it wasn’t pouring. They built the freeway over the swamp and it looked exactly like a scene from The Waterboy. Mississippi was pretty boring and I went across the state without incident.

In Alabama, I drove north for about 80 miles then got onto side roads for about 100 miles. Apparently that’s the most effective way because there isn’t a direct highway to Fort Rucker. Anyway, the speed limit fluctuated from 55 to 45 and occasionally dipped to 25 in the middle of towns. I was cruising along at 45 mph, about 30 miles from Cliff’s house, when I suddenly see a state trooper turn on his lights and pull behind me. Greeeeeeeeat. There’s no feeling in the world worse than seeing those damn lights. Anyway, he comes and asks me for my license and insurance, inspects them then says he pulled me over because I was going 44 in a 25. I tell him that I thought it was 45 all the way through and I must have missed the sign. He asks where I was coming from and I tell him Houston but I’m from Seattle, on a 2-month road trip. He sympathizes with me since I’m traveling, agrees to let me off with a written warning and goes back to his car to write the ticket. I’m very relieved and want to get the hell out of there but 10 minutes elapse and he still hasn’t come back with the warning. Finally, he gets out of his car, walks up to my window and says, “Mr. Schaefer, can you get out of the car.” Uhhhhhhhh, OK? I get out and he says, “Do you have any narcotics on you? Any large sums of money?” I tell him that I have about $1K but he says that’s insignificant. He asks if I have any drug paraphernalia at all or untaxed liquor and I again tell him that I’m clean. He then explains that when I said I was coming from Houston it raised warning flags since a lot of drugs come through Houston and make their way up to the East Coast via side roads. Drug dealers use side roads because the highways are patrolled too heavily. He tells me a story about a random stop he made of a guy just like me and he found $300K cash in the trunk of the guy’s car. They confiscated the money and the guy never came to reclaim it. Finally, after about 20 minutes, the police station radios him, telling him that I am the owner of the car and that I don’t have any border crossings into Mexico. They tell him that the reason it took so long is because I had been out of the country so many times last year and they were tying to figure out what was up. Yep, I went to Japan for a month to pick up a bunch of Coke to distribute in Southern Alabama. I get out of there unscathed and make it a point to pay really close attention to the speed limit signs for the rest of the drive. I meet Cliff around 1:30 AM and he brings me on base. I’ve never been so happy to be on a military installation in my life.

Like I said, the past two days have been a lot of sitting around and resting my driving leg. Tomorrow I’m headed up to Atlanta and I’m supposed to head to Tampa Bay on Saturday and Miami on Sunday before driving back to Fort Rucker on Sunday night, then getting up to Baltimore by Sunday night. I’m seriously considering skipping Tampa Bay and Miami. (1) They’re the armpit of the major leagues. (2) I’ll get to spend a whole weekend of quality time in Atlanta with my little brother. (3) I’ll save 1600+ miles and 25+ hours of driving. Are Tampa and Miami really worth that much driving? 1600 miles and 25 hours over the weekend. Really, the only thing stopping me is a guilty conscience. My friend Mike is having the formal celebration of his wedding tomorrow and I am missing it because this was going to be such a hectic weekend. And it’s not just my friend, it’s one of my best friends who will probably be in my wedding and who invited me to be in his wedding. I’d feel like a real jerk if I miss the formal celebration and sit in Atlanta all weekend. If I had known that I was going to be so unmotivated by the Marlins and Devil Rays, I would have just planned to fly back this weekend. I’m just such a spontaneous guy and I change my mind at the last minute all the time. I know Mike will understand but I still feel like a piece of crap. He’s been thinking about joining me for the Mets game (he’s from NY and loves the Mets) so maybe I can buy him a plane ticket out as a way of apologizing. Yep, I buy love from my friends. Dookie got really pissed when I first said that I might skip Florida because 28/30 isn’t as cool as 30/30 but man, it’s the ARMPIT of the major leagues! Both stadiums suck and both will probably be replaced soon or the teams will leave. It’s not like I’m skipping Fenway and Yankee Stadium because I don’t want to drive. Bleh. I have until Saturday morning to decide. Please call me or post a comment if you think I’m a moron for considering skipping those.

Tomorrow I get to make fun of Native Americans. Woo-hoo! If anyone wants a foam tomahawk, let me know.


AlCantHang said...

Think of the other two stadiums like the juice on a poker tournament. 28+2. And don't we all hate to pay the rake/juice? :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm I think that armpits are the best. I mean, don't you want to look back and say you went to the "Old Earls" of the majors?

And I really want a foam Tomahawk. Seriously, please.


Anonymous said...

I don't know Dookie, but I agree with him. If you're gonna do this, you should do it right. If that means punishing yourself to the point where you aren't even having fun anymore, then so be it. At least you took your licks like a man.


Anonymous said...

You cant skip the Florida part. Its simple went on the roadtrip to see ALL the stadiums, I think it is a no brainer to go check them out no matter how un-deoderized those Parks are.


Pauly said...

I thought you were gonna get pinched for sure...!!

Anonymous said...

Tampa is worth a visit, if you like San Diego you'll like Tampa; just spend as little time as possible in the ballpark. Makes the Kingdome look cheerful.

Watch those backroads in Georgia, especially 101. "Lu-u-u-dowici, out on 101" was a song about a notorious speed trap. They don't cotton to outta state plates.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the chicken salad! but please don't get too clean with the diet! Enjoy the regional cuisine as much as possible!

I would honestly go to florda. make sure you get some rest in between tho. and go to your freinds wedding ceremoney, you will look back and regret it if you dont.

also are you playing any interent poker at all during this trip?

Anonymous said...

A year and a half huh? How time flies. It seemed like such a long walk to the Waffle Hoooose. Why don't you take Cliff with you to Florida, he does have the Brian Scahefer Gene you know.