How I cured a rainy nightís blues


Iím bored and Iím stoned.

Iíve drive around all night looking for God knows what in the God awful rain.

I know being like I am out in weather like this is just asking for trouble.

Especially when I know Office Capalbo is on duty, and he would love to snag me or any of the old gang just for kicks.

Heís been on our backs since high school, sneaking around trying to catch us at something Ė anything.

He once told Pauly he would put us all in jail if it took the rest of his career to do it.

Maybe Iím crazy driving around like this, tempting fate when I know heís out here somewhere.

But Iím lonely and kind of sad.

Night rain always gives me the blues.

Maybe that why I pay attention to the guy on the side of the road.

At first, the gray-haired guy looks a little like my father.

So I pull over, let him in, hoping he doesnít notice the smell of pot in the car.

I pray heís not a cop because I still got a joint in my pocket.

Heís so wet and grateful for me picking him up, he doesnít say anything even if he recognizes the smell.

Yet heís so straight, I donít know what to say to him, and I turn off the radio when he frowns over the kind of music I listen to.

He tells me his car broke down and just needs me to get him to a public phone so he can call for a tow.

But even that short ride to the nearby phone booth is excruciatingly quiet.

So Iím relieved as hell when he waves from the booth that he got someone to come and help him.

I drive off, maybe a little less lonely.

I turn the radio back on to a hip Rolling Stones song.

I light up the join, step on the gas, pound out the back beat with my palm on the dashboard.

Thatís when the police carís siren sounds behind me and I glance up into the rearview mirror to see the flashing lights of Capalboís patrol car.

I flick the joint out into the rain as if it is merely an ordinary cigarette. Its orange tip flicks out in the rain even before my car halts.

Capalbo is so glad to see me he doesnít mind standing in the rain as I perform a sobriety test for him.

My condition and the pouring rain makes it impossible for me to see the crack he wants me to walk.

So I fail his test

He grins as he puts me in the back of his squad car and calls for a tow truck to come collect my car.

The tow truck is busy retrieving the police chiefís car stuck somewhere out on the highway.

Capalbo canít wait and drives me to the police station so he can finger print me, personally.

Heís about the call my folks to post my bail when the police chief walks in, the same gray haired man I picked up earlier.

The chief wants to know what Capalbo is doing, and Capalbo says Iím drunk or stoned.

Nonsense, says the chief, his voice so loud Capalbo quakes, recounting how I gave him a ride earlier and that I was sober as a priest.

Maybe the chiefís lying. I see a glint of something in his eyes as he looks my way.

But he wants Capalbo to drive me back to my car, and Ė the best part Ė to apologize for the inconvenience he caused me.

Now Iím back on the road, high as hell without taking another toke, and one hell of a lot happier after seeing the look on Capalboís enraged face as I drive away.


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