Previously on Keep It Up, David: Click here to see January 21 Adventures – Part 1. For you lazy sonsofbitches, here’s the cliffnotes: I had a looong, eventful day yesterday. I came back from the gym to find I had locked myself out of house. I headed to Ann Arbor for lunch with a friend; saw lots of friends at a reception at my old University, and headed up to Flint to meet up with other friends. Oh yeah, and my day ended with a cop giving me field sobriety tests on the side of the road. Why was I pulled over? What happened next? For the answers… keep reading!
Midnight. “I’m going to have you walk nine steps, heel-to-toe, along this tire track. Then you’re going to turn to your left, and walk nine steps in that direction. And this is what I mean by heel-to-toe…” The officer demonstrates. “You may want to take your hands out of your pockets for this,” the officer advises. My hands were in my pockets because they were freezing, but I do as he suggests, and start walking the line. I wonder how much I have to stumble to fail, but I walk the nine steps, turn, and walk back towards my car. I stop after the nine steps, and stand still, facing away from the officers. “There’s just one more thing…” the officer says.
7:30pm. I made it to Flint, and picked up my friend Lynn, who I grew up with, have known my whole life, and is a fantastic friend. Then we picked up Kate, one of Lynn’s best friends, who I’ve known for a few years (at least), and I like her a lot and she’s a lot of fun to be around. While driving to Kate’s, I asked Lynn what the speed limit was on the road we were on, as I hadn’t seen any signs. Lynn knew it to be 55 mph. I was going 40. I sped up a little, and Lynn started talking about how cops around here are known for pulling people over for going 1 mph over the speed limit. Fantastic.
7:50pm. The three of us headed into Sagano for dinner:
It’s one of those Japanese restaurants there you sit around a big communal table and a chef prepares your food right in front of you on a big grill, while flipping food around and showing off knife and spatula tricks. Our chef started the cooking by lighting a big ol’ fire on the grill and then extinguishing it – which we knew was coming as we’d seen other chefs across the restaurant do it – but we got to looking around, and noticed a complete absence of smoke detectors and sprinklers. Hmmm… safety first, anyone? Here was our chef, but I forgot his name (or maybe I never learned it, I’m not sure):
Lynn, who is a regular reader of this blog, mentioned only about 4 times over the course of the evening that she wanted to be featured in the blog, so get ready for this, Lynn! Here’s you and me and Kate at our table! (Lynn’s on the left)
The food was delicious, and not the healthiest (I noticed every time the chef added oil and butter, which was frequently), but I didn’t eat tons, and it was definitely a fun experience. First came some miso soup and a small little salad:
The dressing on the salad tasted like a peanut sauce, but we were corrected by Tyler, our non-Japanese waiter, who said it was sesame seed and sesame oil-based.
Next, our table-side chef whipped up some assorted grilled veggies and noodles. I only ate half of my noodles, and Lynn took the rest home:
For my main course, I ordered tuna, cooked medium rare. Very tasty. I also got some steamed rice on the side (I ate about a 1/4 cup), and in the upper right corner, a couple different dipping sauces. Our chef described the orange one as a ‘shrimp sauce’ and the red one was ‘ginger sauce’, which was very gingery – a good thing.
Oops – I’m not going in order – we also got a couple shrimp as an appetizer (hence, I suppose, the need for Shrimp Sauce:
There was some fun people-watching at the restaurant, including a woman across the way still sporting a ’80s metal band perm/hairdo, and it was a good meal.
9:30pm. There are times and situations where I instantly revert to being a 13-year-old boy. Talking or thinking about VG’s is one of them. VG’s is a chain of 17 grocery stores in Michigan, and there’s one by Lynn’s house, and at 9:30pm we were pulling into the parking lot:
When I was visiting a few years back, Lynn, Kate, and I made a quick stop at VG’s, which was the first time I had ever heard of the store. My mind instantly went into the gutter, and I asked Lynn and Kate: “What does VG’s stand for? Vaginas?” We all had a big laugh and now, I can’t drive by VG’s, or talk or think about it, without making dirty jokes like a middle schooler. “Do you need anything?” I asked Lynn on the phone during my drive from Ann Arbor to Flint, “because I could poke around in Vaginas all night long if I have to.” It’s that, times 50, and raunchier, every single time when I’m with Lynn and Kate. Immature? Surely. Hilarious? I’m laughing just thinking about it!
Anyhoo – I was out of hair gel, and thought that’d be the perfect excuse to pull into Vaginas. I found my gel, and I also scored souvenirs when Kate got me a couple reusable bags that I will proudly shop with when I’m back in southern California. Thank you, Kate!
By the way, the website printed on that bag, theveege.com (which is a terrible website address and is just begging to be the source of endless dirty puns), doesn’t even work. The store’s website is actually www.vgsfood.com.
9:50pm. Driving to nearly Flushing, Michigan, which is Kate’s hometown, to get a drink and play some Keno. After not seeing any signs, I ask again what the speed limit is on this road. It’s 55 mph, and I’m going 44.
10pm. We pull up to Johnny’s Pour House, a bar:
Here’s me and Lynn with the wooden bear sculpture inside the front door:
I ordered my first and only drink of the night, a Bud Light, and we settled into at a table, and got our Keno on. The Michigan Lottery sponsors Club Keno, which you can play in bars across the state. There’s drawings every couple minutes. I won $5, which sounds great, until I mention the part where I also lost $30 or so.
Midnight. Back in the car, headed towards Lynn and Kate’s houses, so I can drop them off and head back down to my parents’ house. We’re drove along a quiet 2-lane road. There’s no other traffic, anywhere, except for a car behind me. I approached a 4-way stop, and stopped completely. I accelerated past the intersection, and that’s when I see the dancing blue lights bounce off my rear-view. Crap. One other car on the road, and it’s a cop. What did I do?
After pulling over, I slid my license out of my wallet and asked Lynn to get the registration and insurance cards out of the glove box. “I can’t find them,” she said after a few seconds, “except for this registration card that expired in 2007.” Crap. No insurance card, and no current registration card. This is one of my parents’ cars, and it’s not like them to be unprepared in this way. Crap. It doesn’t matter what I was pulled me over for, I can get tickets just for the lack of paperwork.
The cop appeared at my window, asked for my license, registration, and insurance, and I sheepishly handed over what I had. He asked a few questions, and I answered: We’re coming from a bar. I had one beer a couple hours ago. He took my stuff, and Lynn and Kate’s IDs as well, and disappeared back to his cruiser.
After a few minutes, he returned, and had me step out of the car. I asked him, as we walked to the shoulder between my car and the cruiser, “Why I was pulled over to begin with, Officer?” There’s a pregnant pause, and the cop responded. “Your taillights were dim. It seemed like the only light coming from them was the light reflected from my headlights.” Bullshit. I can see my lights right now, and they’re on. But I kept my mouth shut, because that’s when the cop started explaining the field sobriety tests I had to complete. I followed the pen with my eyes, and then walked along a line, heel-to-toe. After I finished the walk exercise, I stood still, faced away from the officers. “There’s just one more thing…” the officer said.
Crap. This is where I get the lecture about having all the proper paperwork. This is where he pulls out his pad and starts writing a ticket. Crap. I spun around to face the cop, who was walking towards his cruiser. He reached in the open window, leaning so far inside it that the whole upper half of his body disappeared. A few seconds later, and he walked towards me. “Here’s your things back. I’m going to let you go. You’ll want to get those taillights looked at.” Whew! “Thank you, Officer. I’ll do that.” No, I won’t.
I climbed back into my car and exhaled.
I later learned, from my dad, that the car indeed has the proper, current registration and insurance cards, in a hidden compartment inside the glove box door that I didn’t even know existed.
2am. Pulled into my parents’ driveway. The long day is over. Field sobriety tests aside, it was a good day – I worked out; ate well… there’s nothing left to say about January 21, 2011, except…
….Keep it up, David!