Traveling down the highway at 90 some odd miles per hour is an amazing thing, really. It brings a sense of awe and it reminds me of my scariest times inside of a car. Now, I’ve already told you about one of the most traumatic times I’ve had in a car, but maybe today I’ll tell you why a bartender at Harry’s, with an inexplicably raspy voice, gave me a 16 ounce glass of whiskey and why I drank it.
In 2003 Jon Turner bought a truck. It was a very old truck. I don’t remember the exact year it was, but ’78 rings a bell. Jon Turner really likes to work on cars. He made this truck one of his projects for the summer. This Blue truck with silver trim. He tweaked the engine, fixed the shops, worked on the brakes. This was fun for him. He wore blue gloves so he could serve at the fancy restaurant in the hotel in downtown Lafayette.
He didn’t work on this truck long before we took it for a ride. We came from 7th street in Lafayette and took the Union Street Bridge to go to the west side. It was pay day at the pizza place. We were on our way to get our checks so we could go out and have a good night. Laura was working the morning at XXX and had to work at Chuck’s in the night. Not important now, but will be in a bit.
We came across the bridge and turned right onto Littleton. We delivered pizzas in that town and normally avoided that road. There were Speed Humps on that road. Ha! Could’t they just call it a speed bump. And, to boot, the sign says “Speed Bump Ahead.” Always made me laugh. Digression. Jon Turner turned right onto Littleton that day, because he had his new old truck that could handle speed humping. He drove past the Skulls and accelerated.
First hump cleared. Second hump cleared. We were approaching a T-Stop at Stadium. No more humping. We weren’t slowing down. Jon Turner yelled, “There’s no brakes!” I looked at him slamming his foot to the floor of the car. I looked ahead, but it was blurry and the T-Stop was getting closer and closer. He didn’t panic. My breath was short and my sphincter was tight. Almost at the intersection. He slammed his foot on the emergency break.
Tires squealed and smoked. My body was thrown forward. We were still approaching the intersection faster than I was comfortable. He cut the wheel. My body careened against the glass and I was now looking at the road from where we had just came. Two horrible jolts went threw the Truck and my body as we took the curb at 20 miles per hour or so. It was enough for us to finally stop.
I sat for a moment in silence. Jon Turner may have said something, but I wasn’t sure if he did. I stepped down from the truck. A lemonade stand was underneath the back tires. My eyes widened and I looked at Jon Turner and then back down at the lemonade ruins. A kid runs outside with lemonade.
“You ran over my lemonade stand!” The kid had just gone in to refill his pitcher. His babysitter helped him. She came outside wide mouthed. I looked at the kid. At her. At Jon Turner. I sat down on the curb, lit a cigarette and added a horror scene to my personal picture show.
The cops came and took a statement. An elderly woman gave Jon Turner a lecture for driving to fast. I called Laura. She asked for lunch from Harry’s. They make the best buffalo chicken pasta salad. Jon Turner and I went to Harry’s. I asked for a stiff drink and was awarded 16 ounces of whiskey with a splash of soda. My heart rate dropped and I ordered Laura’s lunch. It became cold as the second drink was a can of Miller Lite, followed by another and another.
I still don’t know why that bartender had a raspy voice and why he thought giving a 22 year-old a pint of whiskey was a good idea. I do remember that it led to Laura and mine’s first fight and helped me forget the fact that we almost kid a seven year old kid, trying to slang some lemonade. I may had still had a scarier moment yet. But that is for another time.
Please to enjoy.