brush with the law

     It's not often that the staff of verbosity really gets a chance to show off our rebel side. Sure, it may seem like the life of three students/part-time magazine publishers might be full of intrigue and excitement, but, surprisingly enough, it's not at all. To tell the truth, we're pretty mild-mannered as it goes. However, on the night of December 10 (or, rather, the morning of December 11), verbosity had a run-in with the law (federal, no less) -- and we dragged some innocent bystanders along for the ride.

The Cast:

Jess' Interpretation:

     It had been a long night for all of us. Mandy, Tonya, Seth, and I had began the night with an exciting trip out for Chinese and the Fort Henry Mall. After dinner, we were joined by the remainder of the crew for a lovely viewing of Evil Dead 2 and -- at least for me -- an emotionally-trying summit meeting. When the movie ended, we realized that there was need to cap off the night in a truly memorable way. Unfortunately, the best we could come up with was a trip to the local Perkins for milkshakes. Incidentally, verbosity fully endorses Perkins' milkshakes; try one today! Anyway, back to the story.

     So, we made our way to the nearest Perkins (at the wee hour of 1:00AM) and had our fill of shaken milk. However, we still weren't ready for bed -- except for Tonya, of course -- and decided to head to the local TVA-sanctioned dam for a nice little walk to wrap up the evening. Little did we know when we left at two o'clock what adventures awaited us at that mighty hydoelectric result of the New Deal economic policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt -- the South-Holston Dam.

     In two separate cars, divided between boys and girls, we headed for the dam. I led the way with the guys in the official verbosity transportation Civic, followed by Mandy and Tonya in the former's Camaro. As we winded our way slowly up the mountain to the top of the dam, we realized we were being trailed. "Um, someone just pulled out from the patrol station, guys..." said Corey. A quick glance to the rear-view confirmed our worst fears -- it was the police!

     This was no ordinary police officer, mind you. This was a genuine dam-type-patrol-person that we found pulling up on our tail. Needless to say, it was a rough situation. Why was he following us? Were we trespassing after hours on government property? Did he notice that we had run a stop sign a few hundred yards back? When the lights flashed on, we knew we were about to find out.

     With Mandy and Tonya bringing up the rear, the officer naturally pulled them over first. I pulled off ahead, woke up Jamie (who had been sleeping his way through the night) and awaited our turn. The officer, a physical specimen to reckoned with, exited his Crown Victoria and started the run-down with Mandy and Tonya. In the Civic, we heard -- over our incessant giggling -- the officer explaining to them that they had been speeding through the federal lands. As they hopelessly attempted to talk their way out of trouble, the officer returned to his car and began the process of running Mandy's license.

     Needless to say, things were fairly intense at this point. I could already imagine the looks of a federal trespassing fine on my record. However, as is the nature of verbosity, we tried to keep a light-hearted spirit about the situation. Anyway, we could always have a little fun at Mandy and Tonya's expense before the officer made his way over to our vehicle.

     By this time, the officer had returned to Mandy and Tonya's car, toting a speeding warning for them. He handed them the ticket and, after a stern talking-to, let them go. It wasn't over, though; we were next in his sights. As he came up to the car, I rolled the window down, ready to turn on my patented smooth-talking methods. Who knew if they could save us this time?

     The officer came up and gave us the usual, "Do you know what the speed limit is up here, son?" In response, I gave him a meek, "It's 25 miles per hour, isn't it, sir?" The officer seemed genuinely impressed with my honesty, but still felt to need to shine all of us with his flashlight. Despite our clean-cut look, he asked, "None of you boys have been drinking, have you?" Ever the sarcastic fellow, I responded, "Only milkshakes, sir." I knew that might have been a mistake. Would he have a sense of humor? A smile cracked on his face -- we had won him over. "Well, boys, I'm going to let you all go with just a verbal warning. Feel free to stick around as long as you want; just take it a little slower on the way out."

     We had triumphed! The staff of verbosity (and Jamie), had managed to weasel our way out of the written warning that had befell Tonya and Mandy. As the cop drove off, we received severe beatings and cursings at the hands of the defeated ladies, but it was all worth it. We had won; verbosity had beaten the law. The night was finished off with a nice little walk and a viewing of one of the most beautiful meteor showers I've ever had the joy of bearing witness to. Sometimes, life just doesn't get any better.

Minority Opinion by Mandy and Tonya:

     We have been gifted with the opportunity to impart to you the truth of the night's activities on Tuesday, December 10, 1996. The actions of the editors of verbosity perfectly exemplify the tragic extinction of "real" men. The names have not been changed in order to incriminate the guilty.

     The night started off with a payback Chinese dinner. It was our reward, yet Mandy had to pay for her own dinner, while Tonya got to eat for free. Do we see favoritism here? But, despite this, the dinner was definitely the most enjoyable part of the evening. We then chose to watch a movie to pass the time. About the movie, it began with the quest for working the VCR at which Corey miserably failed, forcing Mandy, a female, to fix the problem! The movie, Evil Dead 2, speaks for itself.      A quick stop at Perkins resulted in a gossip session over milkshakes, (which Jamie managed to sleep through) focusing on the hardships of relationships. We attemped to enlighten the guys concerning the superior nature of female but this seemed to be a hopelss endeavor except for Jess who always sides with the girls. By the way, the friends o'verbosity fully endorse Perkins' milkshakes; try one today!

     After the Perkins stop, we began the trek to the South Holston dam. We led the way for the first twenty miles. May we point out for this part of the journey, we maintained a safe, careful, and legal speed. Mandy's incredible driving skill and acute vision (both of which Jess lacks), allowed us to make it safely to the road leading to the dam. At this point, Mandy let Jess lead the way because she was unfamiliar with the dangerous mountain road. Once Jess took the lead, we knew we were in trouble. He immediatly floored the car with the hamster-bearing engine and they unexpectedly left us in the dust, that is until Mandy barely touched the gas of her mighty Camaro and we immediately found ourselves right behind them.

     As we turned a curve, a huge deer leaped in front of the guys, who did not even notice this. The reason for this is that Jess, being optically challenged, is only allowed to drive when Seth is in the car to point out stop lights, stop signs, other cars, but to our disadvantage, not speed limit signs. As we continued to follow the Civic, we noticed another car coming toward us at an increadible speed. We watched this unknown vehicle drive through a field and try to hit a deer, which was fleeing for its life on federal property. This car, which we believe to be a tool of Satan, then proceeded to ride the bumper of the precious 1995, black, five speed Chevrolet Camaro.

     We were on our side of the road, following the guys with this maniac driving in the middle of road behind us when Jess decided to run a stop sign which he more than likely did not see. Being the safe driver that Mandy is, she of course came to a full and complete stop. The mystery car still persisted. We came to the top of the hill, when suddenly we felt like that deer. Blinded by four huge bright lights and flashing blue lights, Mandy managed to pull safely off the side of the road. The guys however ran and parked their vehicle just within earshot. We could see their car with the interior light on and them giggling like a bunch of little school girls.

     On the side of the road, we waited in silence, anticipating the arrival of the public officer sworn to serve and protect us. The silence was punctuated by a slamming door and the slow dragging gait of the approaching figure. We turned, smiling innocently at the figure when suddenly we were struck blind by the 300-watt flashlight. Even the sounds of the night animals and the incessant giggling of the guys were silenced by the menacing hunchbacked giant looming over our car. The only sound was the wheezing hiss of the monster's breath. Regaining the capacity to speak, if not to see, Mandy politely inquired, "Officer, is there a problem?" In response he screeched, "You're going down!" In stunned horror we looked to our "friend's" slow mode of vehicular transportation to see it empty (later, we found out they were cowering under the seats). Meanwhile, Officer Mitchell preceeded to rake us over hot coals (quite literally), pausing only to question Mandy's ownership of the prized Camaro. As he stopped to gasp for air, we inserted the fact that we were merely following our "friends". Officer Mitchell swung the 300-watt flashlight toward the seemingly empty vehicle and shreiked "I'll get those losers yet!" Ripping Mandy's license from her hand, Officer Mitchell stomped back to his vehicle and slammed the door. Returning moments later, he shoved the license and a written warning into Mandy's face. Telling us to "get the heck outta here!" May we remind you that we were on public lands sponsored by our tax dollars? As he sauntered back to his car, we quickly rushed to our "friends," eager to help.

     We pulled in next to the guys who were peeping up over their seats and snickering at us. We were ever so calm and composed and knew that they were about to get their's. The TVA police officer proceeded to pull in beside of the guys, blocking their only possible exit. Lumbering toward the verbosity mobile, he momentarily blocked the lights allowing us to see the guys expressions. Oddly enough it reminded us of the way a turtle looks as it is about to be flushed by a five-year-old. Upon reaching the Civic, Officer Mitchell directed the huge 300-watt flashlight directly into the guys faces. Upon seeing their boyish figures and hearing their high pitched wails of fear, his disposition immediately changed to one of eager anticipation. He leaned on the car, took off his cap and chuckled. Ever the sensitive males, we heard their pitiful cries of "I'm huge, I'm huge!" (We noticed Jess Little-Hands cried louder than them all.) These wails merely made the Officer smile more as he asked them in a husky drawl "Whatcha boys doing tonight? Do ya know the speed limit around here?" Jess with his uncanny ability to play the fool answered, "Why, 25 miles per hour, sir" (this response dashed our hopes of Jess helping us by denying any such knowledge). The officer again smiled and in fascinated horror we watched the exchange of phone numbers and monkeytary units. Winking, the Officer only gave the guys a tongue lashing which didn't seem to bother them as much as one would have thought. Following this Officer Mitchell tipped his hat and skipped back to his car...the sound of his tittering laughter filling the air and sending chills down our spines. Is it any wonder the guys managed to "talk" their way out of a ticket?!

     Waiting only until the car and the laughter disappeared into the night we lunged toward the guys only to have them leap away in fear (it has already been proven that Tonya is more of a man that Seth is). We did catch them eventually and proceeded to curse and beat them severely upon the head and shoulders. However, after this release of frustration we somehow managed to enjoy the rest of the night, especially the spectacular meteor shower.

Now, for the truth...

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