Earl and the Terrorist

Everson City Hall

ON THE LAMB IN BELLINGHAM, WA–So I drift into Everson, WA to honor The Bastard Doug Coone’s legacy, stop in a practically vacant church lot, and hop in the back to take a shower (the mornings and evenings are pretty cold up here, so afternoons are best for bathing). Clean and refreshed, I strap on my camera bag and wander around town taking photos and asking locals about a place Doug used to work at called the “Silver Fox.” The entire time I’m in town, the local police officer, let’s call him Earl, is following me about, giving me the evil eye…

More below the break (huh)?

Everson is not a very big town, kind of off the beaten path. One main street and a few businesses centered around a small city hall–but every time I look around, Earl is parked on the side of the road watching me through ominous dark sunglasses with a cold, cool, “go ahead and make my day” look on his face.

Well, after a few inquiries, I determine the old Silver Fox is now a Mexican restaurant, so I snap a few more shots and get ready to go. I spot a wash-it-yourself car wash that will fit my truck, so I pull in and start washing the bugs off from my cross country journey when Earl pulls through the bay right next to mine, gives me the evil eye again and waits out on the street (checking the load in his gun, no doubt).

I had originally planned on staying the night there, but Earl was giving me the willies, so I headed out of town and up to Blaine, WA, about as far northwest as you can drive to in the lower 48, figuring I’d drift south along the coast from there.

Not two minutes after pulling into Blaine, I see blue flashing lights in my side mirrors and at that moment the following dialog suddenly runs through my head:

“Earl! Some suspicious guy in a black truck just pulled into our God-fearing-Christian-church parking lot! It’s a big truck, you can’t miss it, it looks just like Darth Varder’s helmet and he’s parked right next to our Church!”

“Earl! He just climbed in to the back and I’m hearing him mixing explosive chemicals or something. I think he’s an Aye-rab!”

“Earl! He just strapped on what looks like a bomb onto his back and he’s walking into town!”

“Earl! He’s taking pictures of all our historical landmarks!”

“Earl! He’s stopping people on the street and they all keep pointing toward City Hall!”

“Earl! He’s taking a picture of City Hall, I think he’s getting ready to blow!”

“Earl! He’s washing his truck! Don’t they have to bathe themselves or something before they blow themselves up?”

“Earl! He’s seen you! He’s making a bee-line straight for the Canadian border!”

So as the Blaine police officer is walking toward my window, I’m hearing this dialog in my head and it’s making me grin like a fool and I think to myself, what if I shout, “Allah Akbar!” right as the cop comes to my window? Wouldn’t THAT be funny! (See yesterday’s fantastically accurate psychic comment by Nicole).

So you know when you know you shouldn’t say (or shout) something, but you’re really having a hard time stopping yourself? Well this is happening to me and just as the cop comes to my window, I’m certain my mouth is going to shout, “Allah Akbar!” and he’s going to whip out his 45 and just blow me away.

Anyway, my mouth didn’t get me killed (yet), and the police officer (not Earl–a nice guy in comparisson) said he stopped me for not wearing a seat belt, but I didn’t think they could stop someone for just that, so I’m pointing adamantly at my driver’s license saying, “But it’s MY life, not the governments! Look, see right here it says ‘Organ Donor.’ They should PAY me to drive without my seatbelt! See? Right here.”

He looked at his watch and I swear I heard him say (though this could be my imagination), “Well, if I shoot you right now, we could put your liver on the 3pm flight to Omaha,” but like I said, I could have imagined that.

He kept expressing doubt that my truck was really a camper and even seemed to doubt I was an American (organ donor at that!) from Florida as my driver’s license so precisely stated, so I voluntarily opened the back to show him the contents of the truck and thank God (Allah Akbar!) that I had put away the pump sprayer I use to shower with as that DOES look suspicious.

Anyway, he just nodded, satisfied that I wasn’t going to detonate myself anytime soon (but still certain I was up to SOMETHING) and gave me a ticket for driving without a seatbelt.

I headed out of Blaine–what looked like a very cool town–about as fast as the speed limit would allow and posted yesterday’s blog from the first rest stop I came to.

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8 thoughts on “Earl and the Terrorist

  1. When I got off work at 3:00 am I would walk around “town” with my dog and cops would follow and stop but the ate at the restaurant so they’d wave and go on.

  2. Well I will, Nicole! Wayne, how about changing the address on your drivers license to that of your brother. I sure don’t want Earl showing up on my doorstep!

  3. ==========
    Wayne, I wonder if your nice, shiny black truck is sending subliminal messages contrary to what you’re really all about? It’s that cultural black = evil vs. white = good thing, eh? There is no doubt that WHITE box trucks are as common as fleas . . . and much more likely to blend into the background.
    Per your un-ease in strange surroundings, I felt the same thing for my first three nights of one summer I camped out near Sun River, OR (15 miles south of Bend). After that I convinced myself I wasn’t doing any “harm” and had just as much right to BE there as anyone else. I spent the rest of that summer at my perfect-postcard-picture spot for FREE — one of the most magical summers of my life!
    For most of that time, my slide-in pickup camper was sitting on blocks and I was driving a ’63 box van. I couldn’t have moved it if I wanted to. I always wonder if my sign I kept refreshed and taped to the back door was ever read by anyone?
    “This may not look like much to you, but right now it’s all I have in this world. If you’re inclined to steal or mess with other people’s stuff, you’ll go to hell! If I catch you, we’ll go together!”
    (Then I thought a little more about my situation and added:)
    “On the other hand, if there is some official reason I can’t be here, please leave me a note and I’ll be gone within 24 hours. No tickets, please, I have no money to pay them.”
    (Disclaimer: I no longer feel threatened by human constructs like heaven or hell, but I suspect many of those tempted to steal — or mess with other people’s stuff — aren’t as sure about it as I am. There’s a good chance they were heavily indoctrinated in their youth . . . and maybe my sign gave them cause for pause?)

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