Driving under the influence

 

THE CONTRARIAN

WILLY BRANTS DIARY – DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

So we four young fellows finished our round of golf, and went into the clubhouse to celebrate.  We were just finishing our second round, when the bartender went around the room and offered each table a chance to try a new product – “you just put this stick under your tongue, and if it turns red, it means you might have drunk too much to safely drive”.  Wow.  We all tried it, and wouldn’t you know, mine was the only one to turn red.  “Hey, bartender, this thing is no good, we have all had two beer, I have been drinking Blue light, and these guys regular Blue, but mine is the only one turned red”.   “Well, he says, we are all different, I guess you don’t handle booze so well.  I have a regular police-type breathalyzer here, why don’t you give it a blow and we will get an actual reading?”

OK.  So I blow in the thing, and nothing.  “Oh,” he says “I forgot.  This thing is not working right, it needs an extra ballast”.  So he comes back with a great big square iron spike, the kind that hold down railroad tracks, and he holds a frayed copper wire against its rusty side while I blow again.

“Look at that,” he says, it shows even higher.  If you blew this while driving, you would get a twelve hour suspension.  That’s odd.”  I bite my tongue not to suggest that the ridiculous reading might have something to do with that spike.  Then he starts writing up a form.  I ask what that is, and he says that every time he gets a high reading on the breathalyzer, he has to make out a report, and submit it to the police.  “It goes on your record as driving while under the influence”, he says, “but don’t worry.  You weren’t driving so there will be no fine.” 

One of my golfing buddies is an apprentice lawyer, or clerk, or something, and he says that I better try to get that form back – if it goes on my record, I will be flagged as an alcohol abuser.  It means I will automatically lose in any dispute with my wife or kids, I won’t be able to get car insurance, and so won’t be able to drive.  My life insurance will be worthless too, because the company will say I didn’t tell them I was an alcohol abuser, and so the policy is fraudulent.  I won’t be able to get a mortgage, or buy a house, alcohol abusers are notorious credit risks.

“But I just had two Blue lights, and haven’t left the bar yet” I protest.  I ask the bartender to tear up the report, and he refuses, saying it would be worth his job.  I say I am going to go to court to get this report squashed, and tell my tablemates they will be witnesses that I did nothing wrong.  They are all studiously looking at the wall, and I realize they are afraid to go against the establishment, for fear of reprisals, sort of like supporting Bruce Montague.

At this point I wake up sitting bolt upright in bed and sweating profusely. Whew, thank goodness, it was only a nightmare, heck, I didn’t even play golf, even when I was young.

So I told Joe about this bizarre dream.  He said such a scenario probably could not actually occur, even in our over-governed, over-regulated country in the throes of a war to legalize marijuana by demonizing alcohol and tobacco.   But way too close. 

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