DNUI, or, the Roadside Circus

Last Friday was probably the scariest moment in recent memory. (This proves how easy my life is.)

Background: Sarah and I went to her cousin’s wedding. This was on her dad’s side of the family, so I only knew a few people: her immediate family and her grandma. Nevertheless, it was fun, and not just because of the open bar.

What do you do with a top-40 DJ? (What do you do with a top-40 DJ? What do you do with a top-40 DJ? Early in the morning?)
This mostly comes up at high school dances and, apparently, weddings. If you want to go dance on your own, you probably go to a club that plays the kind of music you like. But yeah. Every so often you get a top 40 DJ. (and I guess by “top 40” I mean “top 40 and friends” which is like half new pop/hip-hop stuff and half old crap like “Shout” or “YMCA” or the Electric Slide.)

Assumption 1: nobody really likes a top-40 DJ. Some people tolerate it, and they kinda like it, but they don’t really dig it. They enjoy it a little because it’s familiar music.
Assumption 2: you should leave well enough alone, and if people are enjoying something, let them be.
Assumption 3: still, though, it’s a little weird to be listening to Lil Jon and Fergie with parents and grandparents.
So what do those leave us with? Is it wrong to request songs that are 7 minutes long and that some people will hate? (like “Rock Lobster”?)

In the end, Sarah had the guts to request it, but the DJ didn’t play it (or didn’t have it) anyway. When I get married, I’m going to DJ my own wedding. For crying out loud.

Anyway, the wedding was fun, we drank some things, it ended at 10pm (huh?) and so we went upstairs to Sarah’s family’s hotel room and played Bang! with her family for a couple hours. Headed home around midnight. As we were driving home, we saw some lights and people stopping. We thought it was an accident, okay, we slow down, turns out they’re stopping all the cars. We pull up and the officer tells us it’s a random DUI checkpoint. Okay, fine.

Now, we had both drank a few things! But we were like 90% fine. We had sobered up for at least two hours. I didn’t feel unsafe driving at all. But I had no idea what my BAC was, or if it mattered, and I could tell I was a little bit affected. At any rate, I step out of my car, terrified (because if you get a DUI you are ruined! you’re a horrible person! you’ll never work in this town again! and your little dog Toto too!), and go over and do some tests.

First test: he has a green penlight, and he keeps telling me to “follow the stimulus” with my eyes. Okay, I could tell they’re not quite moving 100% smoothly. Now I’m even more scared.
Second test: walk 9 steps forward, heel-to-toe, count them, take a few small steps around your foot, and walk 9 more steps, same way. I did this fine. I mean, I wobbled a little here and there. Was that not good enough? Was I borderline? Why aren’t they saying “okay, go back to your car” at this point?
Third test: stand on one foot, count “one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.” I got up to like 30 before he cut me off. I mean, again, I wobbled a little.
Fourth test (SHIT WHY DO THEY NEED FOUR TESTS I’M TOTALLY FUCKED): a breathalyzer. Fine, all right, I blow into the little tube, my heart pounds as the one cop looks at the other cop, kinda shrugs, SHIT SHIT WHAT DOES IT SAY, and he shows it to me: .014. Now, in case you’re not familiar, the legal limit is .08, or like six times what I was. I mean, .014 for a big ol' guy like me is like “I had this one beer but I didn’t like it so I threw half of it out.”

Now the cop is instantly my buddy. We walk back to where they had Sarah sit on the curb, and the cop and I are chatting. Approximate quote: “The important thing is that you drank responsibly. Keep it up. That’ll be good for you, and good for your girlfriend, or wife, or, uh, significant other…”

And in the end it was all kind of fun, because it had a happy ending. I got a good story and a major shot of adrenaline and now I give thanks that I’m not in an oppressive totalitarian state where they could have taken me away at one of these checkpoints. Phew!

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