The Overloaded Trunk

bowling

Even though I was working day and night at the time, I always made room for bowling on Wednesday evenings. Although my average was only in the middle 150’s, I really enjoyed this pastime.

Our team was in second place in the league and we were bowling the first place team, but I got hung up on a job and returned home much later than usual. I grabbed a bite for dinner but when I glanced at the clock, I realized I may not make it to the bowling alley in time. So I grabbed my bowling ball and ran out the door. It was only fifteen minutes until our match started, and if I didn’t make it on time, our team would be disqualified, and I would never be able to look my teammates in the face.

I was driving an older used Ford “beater” at the time, which I had purchased for work.  My trunk was full of plumbing tools, even an electric threader, and I had no time to unload them. A few of my springs were broken and I made a sorry sight driving down the street with the car riding low and almost scraping the ground.

Keeping barely within the speed limit, I made it to Morton Grove, a nearby suburb of Chicago, where the bowling alley was situated. Our lead-off bowler had just thrown his first ball, when I burst in on the scene, slipped on my bowling shoes and placed my ball in the rack. My teammates were relieved to see me, and I was grateful I hadn’t been late.

I went on to bowl the highest total for three games that I had made up to this point in the season, and we ended up beating the first place team. Instead of leaving for home after the game, I began chatting with Sally. Her husband was a part-time deputy in the Morton Grove police department and he bowled in our league, although he hadn’t made it to the alley that night.

Time flew, and when I looked at my watch I realized I better make tracks for home. I said goodbye to Sally and walked towards my car. The parking lot was almost empty, and when I was almost up to my car, I reached for a cigarette in my pocket. Unfortunately, the pack was empty.

One of the hazards of smoking while bowling is that you usually leave your cigarette in the ashtray, forget it’s there, and end up smoking another one. At times you could have three going at once.

I walked half-way back to the lanes to buy a pack but realized how tired I was and pivoted again and walked to my car. I figured the cigarettes could wait until the next morning.

I didn’t see the cop sitting in his car in the shadows of the large elm tree and I drove towards the exit of the bowling establishment.

As soon as I reached the street I was completely surrounded with police cars, front back, and both sides. Their search lights were blinding me and they told me to keep my hands in sight and step out of the car slowly.

The sergeant confronted me and asked me why I was casing the bowling alley. He said his man saw me walk to my car, change my mind, walk to the alley, change my mind, and drive out.

Shakily, I tried to explain that I had run out of cigarettes but eventually decided to go home instead. He explained that the bowling alley had been robbed a week before and they had been on high alert when they thought I had been acting suspiciously.

He asked me for my driver’s license and I reached in my back pocket for my wallet and it wasn’t there. In my haste to get to the bowling lanes on time I had forgotten my wallet. Things were getting worse by the second. I explained all this and he rolled his eyes.

He asked me to open my trunk and when I did so, his eyes opened wide when he saw all the tools I was carrying. “Buddy, I think you better break down and buy a truck.” I’m thinking, “maybe I will when I get out of jail.” The punishable offenses were piling up one after another.

He asked me what I had been doing in the bowling alley, and I told him I had just finished bowling in a league and I had been sitting and talking with Sally, who is married to a deputy police officer in their department, but I couldn’t remember his name because I was too nervous.

The officers looked at each other, and the sergeant said they were letting me go, but I better not do such a bone-headed thing again (driving without a license). They said to watch my speed limit as I drove home. I was completely focused on the way home, stayed away from other vehicles, and kept my speed down to two miles under the limit.

The next morning, Sally phoned and laughingly asked me what had happened the previous night. When I told her in detail what a bonehead I had been, she laughed some more. She said the sergeant had called her in the morning to verify my story. She asked me how much it would be worth to me to stay out of jail.

(photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net)

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, “What do I need that for?” But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, “Jerry’s Corner.”

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written … enjoy!

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, “What do I need that for?” But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, “Jerry’s Corner.”

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written … enjoy!

Smiles For All