The eight proposition intruder


Remember that old folk song? “What do we do with a drunken sailor… early in the morning?” We were asking that very question one Friday night, but we weren’t singing.

My husband worked late, the kids were with my folks on a grandparents’ weekend campout, so I spent the day with Brother Jim who had the day off. We stayed up very late and talked. It was well after midnight when up the long country driveway came head lights barreling past the lit dining room window, toward the barn, around the curve, beyond the barn bridge, over the hill, and down the tractor path into the cornfield.

“Who the heck is that at this hour?” Jim barked. “It’s a fairly new pickup and it’s like they know where they’re going.”

Jim dashed outside to his old pickup and tore after the other truck. I shrank back into myself and worried what kind of encounter he was in store for.

The farm where I grew up has had its trespassers a-plenty. (Why is it some people think that any stretch of woodsy, country road must be government land or public property and therefore OK for a party?

“Pullout the plug and wet him all over…”

Jim came back inside irritated; his distressed voice commanded, “Call the sheriff. It’s a drunk driver. I took his keys so he won’t go anywhere”. Except on foot.

I worked to calm myself and tried to think, “No, you don’t look under S – sheriff, nor C – county; it’s C – Columbiana County Sheriff.” I punched in the number and reported what had happened.

“There will be a wait,” the woman who answered half apologized. After what seemed a long time when it’s that hour in the night, a sheriff’s car arrived.

“Hooray and up she rises…”

What a night – Jim stuck out in the cornfield taking inventory of the truck so it could be impounded; me, alone inside, wondering what Jim was doing for so long and praying that he was OK! Little did I know that after all that time, the disoriented pickup driver had disappeared.

We finally hit the hay at 4:00 a.m.

Next day’s local newspaper credited me with the heroic pursuit and confiscation of the car keys. Whether such gross untruth is the fault of the newspaper, the law enforcer’s reports, or both, truth is: I was not even out of doors. So, the tired old saying comes to mind, “Can’t believe everything you read.”

The drunken sailor got away, but he must have fled barefooted; one sandal was under his truck seat, the other at the bottom of the driveway. I’ll add a new stanza.

“Pull off his shoes and take away his car keys… early in the morning.”


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