Dory and Terry, "Just having some fun, Officer."
I pushed the excellerator on the blue Trans Am to the floor. I looked over my shoulder at Terry sitting in the rear seat and asked him to hand me another beer. Next to me in what I called the death seat I had trapped the greatest jokester of them all, Don "The Lawman" Slatton. As we approached Lubbock International Airport on I-27, I switched on cruise control at something over one hundred miles per hour and asked Terry to pop me another beer.
"Whooa!!! Dory, Please slow down. Don't you think we are going a little fast? Whooa there."
I looked at the Lawman and said, "So you think a hundred miles an hour is dangerous, How about this." I reached forward with my left hand and switched off the headlights. Next I flipped on the left turn indicator. The flashing light was enough to see the center-line on I-27 for guidance down the road I knew so well.
"Whoooaa!! Please Dory, Don't do that you are going to kill us all!!!" cried the Lawman. I looked back at Terry in the back seat and said, "Give me another Coors." Now the Lawman was near panic. "Oh Lord, someone please save us. Oh God, I hope a police officer sees us and stops this car. Please, slow down. O Lord, where is a policeman? My God I hope a policeman stops us!!!"
Oooh my gosh!! I could see it in the rear view mirror. The Red and Blue lights of the Texas Highway Patrol. I quickly turned on the headlights, slammed on the brakes and pulled over to the side of the road. (First rule in avoiding traffic tickets, Never make them chase you) The Officer told Terry and I to get in his car and told the Lawman to follow him in my car.
Getting a break on this one would be difficult, Drinking and Speeding over a hundred miles an hour with the lights out. As we headed back to Lubbock in the patrol car the officer called on the radio to get my driving record. It took fifteen miles for them to read it back. 26 speeding violations over two years from all over the United States. They also reported my drivers license had been suspended for a number of tickets over a period of time. The officer looked at me and asked, "How much beer have you had Sir?" I knew as bad as this was I should tell the truth all the way. "A six pack Sir" Seeing how much trouble I was in and how long my face was, Terry began to chuckle and then laugh out loud. The Officer couldn't help himself and a grin came across his face.
We arrived at the Texas Highway Patrol station on the north side of Lubbock. After my apologies and much consideration, the officer said, "You are in real trouble but I am going to give you a break, I am going to give you a ticket. Your drivers license becomes re-instated in three days. Here is your citation, but don't turn it in until your license is re-instated." I looked at the ticket. I was cited for speeding 80 over 65. I said, "Thank you sir, I promise I will never do this again.
At eight o'clock the next morning, my telephone was ringing. A man with an authoritative voice on the other end. identified himself as Officer Burns of the State Highway Patrol. He said, "Mr Funk, I understand you had some difficulties last night. Would you please explain. I did, ending with the fact that the Officer decided to give me a break.
Officer Burns said, "I am sorry, but "a break," as you say can not happen. You need to be in touch with Judge Cliff Roberts by next week. I want you to know that the usual penalty in cases like this is a ten thousand dollar fine and or six weeks in jail. Please be in touch with Judge Roberts.
Now I was wide awake and shaking. I knew the Lawman had spent the night at Terry's house and thought I might get good advice from them. Terry answered the phone and said, "Junior, the Lawman is here. he is a former policeman. Maybe he can give you some advice. The Lawman said he would make some calls to his friends and call back.
As I hung up the phone, I laid on the bed, dead tired and hung over, but wide awake waiting to hear from my friend, The Lawman.
One hour later, the telephone rang. It was the Lawman. He said, "You know, policemen all kind of work together. I have some friends from the force down in Abilene and they know some people who may be able to help you. I do want to know if there is anything in your morals that would preclude you from helping someone out a little in return for consideration? Desperately concerned over a Ten thousand dollar fine and six weeks in jail, I responded, No, no, not at all. The Lawman said, "I will introduce you to someone at the wrestling matches in Amarillo tonight, just shake his hand and pass a hundred dollar bill to him and by all means, don't let anyone see you do it.
I was uneasy, but at least I could get some sleep. Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rang. My wife came into the bedroom and said, "There is a young man out here that says his father wouldn't be able to come to the matches tonight but he was here to collect some money that you were supposed to give him.
Now I was wide awake again with heart pounding. The indecision came to me. I thought, Is this for real? I don't want to go to jail, and I don't want to have to pay a bribe. A hundred dollars is a lot, but it is cheap when you consider the alternative. I gathered a hundred dollars from the house and my wife's purse and went to the door. Do I give him the money? Is this even right? Am I breaking the law? The kid was about 15 years old. He said, "My father sent me over to collect some money from you for a lawn mower he repaired. I reached for the money in my pocket. I looked the kid right in the face and he twitched. I looked to the right at the end of the road and I could see a car parked behind a tree, but couldn't make out who was in the car. I turned again to the kid and said, Is this some kind of a joke. If the kid would have turned and walked away, I would have chased him down and insisted that he take the money but he grinned.
The gig was up.
In the car were three greedy people who couldn't wait to get there hands on my hundred dollars, Terry Funk, The Lawman, and Terry's best friend, West Texas State football player Jim Young the fictitious, "Officer Burns."
Lawman Introduces Jack Brisco to the Governor of Texas
Lawman Takes Jerry Kozak on a Deer Hunt
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