This year to save me from tears...
... my uncle got himself arrested.
Let me start by saying, my family isn't capable of having a normal family gathering. There always has to be some drama or craziness of another sort. Let me just document my trip for you.
Wednesday I woke up early feeling only slightly recovered from my bout of the stomach flu and began my journey north at 8:45am. After a terrible drive in the snow (admittedly going faster than I should) I make it my mom's place at 12:50pm. My uncle was working on his truck and then caused us some major delays, so when I was just about to the end of my rope we got on the road to head to my sisters house. (it was now about 10pm)
We finally get underway and we had to take a minor detour so we got separated. Again, we get underway and get to a point that we should be catching up to Uncle Louis any minute. We see someone pulled over on the off ramp to Jerome, ID. Cop car behind a little Nissan pickup truck, piled high with junk and we realize just past the exit that the poor soul is Louis. Once we have made this remarkable discovery this is the dialogue that follows...
Mom "Umm, Louis doesn't have a license"
Me "WHAT?! What do you mean he doesn't have a license?"
Mom "He didn't pay a speeding ticket that he got in California."
Me "Oh, great! Well, he's going to get arrested and his truck is getting impounded."
Mom "I'm sure it won't be that bad..."
Me "Sure, sure. It won't be that bad."
Well guess what? It was in fact THAT bad. By the time that we got back around to the exit ramp Louis was in jail, his dog was in the pound, he had two riffles in his truck that were in evidence and his truck was being loaded on to the tow truck. Well my mom talked the cop into getting the dog and the guns for free and we paid the tow truck guy to drop the truck in a parking lot for $125 instead of the impound lot for $200. All and all, I would say it was a fairly productive chat with the officer.
We talked to the jail, and they told us to call a bail bondsman. After going back and forth and the woman at the jail, and her unwillingness to help giving us any information at all... she suggested we find a phonebook at a gas station to find a number for someone that could help us. Off we go in search of a phone book and we stumble upon the 'Oasis' a little run down gas station in downtown Jerome.
Once inside the woman behind the counter was very helpful, she told us about a bondsman that she had worked with before and he had a good reputation. So we call him and go back and forth for a while and he tells us that it would cost $2000 to get him out tonight because my mom lived more than 25miles from where the 'incident' took place. In fact she lived 65 miles away. So out we go to the car to give my little sister the news, and figure out what we are going to do. We talked about just going to my sisters anyway and letting him figure his own way home after all he got himself into this mess, he should be able to get out of it. We realize that we have his keys and he has no way of knowing where his truck is, so I wonder out loud if we can maybe leave him a note with the jail that they can put with his things so if he gets out tomorrow he can figure it out.
I run back inside to ask if she knows where the jail is and right as she is about to tell me this guy walks in, let me remind you... it's 1:30am in a gas station in Jerome, Idaho. He looks at me and says, "HEY! How ya doing? It's been a long time." I look at him, this man with greasy hair and tattered clothing, could be homeless. I've never seen him in my life. My response "Ya like forever." "Ya, it's been a while" he says. "No, sir. I have never seen you in my life." "No, I know you... you're a little older now, not that you're old but you know." I say "I'm actually from Utah so I really don't think you do."
"Ya, Granite High School, Granite Jr. High, Alta 'Go Hawks' (with a fist pump)"
"Negative Chief, how old are you?"
"46" he replies.
"Ya, we didn't go to school at the same time... besides, I'm from Provo"
He responds "Oh! Ya! I spent 15 years in Provo. Locked up in the insane asylum down there, for trying to kill my dad. That's usually when you find out that you're crazy when you try to kill your folks."
I smile and say "Oh right, usually" as the woman behind the counter chuckles. Then he looks at her (she has dark skin and dark hair, obviously ethnic) and says "Is this your daughter? (gesturing to me)" We look at each other and both laugh "no".
He finally leaves and she tells me where the jail is and we head over only to face rejection and disappointment. Realizing that he's not getting out until tomorrow and we aren't going anywhere I tell my mom I want to head back to her house, he wasn't getting arraigned until 1pm the next day and I just wanted to get some sleep and take a shower. We head over to check the truck and make sure that it's still in 1 piece with most of the garbage still attached. It's fine, no noticeable disturbances and my mom says "we should probably sleep here tonight, make sure nothing happens." We are 65 miles from a bed and a shower and we sleep in a parking lot to make sure that nothing happens to the garbage that is my uncle's truck. AWESOME.
Don't worry, my story isn't over yet. The next day we go to court and he was released on his own recognizance. (It means we didn't have to pay a fine) The judge states, we ask that you DO NOT OPERATE ANY VEHICLES until you are properly licensed to do so. So we make room for him in our car and pick him up from the jail. He gets in the car, and says take me to my truck. We try and convince him to let us park it at my mom's house but he won't have anything to do with that. So I get volunteered to drive the garbage truck out of the county so that he won't get caught again.
Let me tell you about the truck. The door doesn't shut from the inside, because he backed into a pole. The window doesn't roll all the way up and the handle is broken off so you have to use a wrench to do anything with it. The heater doesn't work, the blinkers don't work and the license plate was registered to a different car. It was so full of garbage that I couldn't find the gear shift and it smells so bad the officer had asked him if he had any dead bodies in the truck when he first stepped up to the window the night before. He hands me the keys and says, it's easy to drive. FALSE! Let me tell you just how easy it was to drive, it doesn't go into first gear. My first car was stick shift and I think I stalled it twice in the 2 years that I drove it. I stalled his truck 10 times just trying to find 1st gear. It was just awful. It doesn't go above 55 on the highway and you apparently I'm freakishly tall because my knees were up against the steering wheel the whole time I was driving. (only about 20miles and then I couldn't see through the fog so I figured the coppers couldn't either.)
The horror was finally over, and we had all had a pretty good abdominal workout laughing at the fact that this would happen to us. I couldn't have been happier. But just so you don't all think my uncle is to bad of a guy, he didn't get pulled over for speeding. He was choking on some chicken and stopped on the exit ramp and when the cop pulled up to see if he was ok, he carted him off to jail for not having a license. The cop was doing his job and I'm not blaming anyone or anything like that. Had I been in that situation I would have been grateful for the help(but then again, I have a valid driver's license. ;D)