The beat up red pickup truck pulled out in front of me on the small back road, somewhere near Hobgood, North Carolina. I was going about 75 miles per hour. All of the sudden, I had to slow down to 27.
I flipped my lights on and off in a sign of frustration, and all I got was nothing. Except for the music coming from the truck – The 69 Eyes. Now, you don’t normally hear somewhat dated Finnish goth out here in the sticks. So, I was duly impressed. However, I couldn’t help but think the only thing I always thought when I hear The 69 Eyes – “Am I in the middle of some awful, straight to video horror movie from the late 1990s?”
The license plate of the truck is ANGT E1. I take that as a positive for possible serial killer instinct. However, I wonder if any serial killer has ever had a personalized license plate? It seems to run against all things serial killer, as it draws attention and is easy to remember. Of course, it makes me think of the one I saw at the Kangaroo gas station in Jacksonville yesterday – Virginia plates FACH YOU. Never would thought that one woulda made it past the stringent screening system, but there it was.
Just hours ago I was lamenting the firings of so many good people at the newspapers in New Orleans and Alabama – including some of the folks who I gleaned much knowledge from in my career’s infancy – but now I was focused on getting out of rural North Carolina alive.
The speed had upped to 36 mph but I could see by the smoke rising from the engine of that truck, that we weren’t going faster any time soon. And the double yellow lines and pouring down rain made it impossible for me to pass. However, the stereo in that car was certainly kick ass, top notch, awesome, whatever words you want to use to describe loud, yet crisp, sound from a beat up pickup truck.
Finally, the lines turned dotted and I made my move. I got beside the truck and had to take a peek inside. And there in the cabin was Lindsay Lohan. I waved and smiled. She flipped me off. Seemed fitting, so I sped off down the road.
A few miles later, I cop clocked me at 71. He pulled me over, but didn’t give me a ticket.
“Hey, you a skateboarder?” he asked. “Just happened to see your license plates … L-U-C-E-R-0. Awesome. I haven’t seen that word used anywhere in years!”
“You ride?” I asked.
“Shit yeah, until I got this job. Don’t do it much anymore. Ain’t many rails out here.”
“I hear ya,” I responded, continuing the lie. My plates were dedicated to the band LUCERO. From Memphis, Tennessee. The four guys that got me through hell when the redhead left me. That was a long time ago. “That’s why I’m getting out of here so fast.”
“Well, I’ll let ya go with a warning,” he said. “But keep it down. We’re out like those damn frogs tonight.”
I laughed. And instantly he knew I was from around here. The frogs came out every time it rained. If you rolled your windows down, you could hear the croaking and the sound of them squishing under your tires as you drove along. Thousands of the bastards would come flying out of the swampy land, trying to make it across the road. Most of ‘em made it at night. But if a car came, it was The North Carolina Frog Massacre. Hell, I had a title for my slasher flick. And damn if I couldn’t get Lindsay Lohan to maybe star in it. I thought that just as she drove past. Still going under 40 miles per hour.
“Was that?” the cop asked me in disbelief.
“Yep,” I said. “Passed her about 10 minutes ago. Wonder what’s going on out here?”
“No clue, but I think I might have to follow her,” he said with a yuck-yuck-yuck quality.
I waved goodbye and hit the road. I know one thing, never follow the pretty girl who will most likely show you her tits. Why? Because then you’ll be the first to go.
I started imagining headlines in imaginary newspapers the next day. “Cop’s head found, ABP out on body.” “Lohan kills Cop.” Or maybe even “Cop kills Lohan.” Anyways, I didn’t want to be around when the Jeepers Creepers demon came flying down from the sky. Of course, right at that moment one of those big ass June bugs slapped up against my windshield, scaring the shit out of me.
I watched the lights of Lohan’s truck and the cop’s car disappear down a small road. I looked at the sign to see where it was. I think it said “Dead Skunk Rd.,” but I can’t be 100 percent sure.