Many, many years ago, about 6 months after my hubby and I were married I was involved in a car accident. I was crossing a 6 lane road in New Orleans (in my nifty Mazda RX7) on a side street that sort of ran diagonal across the highway. A woman ran the red light and hit me in the front passenger corner of my car. I was the third car in line at the light. Slow reaction to the red light on her part, wouldn’t you say?
I was on multiple medications (muscle relaxers, pain killers, valium, you name it) while I recuperated. I was eventually diagnosed with a ruptured disc (my second, I had already had surgery for the one that had ruptured below this one two years prior). Due to all the medications I was on, I was unable to work or drive. Heck, I could barely walk or form a coherent sentence or thought process.
During this time we had to make a trip to Virginia for a family reunion or something. I can’t remember exactly what. It might have been my dad’s 50th birthday – maybe? Anyway, since I couldn’t drive and I was supposed to lay prone for the whole trip (it was about a 21 hour drive at the time) Hubby enlisted the help of our friend Smooey to help us drive and to use his vehicle since he had a large van with a bed in the back.
The trip up was fine and when we left coming back to New Orleans it was late evening. We had decided to leave later so that we wouldn’t be dealing with as much traffic on the road that late. I crawled in the back, took my medication and fell into my drug induced sleep/stupor.
Some hours later, I awoke to Hubby telling me to get up and come sit in his seat. I had no idea where we were or what time it was. I must have looked a hot mess. Disheveled clothes, hair and makeup since I had been asleep for quite a while. Hubby is loudly whispering “Honey, come up here, QUICK!”
Me (yawning and confused): Why? What’s going on?
Hubby: Never mind. I don’t have time to explain, just get up here!
I look at the passenger seat and Smooey isn’t there so I am assuming that he has gotten out of the van to go to the bathroom or something and Hubby is playing a joke on him. We had only been married for about 5 or 6 months and I was still in that newly married honeymooning stage where I wanted to please hubby and not challenge him or ask questions (yeah, that lasted a LONG time… snort, snort, chuckle, chuckle).
Hubby moved to the passenger seat and I DRAGGED my tired drugged body up to the driver’s seat. I’m sitting sideways in the seat smiling in my drug induced stupor and hubby tells me to turn forward and put my hands on the wheel like I’m driving. Mind you there are curtains on the back windows of the van so you can’t see outside except to the front and out of the passenger and driver windows. I am thinking Smooey is coming back and we’re gonna get him good! Why I would think this would be tricking him I don’t know. Blame the drugs.
There is a knock at my window and I’m thinking that Smooey is locked out and can’t get in so I’m gonna turn around and do the whole “nanny nanny boo boo” thing since he can’t get in. But as I look out the window, staring back at me, flashlight shining in my eyes is a state trooper. Mind you, I have NO CLUE where we are, not even what STATE we are in. OK…. Honey….I will get you for this one!!! Just you wait!
State trooper: Ma’am, can I see your driver’s license and registration, please?
Me: Sure, my purse is behind me. Just a second while I get my husband to go back and get it for me. (much too sweetly to hubby) Hubby, do you mind?
I get my license and registration and hand it to the trooper. He looks at them and then asks:
Trooper: Ma’am, do you have any idea why I stopped you?
Me (truthfully): No, sir. I have absolutely NO idea why you stopped me. (wanting to add, Hell… I’ve been asleep and don’t even know WHERE we are)
Trooper: When you topped the hill back there you were going 85 miles an hour. Why are you in such a hurry?
Me: I am SO sorry. I am just SO sleepy that I can hardly hold my eyes open. I’m just looking for somewhere in your fine state that we can stop and stay the night. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. I apologize.
Trooper: Well, I’m gonna let you off with a warning this time. You just slow it down okay? If you’re that tired maybe you should pull off at the next exit or let your husband drive?
Me: I will. I promise. We will pull over at the very next exit. (Considering that I was still so high on my meds, I could truly barely keep my eyes open, I wasn’t lying).
The trooper walked back to his car and waited for us to pull off to pull out behind us. I seriously had a hard time keeping it in the road and dutifully pulled off at the next exit. I couldn’t yell at hubby while I was driving because I truly had to concentrate. And his friend Smooey was in there. He had been in the seat behind me when we stopped but since the lights were off I had no clue where he was. By the way, we were in the great state of Tennessee.
When I asked Hubby why he had set me up like that he told me that he had forgotten to get his license renewed and knew he’d be in BIG trouble for his license being expired and besides, he added, he figured “a pretty face” would get away with more than he would. So, how could I be mad when he’d just called me pretty?