People watching is the best show on earth...

Nov 3, 2008

Walking the Line

. Nov 3, 2008


~This post is rated 'R'

I am capping off the weekend with a couple midori sours at a favorite neighborhood bar that throws back to 1970s swank. They have literal "lounge singers" on weekend nights and I nurse my two drinks for the one-hour show. The bar buzzes with weekend warriors and the desire to postpone Monday morning is nearly palpable.

The bar sits on the corner of a busy street lined with restaurants, shops and yet more bars. We meander outside after the last song, "Viva Las Vegas" performed in true Elvis style. It's past 11:30 p.m. and still the street hums with activity. Groups of friends congregate near bar entrances, lingering before goodbyes. Couples stroll past holding hands, or not; perhaps good dates and bad ones.

A small crowd exits our bar with us, a few still clapping for Elvis. The crowd's energy buzzes. Someone yells, "Let's drive to Vegas!". Laughter, claps, some whoots. We pile out the door and loiter for a moment. Little chimneys light up everywhere as people hit their nicotine. The air's too smokey and I pull my boyfriend to go.

A police car flashing blue and red strobe lights behind a big black SUV slowly crosses the intersection across the street. The SUV stops in the middle of the road, just beyond the far crosswalk. A few people laugh. More look over, drawn by the lights. The police officer booms on his p.a. system:

"Driver, advance your vehicle slowly and pull over to the right side of the road. Do it now."

The tinted driver's side window rolls down. An arm waves back and forth. Conversation hushes in my bar crowd. Someone laughs. Another says, "Oh my god! Dumbass!". The officer speaks again:

"Driver, put your arm inside the vehicle. Advance your vehicle slowly and pull over to the right side of the road. This is your last warning. Do it now."

"He probably speaks Spanish!" someone says. "Hey no habla Ingles, amigo?" More laughs. The SUV begins crawling forward and slowly pulls over, police car following. Both vehicles are still against the curb. A bigger crowd has gathered around us, watching the scene unfold across the street. Moments later, a second police car arrives and all four officers approach the SUV, two go to either side of the front, one approaches the back but keeps a distance and the fourth remains close to the open driver's door of the first police car.

More hollers in jest from the bar crowd. The fourth officer looks over and yells to be quiet, please. The officer near the driver's door has his hand on his holster. The driver has lowered his window. The officer talks and motions for the driver to come out. He does. As he descends the high SUV, he topples back against it on one leg. A man in the crowd says, "Whoo yeah!"

The officer directs the driver to the pavement in between the SUV and the police car. He speaks again and demonstrates a finger to nose motion. The driver wobbles as he stands in one place. Arms out, he slowly brings one to his nose. I cannot see how close he comes. Before he tries the other arm, the officer points forward. The driver begins walking heal to toe. On the third step he leans way to the right, loses his balance and falls on his butt.

The bar crowd hoots and hollers. Some cheer and a few whistle. Suddenly, a female's voice rings out:

"Fuck you people! You think it's funny? It's not funny. Fuck you, you fuckin' drunk assholes! You better not kill anyone tonight."

3 Whispers:

The One and Only John said...

That woman is absolutely right, it's not funny. Even before the driver got out of the car he was already posing problems. It's very fortunate he was caught before he could have done something destructive.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy. This is a sensitive topic for me. Both and old boyfriend and my uncle were hit by drunks as pedestrians and nearly killed.

What is hard to make people realize is that there were times in their physical rehabs where they WISHED they had been killed due to chronic, now lifelong pain due to joint and bone damage, as well as the financial baggage both of these individuals had to endure for years after the accidents.

Just because a judge finally rules in your favor as the victim, doesn't mean you will see one red cent from the convicted to ever even begin paying the medical bills off. Many times, people who drink and drive are broke, either from spending all their money on alcohol, or previous fines etc. It's no-win all the way around.

I loathe drunk drivers, especially when they have eight DUI's under their belt. Sickening.

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