Random story time of an event in years past . . .

It was about 3 o’clock in the morning. We were dead tired and heading up a deserted, winding four-lane divided highway toward Santa Cruz. Neither of us could hardly keep our eyes open, so we pulled over to the side of the road, which was littered with about a foot of dry fallen leaves. I could hear them crackle underneath the Jeep tires as we pulled to a stop.

We were masters at the art of car camping. It took only about 10 minutes for us to move all our items into the front seats and to line all the windows with flimsy bamboo beach mats and our tattered sarongs. We unfurled our sleeping bags and cuddled up in the cold and immediately fell into a deep, necessary sleep.

We awoke with the early morning sunrise and the sound and force of semi-trucks barreling past. “Well,” he said. “I suppose it’s time to get going again.” We sat and talked for a few minutes and debated about whether we should wake n’ bake. We decided to hold off, a restraint that we didn’t often exercise.

“I need to pee,” he said. “But I’m kind of nervous about it. Cops love to give tickets for that kind of thing.”

“What?” I said. “Cops don’t give tickets for peeing on the roadside!”

“Yes, they do,” he laughed and got out of the Jeep, leaves crunching underfoot.

I was naked in the Jeep and covered with blankets and leisurely waking up while he was outside quietly pissing when all of a sudden, I heard the voice of another person.

“Whatcha doing there?” said the voice. “Are you peeing?

“No.” Later as he re-told the story, he mentioned that this was about the time he ‘quietly put his dick away.’ He said, “I’m checking my tire pressure.”

“Really? Cause I thought you were peeing there, son.”

“Nah, just waking up. Girlfriend’s in the truck. Checking that we’re good to go.” I heard him move through the leaves again back toward the rear door. I thought that was going to be it, but I heard the crunching of leaves by a second set of more determined footsteps. It was about this time that I was really glad that we’d chosen not to break bread that morning.

“I’m gonna need to take a look there in the truck,” the cop said.

“Why?” he asked.

“What if there’s someone back there with a gun?” What is that cop talking about? I thought to myself. It was one of those frighteningly absurd moments that just come from out of nowhere.

“She’s naked.” He said to the policeman.

“Well, I have to make sure she’s not a hostage.”

Again. What?!!? I was busy throwing on a shirt and pants in case this situation went spiraling downhill. The door cracked open. I could see the policeman inching closer, could hear the leaves shuffling. I did the only thing I could think to do in such a strange situation – be a goofball. I laughed and giggled and called out in a sing-song voice, “I’m here of my own recognizance, Officer!”

And the next moment was an unfolding of reason. The policeman realized he was out of line, I could tell by the suddenly self-conscious look on his face, a look of “Oh shit, I’m being ridiculous.” And then the three of us all made acute eye contact and exchanged those real moment of truth kind of looks with each other. Then the cop said, “Have a nice day, folks!” Then he waved and retreated, crunching backwards through the fallen leaves. (The spot was so tight that the two of them had been in, that the cop didn’t even have room to turn around.)

He jumped into his squad car and zoomed away. He’d been sitting there, we figured out later, since well before sunrise, just waiting for one of us to pop out of the car in a marijuana smoke cloud, or brandishing a gun or a hostage or something. He’d pulled up deliberately into the blind spot of the Jeep so no one would see him when they got out of the car for their good-morning piss . . . or whatever it was he surmised we might be doing wrong.

So let this be a lesson to you all – yes, cops do indeed give tickets for roadside pissing. If you get caught – keep your cool, put your dick away quietly and just say that you were checking the air pressure of your tires. Try to make sure that your naked friend who’s still in the car has stashed all the guns and hostages into the glove box. You’ll be fine.