[dropcap]D[/dropcap]o not speed at midnight, on a dark country highway in Macon County. That’s what I did, and it was an infamous mistake.
The weather was nice, and I was busy testing my truck’s aeronautical capabilities. We traveled so fast my front tires lifted from the road, like a 747 disembarking from the runway.
Then I saw blue lights.
The officer was three-foot high and bow-legged. He sauntered toward our vehicle. And even though he was fifteen years my junior, he said, “Evening, son.”
“Good evening, officer.”
“You know how fast you were going back there, kiddo?”
Before I could open my mouth to discuss my iniquities with Junior, my wife interrupted in a sugary tone, “Could we hurry this up, officer?” She batted her eyelashes. “Please?”
He smiled politely.
The officer inspected my license. Then, he went on to explain my first step toward salvation was to confess that I was indeed a speeder, along with my other sins, and ask Jesus into my heart. I bowed my head and apologized for stealing a Seventeen magazine in the sixth grade — years before Junior was ever born.
Jamie fluffed her hair. “Please, officer. I think my cousin, here, has learned his lesson.”
“Cousin?” the officer asked. “This man is your cousin?”
“I’m your cousin?” I said.
My wife leaned forward and tugged on her blouse. “That’s right, he’s my cousin …” She tapped my forehead. “And he’s one biscuit short of a blue plate special.”
She made her lips get pouty. “Can’t you let us go, just this once? I know my cousin would be awfully grateful.” She touched her chest. “God knows, I would be.”
The officer smiled at her, then winked. He agreed to let me off with a warning and a brief lecture. Then he asked my cousin for her phone number.
So she gave him her mother’s.