Friday, July 12, 2013

Green Machines on the Interstate


When my brother and I were kids, we had the "Best thing since Big Wheels" - The Green Machine. We each had one, and we rode those things everywhere we could.  One time, I believe this was during the summer though I cannot tell you what year - most likely '78 or '79, we went with my Dad on a trip.

I think we were driving to Cleveland to see my Grandparents. At least, that seems the most logical, though I am not sure why my Mom wasn't with us. At any rate, as we headed down the highway, we had our stuff including our Green Machines.

Somewhere around Exit 10 (In those days, it was Exit 10. Nowadays, I don't know the exit number, and it may still be 10 for all I know) on the Turnpike, our car broke down. I think Dad may have gotten a flat or something. Well, there weren't ubiquitous cell phones back then. Dad pulled the car off the highway, and we waited for a passing car to help or a tow truck or a police officer.

As we waited, time was going by and I'm sure we kids were driving my father crazy, so we convinced him to let us ride our Green Machines. We rode them on the nearest paved road - the Exit 10 offramp. Yes, that's right.  My Dad let his two kids ride their toys on the offramp of a state turnpike!  Those are the kinds of cool things you could do back in those days. Or, so we thought.

Turns out, if you want the cops to show up with lights and sirens, just have your kids ride their Green Machines on the Interstate. The officer did not see my Dad and his car off the side of the road. He saw me and my brother turning donuts on the Exit 10 offramp after we had crossed over the overpass.

I think Dad got off with just a warning, and we kids got a rather lengthy lecture about "playing on the Interstate." What I learned from it was that people will ignore you completely unless you do something so far out of the ordinary that they have to come see just what you're doing.

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