Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Cardboard Box......Chapter Diane Ogden

"Okay,  Roger, I said. I am listening considering you have a case of serious hyperactive inaudible chatter going on." 

His response was. "Settle down you say?  I am the one that was tied up for several hundred miles Julianna, I am the one whose family seems thought they could act like some underworld team of personal highway hijackers!"

My come back considering I seemed to have missed the part where Roger referenced his family in this Lone Ranger Tonto bad guys adventure was. "Oh I see, like I hadn't gone through anything at all while racking my brain trying to figure out a way to save your sorry behind while not even knowing if your sorry behind needed saving.  Why, I went over every FBI show I had seen this past year as well as the latest Bond movie hoping to find a way to help you without getting myself killed.  In fact dorko, I had no idea who those men were. By the way who were those unmasked men Tonto? And I supposed we had better stop in Tulsa and speak to the authorities before any other young people are sold into sex slavery and hauled across the boarder into horrible situations and possible disease and death."

Roger was suddenly quiet for what seemed like an awkward amount of time.  You know, like when a girl is waiting for a man to kiss her, but he doesn't move. So the girl doesn't move either for fear she will take away from the "in waiting" moment.  While I was deep inside of my imaginary girl boy kissing daydream moments, Roger spoke.

"Ah, well, I mean, well, we don't really need to tell anyone really."

I rapidly piped back in with, "What do you mean Roger, we don't need to tell anyone.  Of course we do.  They were kidnappers.  And probably more."

"Ah, well, not really.  Ah, you see, one of them was my uncle Briggs."

I screamed and very loudly.  "What! What did you just say? Your Uncle Biggs tied you up for hundreds of miles.  Oh and I suppose he stole my boom box too right?"

"Well, as a matter of fact he did.  He wanted you to think I had disappeared into the night.  That way you wouldn't call the authorities and kill my Father's plan."

"What plan Roger? A Father, now we have a Father involved too? You need to talk fast Mr. before I pull this Cadi over and let you out of my life forever.  Because so far all I have lost is my boom box and half my metal senses. And who the hell is Becker?  And whose dog did I steal?  And is the law after you?  Am I to expect red and blue police lights and sirens to show up behind and all around me and my beautiful Pink Cadi...... at any moment? You know its not like I have the most inconspicuous vehicle Roger.  It happens to be bright pink in case you hadn't noticed! Will there be a Julianna Rowe wanted poster in every Federal Post Office Roger? That will ruin all my chances of seeing any big city lights Roger who ever you are!"

My face was as red as a West Texas cactus flower. Redder!  I was confused and beyond angry.  Old Duke just lay in the back seat first looking at me, then Roger, then back at me or whoever was shouting at that time. I could see him in my rear view mirror.  If all this had not been so dang serious I might have laughed at the ridiculousness of it.  Just then a possum darted right in front of the Cadi. I hit the brakes while swerving to miss the darn thing and in doing so we spun out and into the ditch.
I sat there crooked in my seat, head down on my steering wheel.  Duke was almost into the front seat from fear.  In my imagination of what he was thinking at that moment was that he wished he was back in Becker's boring truck cab.  Or maybe not.  I raised my head afraid to look at Roger thinking how he had better not be dead.  That would be all I would have needed to happen.  But Roger was not dead, in fact he began laughing.  Laughing so hard it made me laugh.  In fact we laughed until the tears rolled down our faces over and over.  We had had our own Grade B movie going on the past couple days and here it was coming to a head in a ditch off old Route 66 a ways out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  And not a sole in sight to help. 

After the insane laughter ceased I remembered I had seen a sign saying Kellyville x number of miles ahead.  That lack of memory hadn't done us much good.  Roger got out to access the situation and see if I had incurred any damage to my beautiful Pink Cadillac.  And to my surprise there had been no damage.  A few tumbleweeds stuck in the wheel wells and a whole bunch of dust but other than that we seemed on top of things.  And just as we thought the laughing was over Roger pointed west and there was that possum running up the center of the highway free as the lead bird heading south in strong formation.  And so the laughing jag continued.  I guess we needed that.  They say laughter heals all wounds and by the sounds of us we were nearing a good healing.

I had asked Roger where the heck we were going to find a wrecker when there wasn't one human being in site. Then added in a sarcastic tone that there was one possum in site. 

Roger snickered and then looked at me with eyes that danced in a warm pond of sincerity. That is when he said, "Why don't ya just put it in reverse, turn the wheel a sharp left and back right on out of that ditch." 

And so I did.  Once again my imagination had gone wild.  We were all safe, the car was fine, Duke initiated the Cadi's tire while Roger was accessing the mess and the possum was alive and off and running. I took a deep breath, exhaled and calmly asked Roger to continue the saga of the True Detective Becker Biggs ordeal.  Shoot maybe we could sell the story to the real magazine.  Nah, not without some real sex trafficking involved.  Nope, all we had for a story were two kids in a pretty pink Cadillac, a stolen dog, a missing boom box,  and a runaway possum. Sure seemed more serious than that the past 12 hours.  And I just realized how hungry and tired and was.  Even though I had not heard the whole story yet, I could wait. 

We drove onto and through Kelleyville, then Bristow, and finally stopped in Depew for food, a nice soft bed, and shelter from Rogers crazy family.  I parked the Cadi around the back of the motel just in case.  We left Duke in the Motel room and walked back to a small Bar-B-Que place.  Best food I had eaten in a long time.  Brisket that melted in our mouths.  Baked beans, cole slaw and sweet corn bread covered in butter.  To top that off Roger had the prettiest piece of coconut cream pie and I had Southern pecan pie with a tall iced tea.  We brought Duke a big plate of meat and one sugar cookie to go with his little plastic bowl of water we had to keep filling up.  Actually we were hiding him from the owners. Guess they didn't allow dogs. 

When I came out of what Roger stated was the longest shower in history, he was standing there with only a towel around his area. You know, his area?  But then all I had on was a baby doll pajama set.  Little pink lacy top with pink lacy panties to match.  What was I thinking?  I wasn't.  I was tired.  And before Roger finished his longest shower in history, I was sleeping so hard I heard myself snoring.  Not really, Roger told me the following day at breakfast.  That is after he took Duke for a long walk out back of the Shady Rest Motel in Depew, Oklahoma.

Breakfast came for all three of us with eggs, grits, sausage and toast and homemade Oklahoma strawberry jam.  Then we hit the road headed for Oklahoma City.  As usual on my trip to the big city lights I got to visit many a small towns.  And today was no different.  First was Stroud, then Davenport. I had to ask myself and Roger why and who voted to name their city after something you sit on?   I guess who cares.  I loved waving to all the city folk as we passed through.  Loved even more seeing all the horseback riders that were everywhere. We were in cowboy country and I was loving it.  Roger seemed more used to it and not so excited.  He kept asking me to let him drive so I could play tourist with the Okies.  But I would not let him drive my beautiful pink Cadillac.  I didn't know him well enough and I hadn't heard the rest of his story yet.

More cities came and went until finally when we were almost to Edmond I nearly took the wrong exit onto a new Interstate. Roger seeming familiar with this road or maybe just paying more attention to it, stopped me.  We continued west on Edmond Road (US 77) to Broadway Avenue where we had to turn south, following it all the way to Interstate 44 in Oklahoma City.   I had been hesitant to take too many Interstates as I wanted to enjoy the back home old fashioned highways.   They were much more personable with some sights I hadn't ever seen in my life.   Ranches with longhorned cattle I had only seen in magazines.  Cowboys in cowboy boots everywhere.  Rodeo arena's.  And those amazing barbeque joints.  Roger and I had a blast reading the Burma-Shave signs.  There were everywhere.            "My job is
                                 Keeping faces clean
                                 And nobody knows
                                 De stubble
                                 I've seen."
They were on the side of the roads on little signs near the fence lines.  First sign would read:  My job is.    Then fifty feet or so was the next small sign that read:   Keeping faces clean.  Then down the way the next sign read:  And nobody knows.   And so on.  You had to watch the road and watch for the next sign to see what the ending was. 
                                "To kiss
                                 A mug
                                 That's like a cactus
                                 Takes more nerve
                                 Than it does practice"
Roger and I would try to make up some of our own Burma-Shave rhymes which brought on some good laughs.   Yet there was still an undercurrent between us that needed to be aired.  I hadn't heard why Rogers father sent Biggs and Becker after him yet. Or what my role was in the nasty scheme of plots. But come on, to have your own son tied up and returned home has to be quite the story.  I think that is why I had needed a days break from hearing the story, and I had to recharge my mental and physical being. I was doing just that by loving all the sweet southern towns people and beautiful countryside I had passed through.  They say that part of the country is called "The Bible Belt."  It definitely lived up to its name from what I was experiencing. After we dumped Biggs and Becker that is.  And I suppose Roger would tell me they were good Christian men.  No way. But I could wait until tomorrow long as Duke and I were safe. 

We were about four or five hours from Amarillo.  I was so excited to get to Texas I had to hold myself back from speeding.  I had heard about the wild west Rodeos they put on there and hoped we could stay long enough to enjoy one.  Roger was napping and I was day dreaming when out of the blue as well as my rear view mirror I saw a Texas State Trooper descending my rear bumper in all his glory.  Yes with lites and sirens too.  I wasn't imagining this.  I hit Roger as hard as I could in the chest!  Wake up!  "Shit Roger, this better not have anything to do with Biggs and Becker!"  Roger was in shock.  His face turned ashen white and he looked like someone about to die.  I checked on Duke who had laid down and put both paws over his face.  That is when I knew we were in trouble.  Big trouble. 

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