[roundbox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”ae76f7″ bordercolor=”000000″ borderwidth=”1″ borderstyle=”none” icon=”” ]This blog post was originally published March 30, 2008.[/roundbox]

He’s obviously in a hurry, a crime has probably been committed, I don’t want to get in his way,

I took a day off work last Wednesday (and still managed to work about two hours, go figure). I slept late and then had lunch with my Dad. Our plan was to just sort of “hang out” that afternoon — we planned to visit the Mennonite store and maybe an old cemetery. We’re cool guys, you know…

So. We’d had lunch, we’d dropped by the Greater Gibson County Area Chamber of Commerce (that’s a mouthful) and were driving down Old 45, around Court Square in Trenton when we heard a noise coming from one of the tires. It sounded like something metal was striking the ground rhythmically, each time the tire rotated, apparently. We stopped in front of the Justice Building and I hopped out, examining the tires as Dad slowly drove across the parking lot. I could hear the sound, but I thought it was being caused by a rock that I helpfully removed from the tire. I was wrong.


A screw — like this one.

As we drove in front of BR Supply it became apparent that there was in fact something in the right front tire. We pulled to the side of the road and I found a screw with a plastic washer. Great. Dad says, “We’ll just drive back to Rasberry’s and get it fixed…” understand that we’re on the north end of Trenton and Rasberry’s is on the southern extremis..

Dad pulls on to the bypass and begins heading south. The tire is cachunk-cachunking, but so far so good. Then the screw flies out with a bang. I can hear air leaking now. Stopped at the intersection of US 45 and TN-77/104, I lean out the window. The tire is definitely losing air quickly. I tell my father. He nods, with a determined look on his face, “We’ll make it,” he says. The light changes from red to green and we’re off…

In front of Domino’s we veer into the middle, turning lane to pass a slow moving vehicle. I fasten my seat-belt. Dad has both hands on the wheel looking very much like Craftsman Truck Series driver, jaw set, looking far ahead for trouble. “It’s not even pulling yet,” he says and smiles to reassure me.

We breeze through the intersection of US 45 and TN-186 (the Gibson Road). Green light… and then, in front of Sonic, we’re trapped behind a SLOW (25 mph) moving car. The tire is hissing, the truck is beginning to pull to the right. Decisive action must be taken.

In front of Milligan’s Nursery, Dad veers into the turn lane, again, to pass … and meets a Trenton City Policeman. The look on the officer’s face was classic — his lips were moving and I imagine he said to himself, “What the HELL?!?!?!?” Dad didn’t see that — he was focused on the yellow light in the upcoming intersection. He mashes the accelerator and we shoot through the yellow light (Dad swears it was yellow the whole time) before it changes.

Looking through the back glass I see the police officer execute a classic “T Turn”. The blue lights come on. “Dad, I think he’s going to pull us over.” “No,” says Joe, “he’s probably gotten a call.”

Blue lights -- never a good sign.

Blue lights — never a good sign.

We’re not speeding, but we’re not slowing down. The police officer is closing fast, cars are pulling to the side of the road to yield. As he approaches, I hear his siren yelp once or twice. Dad thrusts his arm through the window and, with a wide sweeping motion, urges the officer to pass us too. “What are you doing?” I ask. “He’s obviously in a hurry, a crime has probably been committed, I don’t want to get in his way,” my father says — with a straight face.

The officer is right behind us now, siren yelping again, Dad still trying to motion him around.

“I think we should pull over,” I say as I try to figure out who I’m going to call to make this go away, wondering what my father will say to the officer, and pondering who will come and fix our flat or if we’ll have to change it on the side of the road.

Reluctantly Dad eases onto the shoulder and I settle back into the seat for the explanation and conversation I expect. I let a low sigh, of relief, I suppose. But… wait.. Dad is unbuckling his seat-belt and stepping out of the car.

As his foot his the gravel on the side of the road Dad yells to the surprised office, “I’M HAVING A FLAT!” (He said it like he was telling the officer, “I’M HAVING A BABY!”)

The officer yells back, “Where are you going!?”

“To Rasberry’s!”

“Well, GO ON!” replies the officer.

And off we go. The officer turns his car around and that, basically, is that.

I later asked my father, “Did you really think he wasn’t after you?” Straight faced, with the most honest look on his face, my father replies, “Of course not! I didn’t break any laws — I figured someone was robbing a bank somewhere.”