I was driving from Del Rio to San Antonio early in the morning on Friday when I had an odd encounter with a Texas State Trooper. I am writing this now because I have been hit by another bout of insomnia and know I will not be sleeping again until about 4:00 a.m.
I got sick in Acuna, a Mexican border town across the international border from Del Rio Texas. Montezuma’s revenge or Travelers Distress hit me hard right as I tried to get some rest on Wednesday night. I received treatment at a local clinic and felt good enough to try to make my way home on Friday. It was a mistake. About an hour out of Del Rio I became sick again and had to stop near some bushes to take care of business (if you know what I mean). I was in place about 15 minutes, afraid to move and contemplating making a run back to Del Rio to ride this episode out in a motel when a Texas State Trooper pulled off the road and walked over to where I was sitting. I was having bad cramps at the time, but not in the act of expelling anything.
I told the Trooper my story. He did not believe me. In fact, he thought I was drunk. I asked how he figured that out from our brief interaction. He said, “Whenever I pull up behind somebody sitting in the bushes, they are usually drunk”. I asked if this occurred during the night more often than at 6:30 a.m. He said it usually occurred at night. I looked at him expectantly… (It is not night after all) only to be asked to take the drunk driving coordination test.
At this point, I complain – I’m obviously sick, he’s already checked my rental car and found no trace of alcohol, and I can barely stand up. He tells me if I pass the test, he is still going to get me public urination. I calmly explain that the word “public” means in the presence of other people. There are no other people out here off the highway so I cannot be “in public”. Again, I get the glazed eye – I am expecting the baton any moment now. He counters with “well you are still urinating” I say “what are you talking about” I was sitting down when you rolled up. Is sitting against the law? I added, “Oh, and by the way, it would be public defecation not public urination, do you have a law against that?” He actually says “defa-what”. All this takes place while I pass the drunken driving test.
By now, I’m sure he is thinking about putting a bullet in my head, nobody would ever find me. The vultures would pick me clean in a few minutes. My Texas State Trooper hated me; I could see it in his eyes. I pleaded with him, “look dude (the dude part was a mistake), I’m sick and just need to get someplace where I can get some help”. He relented on the drunken driving accusation and told me the next town was a ways up the road. He would follow me to make sure I did not get into any trouble.
He followed for about three miles, then turned around and went the other way.
The story continues as I try to fly home on Southwest Airlines. It was not a good day.