Crazy Trip to Chicago

Yesterday morning (March 6, 2010) I hopped in the pickup at 7am on my way Chicago.  This is a trip that I do several times a year, so I’m familiar with about every exit, gas station and fast food joint on the 306 mile journey between Winona, MN and Chicago, IL.

I was traveling alone this time.  About 75 miles into the trip I stopped at mile marker 48 along Wisconsin I-90.  Hardees had breakfast biscuits and I decided to take one with the white frosting and try their blueberry biscuit as well.  I decided to eat the biscuits in the truck.  Eating the first biscuit proved no problem but the blueberry variety proved challenging.  After biting a corner out of the biscuit, the blueberry goop (complete with actual blueberries) started running out of the side.  I tipped the toasty disk up on its side to stop the drainage, while at the same time trying to eat as much of the biscuit as I could.  Once I had to jettison what was left of the biscuit into the box while I wiped my hands with a napkin.  Finally the blueberry biscuit was entirely consumed and all I had was a sticky hand and a gooey steering wheel; nothing that couldn’t be handled at the next gas stop in Janesville.  I hate to admit this, but I spent a few seconds marveling at my biscuit-handling prowess; this had been as difficult and potentially messy of a biscuit as I had ever eaten!

A few minutes later, as I passed Cascade Mountain Road on I-90, I saw flashing lights behind me from an unmarked Wisconsin State Patrol car.  You always hope they’re looking for someone else, but this time it was my turn.  Out of the cruiser walked a young and fit Wisconsin State Patrolman who for sure hadn’t been eating Hardees biscuits!   Trooper Thiede informed me that I was driving 75 in a 65 mph zone.  I told him that I traveled this route several times a year and had never been pulled over at 75 mph.  “Not until today, you haven’t” he said.  We discussed the violation for a few minutes.  He let me off with a warning, for which I was very grateful.

For the few minutes we talked, Officer Thiede was very respectful and friendly; the State of Wisconsin should be proud of this man; he’s a good hire (and not just because he gave me a warning).  As we spoke, Officer Thiede gave me a broad, kind of sympathetic, smile.  I was thinking, hey…the guy really likes me!

About a half hour later I happened to look straight down at my hooded sweatshirt.  There was what seemed like a thousand tons of blueberry goop all over the seatbelt and sweatshirt.  It was crammed into the sweatshirt zipper and on both sides of the seatbelt.  To Officer Thiede I must have looked like the king of slobs; like a kid that had just eaten his first birthday cake.

Thanks, Officer Thiede, for being so kind, so professional, and so understanding.  It’s a good thing that being a slob isn’t against the law or you would have had no choice but to put me in jail, slam the door, and lock me up for a month!

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