Monday, September 04, 2006

20 jars of homemade strawberry jam; chasing criminals

That's what PJ made for us while out here on her visit. She packed her pressure cooker and another great big pot in a large duffel bag, hauled them 1,200 miles from Michigan to Colorado, and canned 20 jars of jam. DEE-LISH-US. You should all be incredibly jealous.

On a separate note, I chased a car full of criminals -- on foot -- Saturday night. You heard me right. Let me tell you my story.

My buddy Dave and I performed with an improv comedy group Saturday night. After the show, as we left the theater and walked into the parking lot, we witnessed a silver SUV back out of a parking space and smack dab into the side of a parked car. The assaulted car was hit hard enough to make a splendid crunching sound as it was rocked from the impact. The silver SUV pulled forward a bit, then stopped. We figured the driver would get out, survey the damage, then at worst leave a note.

Nope. The driver of the SUV decided he couldn't be bothered with such petty things as ethics or law, so he hit the gas and fled.

Without taking a moment to think, I took off on foot after him. I was carrying a duffel bag in my right arm and a sweatshirt in my left, and was sprinting toward the SUV. The driver or his passengers must have seen me and figured that I was trying to get their license plate number -- exactly my intention -- so the SUV picked up speed. Yet I continued my mad dash, gambling that stop signs, other cars or pedestrians would force him to wait long enough for me to catch him.

Unfortunately, he barely yielded at the stop signs and no one got in his way. He turned right down the last aisle that would lead him to the road, so rather than try to continue to tail him, I took a shortcut down an aisle closer to me. I was running parallel to the SUV, knowing he'd turn right at the road and I, hopefully, would be waiting him.

Everything seemed to be going right for the sonofabitch, though, and he got to the road and passed before I could reach the sidewalk and get within view of his plates. My last chance was the traffic signal about 50 feet away. The light was red, and there were cars blocking all lanes. I sprinted down the sidewalk, squinting, the numbers and letters on the plate still too blurry. The car in front of the SUV turned right. I pushed harder. The SUV pulled up. I wasn't going to get there. The sonofabitch was going to get away. He turned right, and I lost the plate.

Dave was standing right at the corner. He pointed at the SUV as it drove by and yelled, "You hit that car, you fucker!" Then he calmly looked at the license plate and memorized the number.

But wait, it gets better.

Being that we were within a shopping plaza-type location, with a movie theater, restaurants, and a Dave & Buster's arcade, we figured we could find a security guard somewhere. I walked around for a bit, then finally walked into Dave & Buster's where two police officers -- one male, one female -- were standing in the corner. I explained the situation and gave them the license plate number and vehicle description. The male cop was writing everything down and the female cop was listening. They asked where it had happened, and I said, "On the other side of the building. I think the car they hit was illegally parked. It's a silver Chevy Malibu."

The female cop looked at me and said, "You've got to be kidding me."

The punks in the SUV had pulled a hit-and-run ON A COP'S CAR!

The first thing I said after that was that, on second thought, the car probably wasn't illegally parked. Then I started laughing and said it was hilarious. Hilarious in an ironic sort of way. She didn't find much humor in it, but the other cop sure did.

I took them to the car, where Dave was waiting. They called in the plate, got the name and address of the owner, and said that the police department would pay him a visit that evening (at about 1 a.m.). Dave and I got to fill out witness reports, which was cool. I made sure to write that I chased on foot at breakneck speed.

At 1 a.m. I looked at the clock and smiled.

Karma's a bitch, innit?


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