I heard this thing on the radio the other day about how people drink and drive too frequently, and how a full stomach (and moderation) are the keys to successfully staying under the limit. This occurred to me tonight, sitting barside with my sister sipping a particularly strong vodka cocktail. I was not just hungry, suddenly, but STARVING, and it was nigh on 1am. Predictably, the kitchen had closed, and our route back to her apartment was completely devoid of pizza shops. “I’ll just make pasta at home,” I told her, and wished her pleasant dreams.
Now, after such a night of merriment, the last thing one wants to encounter is a sobriety checkpoint. Especially when one has an inspection sticker that expired in July. It was on Rte 16, near the gas fields, and I swung an overly enthusiastic right turn into the industrial complex just in time to see a police officer parked on the curb.
He flashed his lights. I rolled down my window.
“Live around here?” he asked, with a knowing grin.
“No,” I confessed, heart pounding in my throat. “It’s just – my inspection sticker is expired.” I smiled what I hoped was a charming smile and tried to act casual.
“Ah, a guilty one!” exclaimed the officer. “I don’t think they’re looking for that. Anyway, you can’t get out this way – it’s all dead end streets. If they give you any trouble, just tell em your brother in law is stationed down the alley here, eh?”
I thanked the kind sir and proceeded through the gauntlet – a flashlight in your face and an uncomfortable exchange of pleasantries wherein you know the other party is trying to smell your breath. A stranger’s face pushed up inside your personal space. I made it through (no surprise, really), and smoked a victory cigarette to celebrate. Then, when I got home, I cracked a High Life and wrote this post. Cheers, weekend – you’ve started out in splendid fashion.