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And We Ran

Getting the Car Stuck in the Softball Field

Dave got his driver's license around Christmas time. Where I grew up, the snow was always a little bit worse in January/February. So when a snow storm came through and canceled school it took a few days to figure out we could take the car to the stadium parking lot.

Dave's car was a blue station wagon from the 80s. Usually the back was loaded with newspapers and Dave's mom would drive it up and down the block while Dave tossed papers from the back. When his mom wasn't around Dave would suicide dive through the back window - basically what it sounds like, a full speed head first dive through the open window.

With all the descretion two teenagers can muster Dave and I decided we would take the car out and do donuts in the parking lot. For whatever reason we were surprised no one else was there. Taking that sign for opportunity Dave put the gas pedal to floor, got the car as fast as it would go on the ice, spun the wheel and pulled the emergency brake. This was fun for all of ten minutes.

Our school stadium was attached to a park. So Dave took the car out of the parking lot and started to drive the road that wrapped around to a softball field.

I noticed it first. The area that separated the parking lot from the field was lined with posts to prevent vehicles from going around the service road. Of course, that road had been chained off. However, one of the posts was missing. When I pointed that out to Dave it was one of those moments where you look at each other and go “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude!” The thought did not need to be spoken allowed, it was conceived simultaneously between our two minds. Dave jerked the wheel to the right and the little car picked up speed. It flew out of the parking lot like a shot. It sped past third base like a canonball and rumbled past short stop like a boulder and came a complete halt, like an airplane careening out of the sky, right by second base. Seconds after the car stopped moving we felt it sink a few inches. Like the snapping crunch of a giant stepping in fresh snow our fun in the snow was squashed.

Even in winter, Dave always wore sandles. Sandles and cargo shorts. This presented an immediate problem. The wheels on Dave's car were tiny, too small to reach the ground through the snow. In fact, the only reason we made it so far was probably due to how light the car was. In our current predicament the body of the car was suspended by the snow beneath it. The wheels would spin but couldn't grab any traction. We were so fucked.

After thirty minutes of panic salvation arrives. Rednecks. Two kids our age who we've never seen in our school pull up in a giant red truck. They run out to us, they're pushing and pulling and trying to get the car unstuck. Eventually we find a picnic table, rip the top part off and try shoving it under the wheels of the car. In between pushing the car and getting sprayed with ice/slush from the spinning tires I see blue and red lights flying down the park road. All of us must have seen it at the same time because the wheels stopped spinning, the rednecks ran and I stopped pushing the car. Dave got out of the car,

“What do we do?”

“I dunno, get back in the car?”

So we did. We sat in the car and watched as the rednecks sped off, eventually being pulled over by the cops. We watched as two more cop cars flew around the road and in to the parking lot behind us.

“Get my registration out of the glove box.”

We were doing it. We were making the officer's come to us. We saw flashlights waver through two feet of snow as the police walked up to the car. After a tap on the window Dave lowered it a crack and said,

“Good Evening sir. What seems to be the problem?”

“Are you fucking stupid or something?” Said the cop.

Dave and I froze. What the Hell do you say? We'd both ran from the police plenty of times but we'd never actually had to talk to them.

“Well? What the fuck are you doing out here? How about you get out of the car.”

“Do you need my license and registration?”

“Get out of the fucking car.”

I handed Dave the paper and he got out of the car. They trudged through the snow back to the police cars in the parking lot. I did absolutely nothing. I sat in the car and stared straight ahead. I couldn't see anything in the mirrors, it was useless to try. I started hoping I hadn't been seen and the police officers would just leave with Dave. I mean, hey it sucks getting arrested for this and I may have been the asshole who noticed, but what good is two people going to jail.

Honestly the thought of running never even crossed my mind. This was one of those “good and fucked” moments where nothing you do can change the outcome. If I had ran Dave would have rolled on me in a heartbeat. We weren't going to beat the cops at this game. That's why we always ran so fast for fucksake. If they can't catch you they can't do anything.

One car was driving away now. Maybe they'd forgotten about me. Fuck, a flashlight was coming back towards the car. I didn't wait for him to knock. I rolled the window down.

“Alright. So who the Hell are you?”

I spilled my guts. He had my full name, address, grade level. I folded like a cheap chair at church.

“Well get out, let's go. Hurry up I don't got all night.”

I walked back to his car and he opened the back door and said, “Get in.”

Fuck. I was going to jail. My parents had been threatening to send me to the village - a church run reform school in our area, for the last year. I think I was grounded too. I don't really remember. I just know that I was perpetually in trouble and not allowed to do anything, which I defied and did anyway and ended up being grounded more. Eventually I was so grounded/cut off/whatever it came full circle and didn't matter anymore.

“So what the Hell were you guys thinking tonight?”

“I dunno, I guess we weren't? That it'd be fun?”

“Fun?! You thought it'd be fun to get a car stuck in a ball field?”

“Well, I guess we weren't trying to get stuck.”

I realized we weren't driving towards the police station. I have no idea what Dave told the cops or what was transpiring. All I know is that we just pulled up in front of my parents' house.

“Fill this out.”

The officer was handing a pen and paper back to me. It was a subscription to NetZero internet access.

“I get a commission for every referral.”

I filled it out and handed it back.

“Alright let's go.”

We walked up to the front and and he had me knock. My father came to the door and in a fraction of a second did the “Why is someone knocking at 11PM. WHY IS THERE A COP ON MY FRONT POR-” and then, as his eyes land on me, enlightenment.

He opened the screen/glass door and said,

“Hello?”

The cop explained the evening to him and after more than a few “Oh really… He did what??? I see…” looks that promised these highlights would be revisited later.

Dave was taken to the station. They finger printed him and everything. The next day Morris filmed the tow truck getting stuck trying to get the car out of the field. Dave was sentenced to community service. We didn't talk for a couple weeks after that

Fiction


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