Life In The Slow Lane
Written by Michael Todd
Our family moved away from Memphis in 1995 to a rural area in West Tennessee, located directly between Memphis and Nashville. Occasionally Trudy, my wife, and I will go back to Memphis to see the sights and sounds. It feels strange to visit a place that you grew up in and called home for 39 years, but now when I go there, it is as a tourist…
A few years back, the two of us went just to hang out on Beale St., eat at The Rendezvous (Bar-B-Que) and see some live music. I guess that we must have lost a step in the transition, because we were almost got run over on Second St. by a motorist driving a little red sports car. Not only did this fellow nearly knock us into the Mississippi River, he was obviously angry at us for having to avoid us. He called us names.
Well, that was soon forgotten. We had a big time in the city. We had heard that B.B.King was going to be at his place, but there were no sightings. We saw some good live music, though – mostly blues, had the world-famous Rendezvous ribs – Trudy had the wet while I went with dry… and finished off the tour with a visit to Tower Records. That place was huge. Trudy found a Stanley Brothers live cd that we did not have, so the trip was a resounding success.
When we walked back out into the street, I saw a law enforcement officer with no firearm at his side. He was standing by the car with a notepad … no, a ticket,book, in hand. I walked up to him and asked “What do you think you are doing?” He said that he was writing a ticket for exceeding the allotted time on the parking meter. Hmmm.
So, not one to let an opportunity such as this pass me by, I asked, “Where is your gun?” He said that he was a special traffic enforcer for the M.P.D. I then said, “If you can’t see well enough to shoot a gun, what makes you think you can read a parking meter?”
Well, he put that ticket under the windshield, and muttered something about the car being parked too close to the curb, and started writing another one. He seemed a little flustered, and told me that if I said one more word to him, that I was going to pay dearly for it. As he said that, a little boy rode by us on a little bicycle, and I pointed to him, and asked him if that kid was getting away with his means of transportation. So, he ripped out the ticket, put it with the first one and grumbled something about uninflated tires …
I had to turn my back from him to regain my composure, as I knew I only had one shot left. I very calmly asked, “Just how many of those tickets do you have left in that little book?” With that, I simply turned and walked away, leaving him carrying on about multiple fines and driver’s licenses and privileges and on and on…
About that time I saw Trudy down at the next corner, and she was motioning for me to come to her. When I got to her, she asked me what I had been doing, I pointed back down the street and told her that I had been talking to that man in uniform. She looked at him and then asked, “Isn’t that the car that almost ran over us when we got here?” I said, “You know, I believe that it is the very same one.”
Then she told me that if we hurried, we could catch the trolley. It was going right past where we had parked our car, and would save us a ten block walk. Not only that, but it would be fun, and a great way to cap off a memorable visit.
“Yeah, but nothing could top those ribs…”
Author, Michael Todd was born and raised in Tennessee. A prolific writer influencing others with his passion for the written word. Moderator of the Poets Round Table, a collaborative group of poets originating from a pool of excellent poets found on myspace. He’s the visionary in the Chronicles of Nyla Alisia and has hosted for the last year at The Harmony Pub, another excellent group of poets. One of his biggest loves in the writing community, is writing for Blogophilia.. You can find Michael Todd on Facebook.