The summer of 1977 we headed to Denver to visit friends and get out of the Phoenix heat. Uncle Tim, his wife, Jim’s dad and I along with Jim (then nine) traveled well together. During such trips Tim and Jimmy rarely stopped talking. If one wasn’t telling a story, the other one was making one up. Crossing the border into Colorado we were taken by the new wide divided highways before us. Leaving older pocked roads in Arizona, we began to make better time staying paced with other cars on the road. Careful to watch for speed traps, the area just south of Colorado Springs was beautiful. Blue skies…miles of green fields and fresh, cool air. Sweet!
Coming up a rise someone warned Tim to watch his speed in case a radar gun was on the other side. Tim snorted saying he was only going the same speed as the Colorado license plates. As luck would have it, we crested and spotted the radar. Tim immediately slowed but it was too late. We watched the Colorado plates disappear over the horizon as flashing lights pulled us over. Tim was livid at the unfairness of the situation.
As the patrolman walked up to the car, we were trying to calm him down. Clearly biting his tongue, could he contain himself? Money was a concern for all of us; how much might a ticket cost to pay for these new highways? This seemed minor compared to Tim getting hauled into the local jail for losing his temper. License and papers were taken after a few terse words were shared after which the patrolman went back to his car to radio in the stop.
We were fussing about the stop, at Tim and failed to notice what Jimmy was doing. The patrolman stepped back to the driver’s window and began to speak about the perils of speeding when Jimmy stuck his head out the back window. This sweet, little blond headed angel asked the patrol man a question. We never knew just what he said. The man turned in Jim’s direction, blanched and ran behind the car. Shocked, we whipped our heads around to see what was happening. The patrolman was vomiting!
Jim pulled his head back into the car and turned to face us with a huge grin on his face. He had taken out his green slime and smeared it all over his face! It was disgusting and beyond hilarious. We were used to being “slimed” by Jimmy. There was no containing our laughter! We howled like banshees as the chagrined man tersely handed Tim a speeding ticket.
In Colorado speeding tickets were due and payable immediately. Write a check or place cash in a sealed envelope, now. If not, the driver spent the night in jail before going to a court hearing the next day. We decided the $75 fine was worth the entertainment value. We followed the patrolman to a nearby gas station to get a stamp. Once the envelop hit the inside of the nearest mail box, we were left to continue on our journey. It was a great trip made even better by Jimmy’s clever little 9 year-old solution to an unwarranted (according to us even now) speeding ticket.