Somewhere on my way home from the Midwest, USA, driving my trusty ’58 Vette on one of those long straight and deserted highways at two or three in the morning, fighting the monotony of many an all-night drive, shivering with the heater on and feeling nice and snug with my convertible top up, I was startled to death by a huge very loud THWAK!
All of a sudden I could see the stars. All of a sudden I had no convertible top.
Any owner of a convertible knows that with the top up at high speed, the wind rushing over the canvas creates a vacuum, the same way air rushing over a plane’s wing creates a vacuum which produces lift.
That was the THWAK…my convertible top got lifted, no ripped, right off its supports. So there I was, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the USA, on a deserted highway, freezing, with no top on my ’58.
All I could do was pull over to the side of the road, in the black of night and try and find what was once my top. Maybe the next day with some tape, I could somehow reattach it and hobble back home.
Searching on foot in the pitch darkness, a state trooper pulls up with his red and blue light flashing. He sidles up to me and asks, “what’s the problem?” I replied, “I lost my top.” (not a good answer to start a conversation with a cop). The trooper looks at me like I’m either drunk or an extra-terrestrial. I quickly clarified the situation and he agreed to help me find the lost top with his strong flashlight. Eventually we did.
Back on the road, cloth top in my trunk and freezing my ass off, I saw an all night diner ahead…hot coffee, Yay!!!
Halfway into my second cup, guess who struts in? The very same trooper. He sits down beside me at the counter and says, “you’re guy who lost his top.” I think he felt a bit sorry for me. We chatted for a while and then I decided to get back on my freezing way.
Down the road about an hour later, freezing with the heater full blast, I see flashing lights in my rear view mirror. It’s a state trooper car coming up fast – wow he must be in a hurry so I pull to the side – and so does the trooper.
It’s the same trooper that I had coffee with, and he gives me a speeding ticket!
If that wasn’t a piss-off, he says that I’ll have to appear at the local traffic court to plea or pay the fine. And guess what? The court doesn’t open until two days hence.
Knowing that I’m in transit home to New York State, he generously offers to appear in court for me, that is, I pay the fine to him, or, wait in custody for two days (uh huh, I get the drift).
So here I am in the middle of nowhere, freezing in the night, driving a convertible, and $80 poorer.
You can bet I’ll never drive through Indiana again.