No shit there he was…. it’s one of those stories.
Traveling down the highway in Tennessee, at 8:45 am, Nate was asleep on the couch of the RV (buckled in) and Scott was tired but full of coffee and ready for a full day of driving.
Scott is still adjusting to driving The Chief. It’s new to us. It’s our first RV and it’s a 1985 monster. A lot more “boat-y” then a car, he’s still learning its quirks. That’s not a big deal, but couple that with the fact that we just got home from Colombia – where there are very few driving rules and those that do exist don’t involve paying attention to the lines in the road – and driving it is a work in progress.
When Scott saw a long curve in the highway and there were no other cars around, he didn’t think much of taking up a lane and a half. Unfortunately, in the Land of Rules (LoR), this could be considered “swerving”.
Scott saw the cop pull out. He was clearly looking for the lisc plate. Unhelpfully, TX temp plates are suspicious looking (but very real) pieces of paper that we were invited to tape in the window.
Scott to Nate, “Wake up. Make sure your seat belt is on. I’m about to get pulled over.”
When the cop approached his first question was, “Sir, why are you going 55 in a 75 MPH zone?” Scott cheerfully explained that The Chief tops out around 55 or 60. Oh those silly 1980s and their underpowered vehicles.
Cop to Scott, “Sir, your eyes are bloodshot, have you been drinking?” Scott (taken aback), “No.”
“Have you been using marijuana?” “No.”
“Have you been taking heroin?” (When did this become one of the standard questions?!?!) Scott, “No.”
“Have you been using meth?” Scott, “No.” (But I get that one, right?! It resembles the Breaking Bad RV kinda sorta).
“How about any other illegal substance?” Scott, “No.”
“How about any legal prescription drugs?” Scott, “No.” (Jeeze – what is wrong with this place?!?! And everyone thought Colombia was bad!?)
“Sir, where are you from?” Scott, “Well, it’s sort of complicated. We’re in the middle of moving home from living overseas.” Cop, “Why have you handed me a piece of paper that supposed to be a Texas license?” Scott, “That’s what I got at the DMV. Our domicile is in Texas.” Cop, “Your what?” Scott, “Our permanent residence.” Cop, “Where are you heading?” Scott, “To Maine.” Cop, “Why?” Scott, “To pick up my family. They’re waiting at my in-laws.” Cop, “And where are you moving home from?” Scott (internal sigh), “Colombia.” Cop, “Where is Colombia, Texas?” Scott, “No… Colombia the country. Bogota, Colombia.” Cop, “Oh. One moment please.”
He returned to ask, “Is this your RV? Are you responsible for it?” Scott, “Yes, it’s mine.” Cop, “Ok, you don’t mind if I take my dog around it, right?” Scott, “No. No problem.”
That’s when the problem started. Much to our legitimate surprise, the dog alerted.
A whole series of events unfolded after that. Three more police cars were called to the scene. Another dog was brought in. It, too, alerted but in a different place. It seems the RV has been riddled with drugs at some point in the past. Scott and Nate were told to stand outside while a gaggle of officers went through every nook and cranny of the RV for about an hour. Meanwhile, Scott had the presence of mind to call me to give me a heads up that he was almost certainly going to jail. He wasn’t sure what would happen to Nate, but I’d likely have to fly down ASAP.
Up in Maine, I started looking for flights to Nashville.
Thankfully, while both dogs alerted, no drugs were found (obviously). It seems that drug residue may have lingered. What kind of drugs? Not sure… and honestly I don’t want to know. I don’t like drugs. I don’t want to have nightmares about bricks of drugs tucked into every corner of The Chief. We’re going to have to clean it out – every inch – with Clorox (and when I say “we” I mean “me”).
The cops ended up having a bit of a chuckle with Scott, shook his hand and wished him a good road trip. He called me back giddy. He really really didn’t want to go to jail.
The lesson learned from this?! Even though I’m a lifelong DARE graduate and never even considered that other people might have had drugs in the RV… they have and it’s something we need to address. This wouldn’t have been nearly as funny if someone had left behind a little stash and/or the little kids found a little something. I’ve decided to call the local police to ask if they’ll search it so I can know it’s clean.