Don't mess with Texas
A mi no me gusta driving. True, I’m probably the best driver EVER, but I still don’t like driving. There are too many rules. I’m Latino. I need to be free. I can’t be constricted to the rules invented by a gringo with tight brown polyester pants and rosacea.
Go this fast, slow down if chicos are around, watch out for the deer, this light means that, that light means this, this road freezes, ducks everywhere… Mira, I can’t be bothered, but since we live in a society that functions because of rules, I follow them, but I still don’t like it.
Don’t mess with Texas
In Texas, there aren’t any signs denoting the speed limit. There are, however, Don’t mess with Texas signs every 5 or so miles. While driving and seeing these repetitive signs I wondered what would happen if I did indeed mess with it. What is so special about Texas that it has to remind you not to mess with it?
Shouldn't I mess with a state full of pick-up trucks with gun racks?
I smiled while thinking of all the ways I could mess with the state when my train of thought was disrupted by the shriek of a siren.
“Bueno El Guapo. We’re like 5 miles from Mexico and you’re getting us pulled over? They’re going to send us all back!”
Was I speeding?
“No lo se. I was thinking about your hermana."
Mierda, I messed with Texas.
"Que? Mira, remember how we talked about getting pulled over a couple of weeks ago? Well, let’s do what we talked about.”
Miguel and I, while eating chips, sometimes discuss ridiculous scenarios where we save the day or get out of an uncomfortable situation. You know, what do you do if you're on a date and don't have enough money for the bill; what do you do if you get excited at the pool; what do you do if an angry cat starts chasing you... We’ve never actually had to do any of the “what if” scenarios we’ve talked about because while they sound incredible while eating chips (the cat one is awesome), in reality, they’re idiotic. But, what the hell, estoy de vacation and this could be fun.
I pull over to the side of the road and look at the state trooper who interrupted my drive. He’s at least 8 feet tall with a scowl that could make Maradona stop using his hands. This may be a bad idea.
Miguel and I look at each other and slowly put our hands out the window like we’ve seen too many times on television. Wrists to wrists by the side view mirror. Just like when the crack dealers get pulled over by the police on TV. Just like on TV.
This isn’t going to work.
“Howdy gentleman. What are ya’ll doing?”
Sir, we just want you to see where our hands are. It’s for our protection and yours.
The trooper looked very confused. He took a glance inside our car and nodded his head. We seem to have disrupted the “pull over checklist” because he seemed to be going over his next step in his mind.
Officer, my cousin is in the force over in San Antonio and he told me to do this if I ever get pulled over. One of his friends was shot doing a routine traffic stop and he’s still cautious when he walks up to a car. This way, you know that it’s safe to approach.
“Yeah man, that’s good. What’s your cousin’s name?”
I name a very common Latino name. He nods.
“Man, ya’ll were going almost 20 over the speed limit.”
Officer, I don’t doubt it. I think I made a wrong turn about 5 miles back and was looking at the map when I should have been paying closer attention to what I was doing.
“Where ya’ll tryin’ to go?”
I show him, he shows me a shortcut, he makes fun of Miguel’s shirt, I laugh, Miguel smirks, he takes my license and goes back to his car.
You think this is going to work?
“What’s the matter with this shirt?”
It’s purple. Here he comes.
“All-righty, I’m going to give ya’ll a warning. Pay closer attention to the signs on the road and try to have your buddy with the violet shirt read the map when you’re drivin’.”
Will do officer. Thank you very much.
I start the car back up and drive off.
Miguel looks angry.
“I like this camisa. It was a gift.”
Yes, the violet bring out your eyes. I still can't believe that worked. It's seriously, bueno, it's genius.
"Stupid gringo has no style. Not everyone can wear this color. I make it look good."
It's not genius. It's Guatemalan.