Hola, amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but things have been a mess around Rancho Anchower. For one thing, I got fed up with working at the hospital cafeteria, so I re-entered the job market. I didn't have to wait long (I guess there's a booming economy or something) before I got a new job at a laboratory. Now, I ain't a scientist, as you probably know, but I do know how to do a few things. Like clean up rat cages.
Mostly, I hate rats, but these aren't the dirty kind that get into your house and spread disease. Sure, the rats at the lab have plenty of disease, but it's shit I'm not likely to get, like cancer. It's not glamorous work, but it's easy as hell. I go in, make sure the little fuckers have enough food and water, clean some cages, then sit on my ass and wait for 5 p.m. to roll around. Now, that's my kind of job.
Anyway, besides the new job, I recently had a little run-in with the pigs. Now, you know Jim Anchower is usually too smart to fall into the traps laid by Johnny Law, but this time I got a little careless. See, I was cruising around listening to the radio (mistake number one, 'cause I usually listen to tapes), and Mike & Tony, the two DJs on WROK, "Home Of The Hard Rok" (mistake number two, 'cause those guys are lamer than lame), said they were outside Swiggers Bar & Grill giving out free tickets for Jackyl that night to the first 25 people who show up. (Mistake number three, 'cause I only know two of Jackyl's songs and only kinda like one of them.)
I was on the other side of town from Swiggers at the time and was supposed to be on my way to Wes' to deliver a bag of weed, but I just couldn't resist the lure of free tickets. The way I figure it, the cards are stacked against me so often that, when my number finally comes up, I gotta pounce on it, right? So I did some quick calculating and figured that I could get to Swiggers in 10 minutes if I took some liberties with local speed ordinances.
I started off easy enough, punching it through a bunch of yellows. I wasn't going crazy fast, maybe 55. I was about a mile away when I looked in the rearview and saw the flashing blues. I tried to think up a scheme that would get me out of the jam, but it was no use. I'd just gotten off with a warning a few months ago when I ran a red, and that was all my sweet talk right there. I didn't have anything left.
So I just sat there on the side of the road, waiting for the pig to walk up to the car. That's the worst part. With all the computers and satellites and shit they've got, the cops can get all the information they need in, like, 15 seconds. But, no, they make you sweat it out for four or five minutes while they're back there in their baconmobile, laughing their asses off at you. As I waited, I started thinking about the bag of weed I had in my pocket. I knew that if he frisked me, I'd be screwed. The pigs hate Jim Anchower. They're just waiting for a chance to put the screws to me.
After a long-ass time, the cop finally came up and told me he was gonna have to issue me a citation for speeding. He said I was clocked doing 45 in a 30 mph zone. I almost busted out right there–no way was I was doing just 45! But what was I supposed to do? Tell him, "Officer, your machine is fucked, 'cause I was doing at least 10 mph faster than that." It's not like they give you points for honesty. So I just put on my solid-citizen face and gave him some crap about how I was sorry for driving irresponsibly and endangering the safety of my fellow citizens.
He didn't buy it, though, and went back to his car to write out the ticket. The whole time, I was sweating up a storm, thinking that he'd still frisk me and find the stash in my jeans pocket. By the time he got back, I was a ball of sweat. He just gave me a ticket for $95 and told me to be careful. Man! He's the one who should be careful! If he weren't wearing that badge, I'd have busted him right in the jaw!
Anyway, I took off toward Swiggers just as they were packing up. I laid my sob story on 'em and they gave me two free tickets. That's when I got even more pissed: I looked at the tickets and saw that they were only worth $4.75 apiece! Shit, I'd have saved myself a hell of a lot of money if I'd just driven slower and paid for the stupid things!
When I finally got to Wes' place, I discovered that the weed, which was packed in some baggie that let moisture in and out, was all soaked with sweat. I had to dry it out in the microwave before we could smoke it, and even then, it tasted funny. It did the job, though. After that, we went and saw the show, but I couldn't enjoy it. I was pissed about the speeding ticket. Wes didn't enjoy it either, but I'm not sure why. Probably because he was pissed about having to smoke sweaty weed. Either that or because we were seeing Jackyl.
So now I've got to dust off the old court shirt and make an appearance, hoping that they'll reduce the fine and knock off a few points. I wish I could say that the moral is that you shouldn't speed, hombre, but I don't feel it in my heart. Hell, speed all you want. If God didn't intend for us to speed, why did He make cars that go up to 110? Instead, the advice I got for you is this: Never listen to the radio and don't get caught. Get a radar detector. Or, if you're cheap, get a friend to sit in the passenger side and keep an eye out. Only make sure it's not somebody like Wes or Ron, 'cause they're about as reliable as a Vega engine block. That's a car joke. If you gotta look it up, you shouldn't be reading this.
Jim Anchower joined The Onion's editorial writing staff in 1993 after several distinguished years on The Come Back Inn dishwashing staff. He comments on community-affairs, automotive, and employment issues. He attended LaFollette High School in Madison, WI.