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10 February 2006 @ 04:18 am

"Uncle Jim, tell us another story about getting arrested!"

Another one? I don't know, kids. It's getting kind of late. Shouldn't you be in bed?

"You know we can't sleep when you're in the house, Uncle Jim. Just one more?"

Alright, alright. Let's see… Hmmmm... How about the time I was out of work, out of money, got drunk and slammed into a police car?


OK! OK! But this is going to have to be the last one for tonight.

Let's see. The year was 1995. It was a seasonably cool October evening, and I was at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia. On stage was the 'Piano Queen of the Bayou' herself: Marcia Ball. She was pulling out all the stops: 'New Orleans', 'Hot Tamale Baby', 'Soul on Fire', 'Uh-Uh Baby'. Man, if you weren't jumpin' that night, you'd have had to been dead!

The place was a flood with pretty young girls wearing spaghetti strap dresses and high heel shoes. They were dancing up a storm like it was the end of times! Marcia played the occasional tear-jerker like 'I'd Rather Go Blind' (which of course is the official call to arms to see your 'reflection in the glass that you hold to your lips') and 'Another Man's Woman' (a song that was in heavy rotation at my home at the time).

When the show was over, Marcia sat down to sign autographs and say hello to her fans. Realizing the lateness of the hour, I decided I should head on home. I'd talk to Marcia another night.

In 1995 I was living just southeast of Philly in a forgotten little town known primarily for it's graveyards and gun shops called Blackwood, New Jersey. When you exit Center City Philadelphia over the Walt Whitman bridge, get on Route 42 South and you'll pass right through Blackwood. Route 42 is actually the Atlantic City Expressway but you have to drive on it for awhile before it's officially called the AC Expressway (it's called paying your dues).

I had passed through one of the many construction zones and was back cruising into the black of night without any 'Slow Down' or 'My Daddy Works Here' signs in view (by the way, I always speed up when I see one of those 'My Daddy Works Here' signs. It's like the 'Baby on Board' signs. What's your point? Should I have a 'Single Guy Looking for Tail' sign in my window?).

It's one of life's little pleasures to have an open 3-lane road on a dark, clear night, so I was driving at a "generous" speed and having a wonderful time. I was less than a mile from my home when in my rearview mirror I saw what appeard to be flashing red lights coming up close from behind. By this time, I was at my exit so I decided to pull off. Unfortunately, the flashing red lights were also taking that very same exit! That's weird, huh?

I pulled over into the entrance way of my apartment complex and (surprise, surprise) so did the flashing red lights – parking right behind me!

The next thing I know, there was a huge floodlight spotlighting my car. The light was blindingly bright! It was coming in every window as well as reflecting off every mirror. In my confusion, I unfortunately didn't put my car into PARK, but into REVERSE. By this time, the 2 officers had exited their car and were walking towards my car. Little did I realize, my car was still moving – backwards!!

The next sound I heard was a loud BANG! And a cop yelling, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING??!!" (If I had a nickle for every time I've been asked that question…) .

I had "inadvertently" plowed back into the cops front fender. (Uh-Uh, Baby).

I rolled down my window and said, "Sorry about that"



As I got out, the cop started looking through my car window with his flashlight.

"Is that an open container?!"

"Yes .. Yes, I think it might be", I explained in my most polite 'how-are you-this-evening-officer' voice.

Next thing I know, my hands are cuffed behind my back and I'm thrown into the backseat of the police car.

"What the HELL were you THINKING??!!"

"Oh, you mean about slamming into your car? It's a funny thing …"



Current Music: Marcia Ball - Hot Tamale Baby