With A Little Help From Our Friends

Chapter 35, Blog 3

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang



Even drunk, I realized I needed all the luck I could conjure. For some reason, though, my superstitious worry about a lucky supporter cracked up everyone, except me. Again, I was a stylus in a record scratch until another question nudged me.

“Harry! How in the hell …”

I didn’t have to finish. He knew what was on my mind.

“The committee’s vice president – he’s originally from good, ol’ Terre Haute,” Harry said.

“He is?” I was incredulous.

Harry chuckled.

“The very last one I could call. Told him you wanted to make the Terre Haute Club event your signature race every year.”

“You didn’t.”

“Naturally, it tied his testicles in a knot.”

I pondered that.

“C’mon, Harry. WHO did you bribe?”

“You will never know,” he said and hummed on.

“Is that the Olympic fanfare I hear?”

“It’s not ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ Boomer Boy.”

Between sips from my water bottle, I dug in one pocket after the other. Yes, I had broken training and would pay for it. Yes, I had beer poisoning and needed a flush. Worse, I was missing my wallet. I knew I needed it. Did I leave it at home?

… better tell ’em to turn around …

Melinda waved my wallet in front of my nose.

“Looking for this?”

“Yeah, can I have it?”

“When we get to the airport, Hon. And not a moment sooner. By then, I hope you’re a little more sober. Nicky! Can’t you make this tomato can go any faster?”

Nicky sweated like a summertime glass of lemonade.

“For Chrissakes, Lindy, there’s too much traffic. The cops might stop us, too. Then we’ll never make it.”

“The HELL they will.”

She hit speed dial on her cellphone.

“Hey Harold, this is Melinda Wells. Hi, how are you? Yes, fine. I need a big favor. Charles is going to the Trials after all. Yes, that’s right. Yes, thank you. But we have …”

She glanced at her wristwatch.

“… about 90 minutes to get to O’Hare. OK? OK. I owe you. We’re in our blue, 2001 Cherokee, northbound on Indiana 49, crossing 500 North. Yes. That’s right. Thanks a billion.”

“Whut wuz dat?” asked Ralphie.

Melinda sat back and folded her arms.

“Just watch.”

Less than 15 seconds later, a tan and brown Porter County police car burst out of nowhere and scooted around us. The bubble lights sprayed red and blue. The siren wailed to life.

“They’re clearing the road, Nicky. Stay on their ass,” said Melinda. “And for God’s sake, don’t lose them.”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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