Love Birds, Jail Birds

Oops.

THE LAKE!!!

I got so caught up in talking that I PASSED OUR EXIT!!

SHIT! THIS might make us LATE now!!

Hmmm. I look down at my phone, as Steve Jobs is now rerouting us for 400 County Road. And I.D. NOW TAKES NOTE!!!

I.D., “Hey, man! Which way are you taking us, anyway?? Dis’ ain’t da right way to the cour’ house, man!”

Driver, nervously, “Uhhhh, sorry! I got all caught up talking and missed our exit. It’s ok, though. We’re STILL making good time. We did the right thing avoiding 101 traffic. My phone is rerouting us to the next exit. We’re cool.”

I.D. perks up in his seat as we veer off on the next exit, and head west up into the hills and onto Skyline Drive, with its majestic view of the ocean.

Hmm. West?? This is odd. Redwood City is to the EAST of 280. I check my phone…

Well, it still says ‘400 County Road, Redwood City.’ Maybe it’s to avoid traffic?

I.D., “Where da hell you taking us, man?”

Driver, “I’m following my phone, man! Maybe it’s a traffic thing.”

I.D. hesitant, but assuring, “Well, I tink I’ve been dis’ way, before. Okay.”

As we wind through the beautiful redwoods of Skyline Drive and smell the greenery and fresh mountain air, I consider how odd this route is. I mean, this is the route the kids and I take when we go camping at Big Basin, to get away from it all! Cell signals even drop out a bit further down! Hmm.

Eight minutes later…

We pull up on 400 County Road. And it’s a dirt road leading to… NOTHING… IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS!!!

This ISN’T REDWOOD CITY!!! There is NO court house ANYWHERE NEAR HERE!! We’re WAY up in the SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS!!!

I.D., “WHA DA HELL, MAAAAN!! DIS’ AIN’T NO REDWOOD CITY COUR’ HOUSE!”

Then, I.D. turns to Babee, with,

“Babee, you goin’ to JAIL!!! But, I got monee to bail you out, babee… Don’ woree! I got monee!!”

He looks at his watch.

I.D., “DAMN! It’s 8:50! We supposed to be dere at 9 ‘o clock! Dis’ is her TIRD failure to appear!! She goin’ to JAIL!!!”

And at this, Babee starts moaning, hunching over and grabbing her stomach, as I.D. begins to scheme…

I.D., “Man, dere’s a fire department up the road. I know dis’ place. Pull in dere and we ask a fireman for directions. Dat way, I can tell da judge we try ‘n he can call da fire department to see we try, for proof! Man, I hope you don’ mind, but I’m gonna tell da judge dis’ wa ALL your fault! Nothin’ personal, but we gotta keep Babee outta JAIL!”

Driver, “Oh! I don’t mind. You blame it ALL on me! No problem. We’ll hit the fire department up the road for directions, and the proof that you tried, and then we’ll head back east as fast as we can! I’ll look up directions for the court house, proper. I hope your plan works.”

Yeah, right. That plan will NEVER work. Like the judge is going to give a shit that they asked a fireman for directions on Babee’s THIRD failure to appear… Babee’s going to jail!

I check my phone, as we wind down beautiful Skyline Drive, with its lush ferns and tall redwoods, and with the sun now dancing through the leaves, as it casts soft shadows on this curvy mountain road.

My iPhone blinks with a hit on the Redwood City Court House… Hey! That courthouse is at 400 County CENTER! NOT ‘ROAD’! This wasn’t MY fault! I.D. gave me a BAD ADDRESS!

Hmm. But, still. WHY did Steve Jobs say County Road was in Redwood City??  We’re easily a HALF HOUR WEST of Redwood City up here! This was a totally CRAZY out of the way deviation WEST from 280!!!

We pull into the dirt drive of this country fire department behind Alice’s Restaurant, at a crossroads in La Honda. (Yes, THAT Alice’s Restaurant.) And a young, fit, guy in a fireman’s bib and suspenders approaches the cab, as Babee gets out and pretends to ask for directions. (Even though we already have a new route for the CORRECT address on my phone.)

The fireman looks at all of us quite curiously, pretty confused, like we’re crazy. This must be an unusual sight for around these parts. I watch through the windshield as he slowly gestures his arms and hands, guiding Babee back out, and towards the crossroads, towards the same direction my phone has already mapped out.

I.D. yells out the window to Babee,

“Babee! Babee! Get a business card from him! We nee’ to show the judge!!”

Our fireman hears I.D.’s plea to Babee, and actually has a business card at the ready, in his pocket! He hands it to Babee, as squinting and looking even MORE confused.

Babee thanks the fireman, before turning around to scamper back to the cab, with her high heels, kicking up a cloud of dust and her ample breasts bubbling out of her dress.

We back out of the dirt drive and zoom over to rural Highway 84, before coming to a dead halt, post haste aside a sheer mountainous cliff… for Caltrans cleanup work. It’s for a rock and mudslide on this carved out mountain road, on account of the recent deluge that’s been flooding the Bay Area. As we’re stopped, we surmise that Caltrans seems to be allotting about five minutes each for LONG lines of backed up cars, each poised and waiting to head in opposite directions. And all taking turns on a now single track lane!

As we’re stuck waiting, I.D. starts to joke more about how Babee is now UNQUESTIONABLY going to jail, and jibbing her about how, “If you go lesbo in jail dere, babee, don’t be coming home aftah! HA!!”

And now, Babee starts sniffling. Though, I’m not sure if she’s crying, or if it’s on account of the cocaine. (Probably a little of both.)

Babee, suddenly testing all hesitant, “(SNIFF!) Driver, do you ever pass people on these single lanes?”

But before driver can answer, I.D. jumps in to smakc down this brilliant idea, “Babee! He CAN’T pass dese cars! Da cops will be ALL ovah us! ‘N den we BOTH be goin’ to jail! With what we got on us! Das’ the WHOLE reason you in this mess IN THE FIRS’ PLACE, BABEE!!”

And with this reminder, Babee perks up and starts emptying out her purse and pockets onto her lap.

Babee, “You’re right, honey! I better make sure I can get through the metal detector!”

She digs through the mess in her lap, and promptly hands up Driver a cork screw, and pair of wire cutters, pleading,

“Here! Do you want this corkscrew, driver? And these wire cutters! I can’t bring them into jail! PLEASE! Take them!”

Driver, obliging, “Oh! I’m sure my fourteen year-old would be happy to have these things. No problem. Thanks.”

At which Babee again glows and coos, “Awwww. You’re SUCH a GOOD daddy!”

Meanwhile, I.D. has started trying to call Babee’s lawyer on his cell, to no avail. It’s 9:25am.

I.D., “Damn. He’s not answering. Cour’ mus’ have already started. DAMN, babee. You goin’ to JAIL!”

And Babee moans and hunches over some more, as Driver tries to offer the light of the situation, while at this point struggling to hold back tears, and laughter, BURSTING at the seams!

Driver, “(Snicker!) Well, look on the bright side. It’s a pretty scenic view around here. (Snicker!) You can see the whole of the basin out there! All of those trees! I mean, (Snicker!) while we’re stuck here with the clock ticking and waiting for Caltrans to let us through, look at ALL the beauty out there! (Snicker!) The water trickling down the clay carved in the mountain side, right outside of our window! (Snicker! Snicker!) And the ferns sticking out of the clay! I mean, (Snicker!) listen to all of those birds chirping! We couldn’t ASK for better scenery!”

Driver is now virtually in TEARS, trying not to laugh at Babee’s misfortune! HA!!!

I.D. interjects, however, in not so reassuring fashion, “Yeah, babee. Look outside at all da beauty. ‘N you better remember it. Cause pretty soon, all you’re gonna be seein’ is da concrete ‘n steel… INSIDE JAIL!!”

Babee moans and hunches over yet AGAIN, as Caltrans FINALLY flags our line of cars through the single track lane, and onto FREEDOM!

We soon approach civilization, as we begin passing though the immense wealth of Woodside, California, with its rich ranch style homes, horses and tranquil, rustic small town charm.

As we gawk at the splendor and wealth, I.D. comments that Babee’s judge probably lives here. And he’s likely right. This charming, affluent town, with its proximity to Silicon Valley and the beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains, is home to the likes of Joan Baez, Bill Walsh – ex-coach of the 49ers, Larry Ellison – of Oracle fame, and Steve Jobs’ widow. (Who I’ll have to stop by and thank with a piece of my mind!)

Soon enough, well NOT even close to soon enough, really, AT 9:50AM! And WELL PAST Babee’s court time! We roll into downtown Redwood City, and into the government complex that is 400 County Center.

The meter reads $171! But, despite the bad address given Driver by I.D., I can’t help but accept some of the blame for this fiasco. A fiasco that will No DOUBT see my lovely Babee headed off TO JAIL!! (Snicker! Snicker!)

I do REALLY feel bad for her! (Snicker, snicker.)

SERIOUSLY!!! (Snicker, snicker.)

It’s just that’s it was all… so… ABSURD!!! (Snicker,! Snicker!)

And I.D. and Babee seem so damn COOL about it all! And they STILL LOVE me! And THANK me for driving them!! HA!!! (Snicker! Snicker! Snicker! Snicker!) HA! HA!! HA!!!

I.D. takes note of the meter, but ignores it, making no pretense to offer more money, as they throw open the back door to make a mad dash for court And I do not expect more money. We DID have a deal for $100. Besides, maybe he can post Babee’s bail with the cash he has left, the cash he initially set aside for that purpose… when he thought she’d be on time!

Before my passengers begin the dash, though, I yell to stop them.

“WAIT! HERE!!” Driver prints a receipt from the meter. “Take this receipt! Show it to the judge! It shows the time I picked you up in San Francisco, the $171 meter, and the time I got you here! Maybe it’ll help! Show some kind of good faith?? And like you said, you can blame it on your driver!”

I.D. snatches the receipt from my hand, says nothing more. And DARTS!!!

As Driver shouts out after, snickering with sincerity, and warmed by the love of I.D. and Babee,

And, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

 

_____

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Photo by Alex SacK

www.AlexSacK.com

Check out Alex’s Book 1 – San Francisco TAXI: A 1st Week in the ZEN Life…
& Book 2 San Francisco TAXI: Life in the Merge Lane…

Alex Sack

Alex Sack, born 1970, is a taxi driver who grew up in the Washington D.C. suburbs of Maryland. He attended several different colleges and universities around the D.C./Baltimore region as a music major for 4 & 1/2 years before quitting - pre-diploma - to the horror of his father. He tried his hand as a professional musician/songwriter seeing him through travels domiciled in New York City’s East Village, Los Angeles (where he scored a few songs on The Disney Channel's 'Even Stevens') and San Francisco - where he's ultimately put down roots. Alex is a single dad to two boys, currently ages 14 and (a hormonal) 16. His post-natal fallback occupation as Operations Assistant at a start-up clean-tech engineering consultancy came to a sudden end with the one-two punch of the owner’s fatal skiing accident in Tahoe and the subsequent downturn in the economy.This - and an acquired nervous twitch to cubicle work - has led to his latest job...

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