A tiny little cloud that I named "Cloudette Colbert."
Yesterday morning me and my friend Renee drove over to Idaho to get the
cheaper price on cigarettes there. We've been over there on a number of
occasions, and have always enjoyed the little drive and the conversations
we always have about all sorts of stuff. The weather was really nice for
a Summer drive. It was much cooler than it's been lately and except for
a slight haze in the distance the skies were clear with pretty clouds
floating here and there — including some very tiny ones, which I found
both cool and odd.
We were just approaching the Idaho State line when all of a sudden I
hear Renee say "Uh oh" and the next thing I knew she was pulling over
to the side of the road — a county Sheriff had pulled us over. He actually
went over to my window in her truck instead of her's, which was strange
but my thought was that maybe he didn't want to be standing on the road
side with all the traffic. As it turned out the stop was pretty routine
— Renee had just gotten her new license tags for the truck Friday but
hadn't put them on yet. The cop said that was okay, no big deal, and let
us be on our way.
We continued on and crossed into Idaho. Well we had just gotten to
Lew's Smoke Shop when what do we see — what was certainly that same
county sheriff's car in a lot just next to the smoke shop. There's been
some problems lately with prosecuting people who bring cigarettes back
into Washington mainly due to Illegal Search and Seizure laws. Actually
seeing someone come out of a smoke shop and getting into a vehicle with
Washington plates and then following the vehicle as it crosses the State
line is about the only way to do it anymore. Well, we wondered if that
wasn't exactly what the sheriff was trying to do.
Renee got a little nervous and decided not to turn into the smoke shop.
Instead we continued driving straight along the road as we discussed
the matter. Renee eventually took a left turn and we headed north up
some road and then another left turn and within a short time we became
lost. By that time we had decided to return to the smoke shop anyway —
if we could find it. As it happened I had brought my Blackberry and was
still in a coverage area even there in north Idaho. So I pulled up
Sprint Navigation and tried to see what I could do. I had used it a few
times before to find a few local shops; but I had never used it in this
type of situation: being lost and wanting to get found again. After a
minute I found out how to get the thing to work, punching in the address
for Lew's Smoke Shop that had popped up in the search. The screen on the
phone became a tiny 3D simulation of our position and direction, with a
tiny female voice giving us directions. We basically just did what the
little voice said. And as a result about 5 minutes later we were on a
road just behind the smoke shop. Not exactly pinpoint navigation but
the important thing was that we now knew where we were again and were
near the smoke shop. Renee was pretty impressed with the whole thing.
And I have to admit that while the Navigation wasn't perfect that I was
Well guess what we see as we get to the smoke shop. Yeah, that same
county sheriff still parked in the lot next door. Renee pulled into the
smoke shop lot and parked on the other side of the building where the
cop couldn't see us. We talked the matter over again. Finally I just told
Renee, "To hell with it. I'm getting my cigarettes." She laughed, then
took off her seat belt too and we got out of the car.
There was quite the line at the smoke shop. And we noticed that of the
cars parked outside at least half had Washington plates. By the time we
walked out of the shop the cop was gone. Maybe he had followed someone
else. Or maybe he had gotten a call and had bigger fish to fry. Nevertheless
we were both kind of nervous as we crossed the State line. If he was going
to stop us that's where he would do it. But everything went fine and by the
time we had gone about 5 miles further we both knew we were home free.
We drove the remaining distance like we ordinarily do — talking about
the problems of our life. It's kinda like therapy for us I think. After
all, even hard-core outlaws like me and Renee need our therapy every
once in a while.
"No officer, we're not transporting any cigarettes."