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Part Two: (My First Beer in a year)
I used to subscribe to the “One Beer per Wheel Rule” Back in the 1960”s and 70’s, in other words if you are riding a motorcycle you can have two beers, or an extra beer if you have a sidecar. A car is four beers if consumed during a meal and you are pacing yourself and taking your time. Multi-wheel vehicles up and to and encluding,18 wheels plus your spare tire and steering wheel are not part of this rule, this is only a guide and common sense must be applied. Remember it will be “YOU” standing with the Police Officer at the side of the highway touching your finger to your nose while playing “Roadside Olympics!” And BTW it’s the letter “K” that is the one that most drunks leave out!
Now as I’ve mentioned before, (And I am well past boring you last week) since my release from the hospital in May 2016 I’ve not driven any car. Again there were no medical people telling me not to, it was me being nervous. I’m taking physical therapy to improve my balance on my left side, both on my arm and leg. But my car is a Mitsubishi G-4 with power steering and brakes plus an automatic Transmixer (That’s what Mayang calls the transaxles, I never tell her she is wrong, if she calls it shrimps, fishes and paperworks, then that’s just what it is!) She can speak English whereas I know 7 words in Tagalog, Debar?
My right side is unaffected by any operations or past strokes, so while driving my left side sits kinda dormant in the seat. But that was not the reason that changed my mind, it was a retired Marine buddy who also befell some medical problems far worst then mine, I use a cane to keep my balance, which is not required in the driving of a car. So when my buddy pulls up beside me at the Royal Store, he has two canes he must use and his car is a stick shift! He drove up by himself!!! He’s in worst shape then me and doing fine with driving, (Albeit I will steer clear if I see him on the same road as me) that made me think about how lazy I’ve become and I decided I needed to put my big boy pants back on and claim my rights to the way I used to live my life. Hell I can now drink beer again. Damn it Paul; Man up! 54 years ago I went to Victory road in Boston and did a three point turn in a stick shift station wagon to get my Massachusetts Drivers License. And I’m going to use it.
Drinking and driving was never a wise thing to do if I wanted to retire and live the good life in the Philippines. The Navy would destroy your career, and the Merchant Marine will pull your Merchant Seaman Documents or Z-Card causing you lifetime unemployment, so I did not drink beer while operating heavy machinery anyway. And my standing life’s rule was, if you drink, don’t drive, is still in effect. Do not rely on the one wheel, one beer rule now that we’re older and wiser.) I’ve never had a lady get angry when you ask them to drive your car, it makes you look enlightened, instead of just being over served.
I was sitting at the Hotel Bar in Oakland California in the 1990’s when a shipmate came in; it was 6 months since I last saw him. Hey Paul let’s go bar hopping? It was a Friday, and four hours before that my shipmate was just released from the county jail after serving time for DWI (Driving with Ingrid)
I explained I’d go but my car stayed at the hotel parking lot. He knew I wouldn’t drive drunk, so he volunteered to drive. The bartender Lynda and I starting laughing, and I said; “Idiot you were just released from jail! Are you missing Bubba, your cellmate? A Taxi was called!
It has taken awhile feeling comfortable to drive again, but slowly my life is returning to normal, I don’t want it to go back to, too much normal, as I enjoy Mayang spoiling me!
So I drove for the first time this week, and it felt good to do so. The cane might be with me for a while, but then that’s okay with me, because it also looks cool, and slow walking makes me take in more sights. There is a lot of pretty stuff to see at the malls I’m retired and don’t really need to go anywhere that fast.
My new rule; “One cane, three beers!”