Love, Kristen: The Highway Patrolman’s Ball

Caution, reader’s discretion is advised for mature subject matter.

Check Engine Light

Today on the way into work, I was pulled over for speeding. The motorcycle cop walked up to my car window, flipping open his ticket book on the way. Before he could ask me for my license, registration and insurance card, I said, “I bet you are going to sell me a ticket to the Highway Patrolman’s Ball.”

“Highway patrolmen don’t have balls,” he said.

A seemingly long moment transpired before I smiled, using all of my restraint to not hee-haw in front of him. The stern-looking officer realized finally what he had just said, closing his ticket book abruptly and making an about-face, getting back on his motorcycle and leaving without saying another word.

Laughing so hard as he drove away, I got in my car quickly for him not to see me in stitches. Under his helmet, the lawman’s face shone brightly red as a ripe West Virginian tomato, just plucked from the vine.

My “check engine” light came on suddenly. Now what? I thought while popping open the hood. Silly light! The engine was still there, but I felt it was best to leave the car at the shop next to the school and have them check it over.

Not knowing Jack or Jill about the workings of an automobile, nor anything mechanical for that matter, I’m usually paranoid about being ripped off by a repair shop; however, the guys next door are reliable. All the teachers leave their cars there to be repaired. It’s most convenient, and the mechanics would be cutting their own throats if they took advantage of one of us.

My students in the fifth grade at Beckley Elementary are still having a problem with their grammar and vocabulary. So, today I asked for a show of hands from those who could use the word “beautiful” in the same sentence twice.

“My daddy bought my mama a beautiful, new dress and she looked beautiful in it,” Susie Whittaker said after being picked first to answer the question.

“Excellent!” I told her.

Next, I called on Sammy Taylor, who responded with, “My mama planned out a beautiful banquet and it turned out beautifully.”

“That’s a wonderful sentence, Sammy,” I told him.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Johnny Hatfield, flailing his arms wildly and jumping up and down in his seat like a bull frog, trying to get my attention. It was against my better judgement to call on him (see my entry in the Comedy Corner Archive dated 10/3/99), yet I told him to give us his example.

“Last night at the dinner table, my sister told my dad she was pregnant,” Johnny exclaimed. “Choking on his pork chop, Pop said, ‘Beautiful, just fucking beautiful!'”

I should have known better, but you have to admit it was hilarious. I had to turn my back away from the class, to cover my mouth and hold back a belly laugh, hiding my face so not to give away my absolute amusement.

The bell rang and it was time for the kids to go home. I told Johnny that if he ever used such language in class again, he would be sent home and suspended for a week.

It’s tough being the heavy. I could almost read Johnny’s mind when he looked at me after I laid down the law. It was like, “Well, you asked me first, you (insert expletive here) bitch.” He too left abruptly as the embarrassed trooper had done earlier in the day: without saying a word.

I picked up my car after work, by the way. The owner said nothing was really wrong with it other than needing “blinker fluid,” for which he said there was no charge; although, I had to pay $35.00 to have the light reset.

Nothing is totally free anymore. I’m glad it was nothing major. Happy Thanksgiving to all, if I don’t talk to you until after then.


About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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