Monday, August 10, 2015

Hitch'n Rides in Stolen Cars

The Hitch Hiker

Hitch-hiking through Washington in the late spring 1997, I was picked up by a drunk ex-con named Darrel in a stolen car. By the time we got pulled over by the police, I was driving the stolen car. 

Normally I don't except rides by drunk drivers, and I don't condone driving drunk.  It's scary to see drunk drivers on the road, and when Darrel skidded to a halt in the middle of the freeway, locking up all four tires, and skidding the vehicle to a sideways stop - that's when I should have known this was going to be a bad idea.

For some reason I liked Darrel, even though I shouldn't have.  The odd shaped fenders, and the poor paint job, made the car look a bit like a Toyota Celica, but the hack-job was obvious. I figured, what the hell, the car's got plates on it, and Darrel seems fun, so I got in.

Offering me a beer, and grabbing another for himself, he asked if I had any weed on me. I said, "of course man, I just flew down from Alaska, and it's like currency up there."

The first ten minutes of the ride I will never forget. Darrel had the throttle pinned, and was working the stick like a rally car wanna-be. Swerving the little black heat-score around traffic at 90 to 110 mph, passing a line of cars on the shoulder of the road, two wheels in the dirt...

OMFG!!! I was kissing my ass goodbye. Bad idea, bad idea.

"Hey man, let's pull over, and smoke this joint I rolled. Maybe you should let me drive, you are a little drunk,"  I suggested. 

I started driving and we're heading all the way to Spokane. Awesome. This day ride was working out just fine.

But it didn't, and one of the most strange, yet erotic things in my life was about to happen. We stopped for gas and more beer, and Darrel paid with a credit card (stolen) he said was his mom's (lie). I noticed a cop drive by while we were inside, but I didn't think anything of it. (Yes I'm dumb and dumber, I know, and very naive - even for a seasoned hitchhiker with a couple long tours under my belt.)

The cop pulled us over one block from the gas station. When the lights and siren lit up, Darrel started screaming in excitement, pounding his fists on the dash, and getting ready for a good high speed chase.

"Go, go, go man, FUCK YEAH!" Screamed Darrel.

I could tell he wanted to go down swinging in this little rat trap of a sports car, and I'm so glad I was driving, or I don't think I'd be telling this story today.

As soon as I pulled over, Darrel became very quiet, and then nothing happened. The cop approached the vehicle, told us to sit tight, and went back to her vehicle. Ten minutes went by, fifteen minutes went by, Darrel and I were not speaking, the cop wasn't doing anything, and I was starting to freak out.

"What the hell is she doing?" I finally asked about the cop in her car. Darrel responded quietly, "it's procedure to wait for back-up, when serving a felony warrant." That's all he said to me, besides suggesting I stash my weed in the car, because it wouldn't affect him, and I might as well not get in trouble too.

Back-up arrived, and with-in seconds Darrel was in hand-cuffs and being driven away in the back of a Highway Patrol car. Then it was me, my dog Rio, and the cops. They had my expensive skis and climbing gear in the car, and were telling me the car was stollen and the plates on it were false.

I'll have to admit this is where things get a little weird, and a little absurd.

The female cop pulls me out of the vehicle, and right away, I'm thinking the Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote a song about this chick. She was incredible. Tall, gorgeous, strong, dark hair, intense eyes, and looked bad-ass-hot in her tight uniform. (To enhance your blogging experience, click on the link and listen to the music while you read. Warning Explicit Lyrics.)

She slammed me down on the hood of her car, kicking my heels wide, and treating me like a seasoned crook,,, like Darrel.  She was rubbing her tool belt, and her gun, on my ass, pushing my chest down on the hood of the vehicle, and was shouting at me about weapons, and weed. She was patting me down everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and I was getting really turned-on. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been my favorite band for a long time, and all I was able to think about was the song - Sir Psycho Sexy.

I felt like I was starring in a movie, because she was too beautiful to be a real cop. But I had no swagger and this chick was looking to throw my ass in jail for something,,,,, anything. 

"I thought you said you didn't have any weapons!!!" She yelled at me, as she pulled a pen knife out of my pocket. 

"Oh shit, I'm sorry I forgot." I said, and tried to act nervous and not horny. My swagger was still not working and she slammed painful cuffs on me, and threw Rio and I into the back of the cop car, rolled up the windows, and turned the heat on.

They call it a heat-tank, and it's a tactic to break you down if you're lying, and we were in it bad. I couldn't feel my hands from the cuffs, and Rio looked like he was going die from the heat. His tongue was white and hanging out of his mouth, panting like a heart attack.

The two cops pulled out all my possessions from the stolen car, and told me up till this point, I had not broken the law, but if they found anything illegal on me, I was going to be arrested. Then the first thing the other cop pulled out of my pack was my lucky trucker's hat. 

Now this bonafide lucky hat said, "DOPE SMUGGLING it's more than a job it's an adventure."

Yep, that's what it said… I was a derelict ski bum living on the fringe of society, and wore stuff like that to look cool in lift lines in Jackson Hole, and muddy parking lots across Alaska. The cop whistled at the other cop and grinned, showing her the trucker's hat, as they dug into my pack and ski bag with added frenzy to bust me for something big. 

But they never found it. All they found was $58 dollars in cash, my plane ticket from Anchorage to Seattle, Rio's vet papers, and 150 pounds of smelly ski gear. My swagger was starting to work, and my story was starting to pan out. 

OH, he really is a skier and a mountaineer, and not a crook. That's almost commendable.

When the cops released me and Rio from the back of the car, they filled me in on who Darrel was. An ex-con, heroin addict with a record of stealing anything he could get his hands on, and sell them for drugs. They told me he would get me into the city, and steal everything I had, and my dog too, if he could. That's funny, because Darrel had been talking about going into Spokane together. I kept saying no, I'll stay on the highway and push-on to Idaho or Montana. But Darrel insisted we go into the city together…. Hmm?

As the cops drove me and Rio up to the highway, I thanked them for not arresting me. The female cop I was secretly in love with said, "best of luck, and you better know, we just saved you from having everything you own and your dog stollen." She was right, or at least I felt like she was right, and I couldn't get that song out of my head. 

"Feel her getting wet through her uniform..." RHCP


  1. A real life Sir Psycho Sexy experience? Dang, Chris.

    1. Well, they sure don't call me Chris Peaches?

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  3. Aw shit Chris, it's been a bit... That's a fucking great story.