Our History with Kentucky
Kentucky has always been unlucky for my family, not my wife and I, but my folks and siblings. Two of our vehicles have been abandoned to the salvage yard wastelands of Kentucky. Thankfully, there have been no serious personal injuries, but the damage to the cars has been bad. My youngest brother then had the nerve, nay the scorn for the personal safety of his family, to actually move there and attend college there.
We considered boycotting him, but Mom wouldn't let us.
So, for the last 4 years we have been nervously travelling to and from Kentucky, waiting for the proverbial "other shoe" to do its business. Well, that durned ol' shoe is a tricky feller, that's fer shure.
See my post of a few weeks past regaling my adventures with the blown heads on my brother's car in Tennessee. That car was abandoned to the salvage yard family from Deliverance
if you'll recall. Well, it turns out that now Tennessee is in cahoots with Kentucky! We should have taken heed when the head gaskets blew, but whoa to those who fail to read the signs!
graduated from his school in Kentucky
last weekend and we traversed the countryside to journey thence; unbeknownst to us Kentucky was lying in wait. The trap was about to spring and we were caught.
Part the first:
Attacking the Vehicle
We drove up after supper on a Friday night. Living in a major metropolitan area, it is often best to avoid the horrors of rush hour
: both to avoid injury and death, but also to avoid insanity and the copious drool that may accompany it. So, we travelled after supper, meaning we entered Kentucky in the late hours of the evening, perhaps even the early hours of the morning. Either way, it wasn't too far off of midnight when we crossed the state line.
Now, my brother's school is in The Middle of Nowhere, KY
(or thereabouts). We crossed the state line on a nice, curvy little highway which I would absolutely have adored during the daylight on my motorcycle. At midnight in a fully-loaded minivan, however, was not quite as much fun. Especially when the critters began popping up. I must have avoided 2 or 3 possums, 1 cat, and a couple of 'coons, but that's not what anyone remembers. What my wife remembers is the cat I ran over (nailed
is probably a better term). I didn't see that one coming, those things can move! Thump! Whump! and it was over
Not so bad, until about 20 miles down the road, when the big @*#^ 'coon crossed in front of me. I slowed, but was coming out of a curve and didn't want to flip the van with the family inside.
[I know, killing a cat didn't bother me, but harming evil humans just because they're related to me bothers me. What will PETA think? Proof positive that humans are despicable.]
So I ran down the 'coon. Problem was his size. This was an old codger for sure. He was big. It was more like, THUMP! WHUMP! WHUMP!
this time. The lights flickered, the outside temperature switched from 68 degrees to -40 degrees on the readout, the Check Engine light
came on, and the van began pulling ever-so-slightly to the left. We're getting that checked out sometime soon.
The important thing is this: we arrived safely and had a wonderful time with both of my brothers' families and my folks. Two days later we headed home.
Part the second:
Attacking the Pocketbook
On the way home, not 10 miles out of Kentucky and into Tennessee, I passed someone on a two-lane road. This person was driving about 4 mph below the speed limit and I had been following him for quite a while. I finally got a clear patch with dotted lines and could pass. I was elated for about 45 seconds! While passing him a semi came over the hill ahead of me. It's okay. I had plenty o' time to do my thing, and I did. But while passing this fellow, my speed topped out at 81 mph or so. Not a problem, after all, when you pass someone, you are required to do it quickly or you forfeit someone's life, usually your own. Not a good trade.
So, I got 'round the fellow and I pulled back over into my lane. I let off of the gas, but did not brake; therein lies my doom. As I let off the gas, the semi passed by me on the left with a police car right behind him
. Because the cop was so close behind the semi, he couldn't have seen me pass the fellow and had no way of knowing that the reason I was doing 79 mph was because I had just gotten back over to avoid being splattered along the pavement by the semi he was following.
I pull over and begin to attempt an explanation, but realize quickly that the cop isn't interested. Then we can't locate the registration in the vehicle anywhere. Long story short: $143 in fines.
I'm convinced, just as "I am convinced that neither death, nor life,. . . nor powers can separate us from the love of God", just that certainly, I am convinced that if I chose to drive up and appear for my court date that I could get out of the ticket. I'm convinced that I did nothing wrong (that the officer witnessed). Yes, I was speeding, but only to get around a slow-moving vehicle. I had the cruise set, but not at anywhere approaching 79 mph. However, the gas cost to travel back to northern Tennessee to appear for the purpose of disputing a ticket would be prohibitive, so, I'll pay the fine.
The wife sure is ticked, though. I don't think it helped, 15 miles down the road, that (when she laid into me) I blamed the $50 portion of the fine (for not carrying the registration) on her! After all it was her car. . . .
The Moral of the Story
Stay way the [heck] away from Kentucky when you're driving. Next time we go to Ohio, I'm going by way of Texas and North Dakota!