Thursday, April 29, 2010

No Free Lunch

My checkbook was in the back seat of Trauma Car when I got arrested. It definitely wasn't in the car after Steve got me out of jail. Maybe I left it at home.

The checkbook didn't turn up after a thorough search of my apartment. I figured I must have lost it and called the bank. Several checks had been cashed--each for several hundred dollars--at locations in and around Salyersville. Oh no!

Went to the bank to sign an affidavit saying I didn't write the checks. They believed me. Even though it was printed on the check, the thief spelled my name wrong on the signature line. Dumb ass.

When I called the Kentucky State Police about my checkbook being stolen during my arrest, they wanted me to come to the Pikeville post to sign a complaint. I'd heard stories about mountain police. Couldn't I just go to Frankfort? Nope.

To get to Pikeville required driving through Salyersville in my pumpkin-orange Fiesta. I figured my chances of making it back home without getting arrested and beat-up--or worse--were slim to none. Never mind.

Ran out to the Hilton to find out why I'd been fired. Turns out, Dave had mentioned my unfortunate incarceration to Jeff, the dining room manager. Jeff, a poor listener and a bit of a drama queen, thought I was still in jail somewhere in the mountains.

While I danced at the gay bar in Huntington, Jeff and the hotel General Manager called every jail in Eastern Kentucky trying to find me. Did I have any idea how upset they were? Since they couldn't find me I must have lied. Did I have any idea how that made them feel? After we talked they changed my termination to a suspension. Even then good help was hard to find.

Shortly after I got the window repaired, Steve decided to make a surprise visit to Lexington. Trauma Car was in the parking lot behind my apartment. I was nowhere to be found. Since the bars had closed an hour or two earlier, Steve jumped to certain conclusions. He opened the hood and slashed random cables and wires.

I never drove Trauma Car again. It sat in the apartment parking lot for probably two years. I finally placed an ad hoping to sell it so I wouldn't have to pay someone to tow it off for scrap. A very nice older man bought it for $500 and paid to have it towed to a garage for repairs. I suspect he thought I needed the money.

A year or two later I finally got another car--a 1976 Chevy Impala with bench seats that slept six people comfortably. When I called my Uncle the insurance agent about a policy, he said he couldn't insure a driver without a license. Huh?

My license had been suspended for more than two years for failure to appear in court. They issued a bench warrant for my arrest. I called the judge. Believe it or not, he did not remember me or any conversation we may have had about fixing any tickets.

It cost a fortune to get my license back. Throw in the extra premiums I had to pay for years because of the suspended license and it ended up being a very expensive weekend. Even so, thirty years later, I'm inclined to believe it was worth every penny.

[NOTE: This is the seventh installment in a series starting with Remembering Trauma Car.]

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