Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The tired man

The old Mustang skidded to a halt on the dusty road. Despite it's rusty, ill maintained exterior, the old V8 still breathed fire, and her owner, old Jones - brown as a nut, and twice as tough - still loved to floor it once in a while.

The border post ritual....
It happened every week - Jenkins, the official who was always on watch strutted towards the vehicle - "A'ight then, You headin' to Brownsville as usual eh?"

"As have been these past eight years, every week!"

"You know I'll be figurin' out your trick some day! There's gotta be a reason why you ride down to Mehico every week. Something fishy! Why don' you make it easy on me and tell me what in hell you upto? Do that and I won't arrest you." - He grinned.

"Maybe..." - Jones grinned back - He knew he would arrest him.

Jenkins went through all the the papers, meticulously. He could never shake off the thought that Jones was doing something not quite legal, but he was getting tired of the itch that he could never scratch.

He did the customary check by kicking at the boot - "Anyone in there?" - He knew there never was.

"We done here?" - Jones almost taunting.

"Yeah!" - Jenkins was grumpiness itself.

Jones set off with great gusto, spinning wheels, fishtailing left and right leaving Jenkins gasping in a cloud of dust.

"Old timer drives too darn fast! 'im and his mangy Mustang!" he muttered.

Week after week, month after month this went on. Jenkins retired, and others came after. Everyone tried their hardest to find the tiniest evidence of contraband.

"Business", Jones would say, when asked why he was zooming across the border. He certainly seemed to be doing good at that, his Mustang seemed to grow newer by the year, and once in a while he was spotted in a Firebird, still raising dust. 

Eventually they stopped checking, and Jones didn't even have to pull over, he was waved on.

Jenkins still woke up nights sometimes - feeling like he had forgotten something - and cursed Jones and his unholy Mustang.

Many years later they met in a bar in Houston. 

"Hey old timer! Mustang man!"

"Hey officer, how ya been doing? You look tired."

"I'm reaping the rewards of an 'onest career."

"I'm reapin' the rewards too, thanks to those border runs. not any more now though, can't say that I hated the drive though, except for the dust."

"Well, I'm out of the force now, and so by all that's holy in good gods heaven, tell me, old man!"

"Tell you what?"

"Aw, come off it, you know, and I know, you were upto no good, smuggling stuff during all those runs! Out with it!"

Jones grinned widely - "Tires - I sold tires"

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