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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Not Exactly Bonnie & Clyde

Not long after Mike and I were married the first time, we decided to take a long weekend trip to Savannah, TN on the Tennessee River. It’s in the lovely middle Tennessee area of rolling, green hills and only a short hop to Pickwick lake and dam as well as Shiloh National Military Park. Nice prospects for a quiet weekend.

We planned to get away at a decent time and arrive before dark. We were going to take our chances on finding a place to stay, but didn’t anticipate any problem. Since life frequently fails to proceed as planned, we didn’t get out of Memphis on schedule, and it was late when we drove into the little town of Savannah. Streets were deserted and it looked like the whole town was shut down.

Seems like we had seen a billboard out on the highway about an old-fashioned tourist court in town, so Mike was squinting for street names (not that there were many). We were driving very slowly. That was about when Mike noticed that we were being followed. And that made us both very nervous. At about the same time, Mike realized that we were a block off from the street we should be on, and he saw an alley where we could cut through to the next block.

He made a quick turn into the alley and checked the rearview mirror as he did, hoping to throw off the stalker as well. The car behind us turned sharply into the alley, too. Our fear factor shot up another defcom level. And then the vehicle behind us started flashing its rooftop blue, bubblegum lights. Busted.

I should take a moment to describe what the nice officer saw when he spotted us. I looked pretty straight, but had the popular long hair of the day. Mike had the bushy hair and long mustache of the rock ‘n roll musician that he was. And, of course, there was the car we were driving: a blue, ‘66 Chevelle SS with a 396 engine, four speed and racing slicks. And the final sin – a Memphis (translation: big city) license plate.

By the way, I had nothing to do with buying that car. Mike said it was a good deal on the used car. Miss Know-Nothing About Cars didn’t know we had a “rod.” Currently, Mike doesn’t even know what possessed him to buy it.

What I expect the nice lawman saw was a couple of big-city, longhaired kids in a souped-up car acting mighty suspicious in his little town. And that’s when he pulled us over.

He shined his light into the car, asked for ID on both of us, and asked Mike a thousand questions. He naturally thought we had zipped into the alley to elude him, and I can understand that. Mike tried to explain “lost.” Through the entire process, I sat in the car picturing myself behind bars. But Mike and the truth prevailed. The officer gave us directions to the little motel. And then followed us to make sure we went there. By the time Mike went inside to check in, he was so rattled that he had to sign the register three times before he got it right. No, that wasn’t suspicious, was it?

The remainder of the weekend was crime-free. We spotted no undercover agents following us. The smell of freedom was sweet.

To be continued . . .

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