HERE IS A MYTHOLOGY surrounding The Polish Hammer, an ideology, even, half-created, half-pleaded, that dictates every Friday night is consigned to battling ninjas or fleecing pirates, pleasing the ladies two or three at a throw and generally making the world a more entertaining place for the minions of Satan. Last Friday, however, I was driving my wife’s minivan to pick up my daughter from basketball practice.
Now ordinarily I’d drive my lady-slayer, the Dodge Neon, The Silver Bullet, able to outrun Ford Focuses downhill if I’m given a fifteen second head start. However, the gas gauge hovered on E and I am lazy.
The last thing my reputation needed was for me to be spotted piloting a minivan with bumperstickers heralding the local high school’s musical theater and trumpeting the kid’s educational prowess.
I decided to drive the back roads to the junior high school gymnasium, for no other reason than to cut down visibility. The last thing my reputation needed was for me to be spotted piloting a minivan with bumperstickers heralding the local high school’s musical theater and trumpeting the kid’s educational prowess. Then there was the pink soccer ball emblazoned with the one adjective in the entire English language that has never described me: SASSY. And the van had one of those radios that no matter what button I hit, it seemed incapable of playing anything other than Taylor Swift or Katie Perry.
It was with these black thoughts circling my mind that I came around the last bend, past the Luther’s chicken farm, to the intersection of Fry Gap and Suck Egg road, where two state troopers were parked, flagging down approaching cars.
I’d heard of road blocks set up here before. Fry Gap Road was a convenient back way to drive down the mountain and get tanked up on booze at the gin mill before coming back home to the good church folk.
Watching the state trooper approach, I knew I was going to be for a hard time by his military demeanor and the way he wore his mountie hat, low over the eyes, shielding them from a sun blotted out by dense cloud cover.
“License and insurance.”
All ready problems. While I’d been wasting over a hundred dollars a month for as long as I could remember for car insurance, I never actually bothered to carry proof. Every time I’d receive a new insurance card in the mail, I’d look at it, make a mental note to stick it in my wallet, then leave it on the kitchen table until it disappeared.
Knowing I didn’t have proof of insurance didn’t stop me from making a show of looking for the insurance card for five minutes.
“It’s a small card,” the state trooper offered watching as I looked with confusion at a registration form.
Finally with the trooper’s advice I found an insurance card that dated back to August of 2008. I handed it over to him. “I have insurance,” I told him, knowing full well he could hop in his cruiser and check for himself. “This is my wife’s van though and I don’t know where she keeps her shit.”
“Sir, why are you wearing sunglasses in the dark?”
“Take them off.”
I did as I was told because he had a glock strapped to his hip. I shouldn’t have because following one command led him to making another command.
“Sir, will you please step out of the vehicle?”
This is how it starts. You step out of the wife’s minivan one moment thinking everything is right with the world and getting lined up in front of the firing squad the next.
“Put your hands on the minivan, sir.”
He frisked me and didn’t find anything that 650 women hadn’t discovered before him. Nothing that could get me locked up in any reality other than the porn reality, a reality I tried to adhere to every waking moment of the day that didn’t involve police insurrection.
He withdrew a cruel surgical-looking instrument from his shirt pocket. “Sir, I’m going to have you follow the pen cap with your eyes, while keeping your head stationary. Follow the pen cap with your eyes.”
It seemed like easy instructions. But it’s very rare The Polish Hammer is called upon to look at anything without his head being given free range.
“Keep your head still, sir.”
But the pen cap was certainly difficult to follow without at least shading my head right and left.
“You been smoking the marijuana?”
Observations of a Dumb Polack #3 continues...