We're out on the bottoms late one night. The stupid bastard is trying to kill himself again. You know what his name was? You're not going to believe this, but it was Dennis Hughes. Get it? Tennis Shoes? Maybe that was what drove him to these sad extremes. Who knows.
All I know is, he's demanded the keys to the Jeep and he's doing his damn level best to turn it over. Which wouldn't be all bad, except I'm in it. He finally hits this huge mound of dirt and flips it. Luckily, I fly out the side not turning over. He doesn't.
The body of the Jeep lands on his left hand. We turn it right side up and take him to the Hospital.
Unfortunately, there had been one too many glasses of demon alcohol upturned that night. Good sense had left the building. The two of us who took Mr. Tennis Shoes to the Hospital decided to go in with him and continue the party. No good without all three, eh?
I had come to know that jail cell in that small town pretty well. It was dank and musty, but it did have almost a taste of home after a few nights in there. This night only lasted once. Mr. Hughes, the illiterate millionaire, came and bailed his boy out. And he did the same for the two co-conspirators.
Then I did a very stupid thing. (A brilliant thing, I thought at the time.)
The Chief of Police enjoyed his motorcycle. He would often ride the motorcycle instead of in a squad car, just because he enjoyed it so much. He had a pair of handmade gloves that he loved to wear when he rode that motorcycle.
I prided myself on being able to swipe, steal, shoplift, etc. anything in sight. While we were being booked out of jail, I asked if anyone knew what was going on back in the cell. All eyes turned back to the holding tank. I put those prized motorcycle gloves under my jacket, and we all walked out after the paperwork was done.
Back at J. B.'s house, the drinks were flowing as Tennis Shoes tried to swallow all of his medication at once and the rest of us reveled in the night's happenings.
Then I pulled out the gloves.
I doubt if I've ever done anything in my life that caused more folks to look at me as if I was the craziest bastard on Earth. You could sense that they didn't want to even know me at that point.
Two days later, I got a phone call from the Chief of Police. He told me that if he got those gloves back by the next day, he'd say nothing about it. But, if he didn't, I'd be in prison for several years before the year was up.
He and I had a good laugh about all that one day a few years ago when I was visiting my old home town.
Please don't confront me with my failures,
I have not forgotten them.