I was studying on the bed in Lou’s single dorm room one evening and noticed strobe lights flashing through the window coming from the parking lot below. The campus security guard and a town police cruiser had blocked in Lou’s Grand Prix. The security guard, whom Lou calls “Beuford T. Justice”, from Smokey and the Bandit, had noticed that the tags and stickers on the car were expired. Then, he looked through the car window and saw the repo tools on the back seat; I guess he called the cops thinking he had found a car thief.

What a mess. They actually wanted to arrest Lou for possession of the tools. I don’t see how it can be illegal to have a slaphammer, which is used to pull out auto body dents, and a slim jim, which is just a piece of aluminum with some notches in it. Anyway, Lou explained that he worked for the local repossession company, and had the officer call his boss at home to vouch for his story. His boss wasn’t happy about the situation, and Lou told him that I had left the tools in sight by mistake, which I may have done but doubt it, since I’m not the one who uses them. There was no proof that the car had been driven on the road without valid registration, inspection and insurance, so there was nothing they could do about that, but apparently Union College requires all cars on campus property to be properly registered and insured. Louie freaked out when they radioed for a tow truck; he insulted the guard by actually calling him Beuford, arguing that he had no right to call the cops or tow the car, and should have just issued a campus ticket. It turned into an angry yelling match between Lou and the security guard while the police officer futilely tried to keep everyone calm, and the tow truck driver folded his arms and tapped his foot. The guard dug in his heels, insisting the car be moved off the lot immediately. Lou stood in front of the car to prevent the tow truck driver from hooking up. I called my parents to come over with their van and a rope. We put the car in neutral and Lou worked the brake, and my mom towed the car with the rope until we were out of sight of the officer and campus cop, then drove it to my house, and Lou rode my bicycle back to campus. I lied to my parents, saying that Lou’s father had the stickers and insurance documents. A few days later, Lou sold the car for scrap because he didn’t have the title, making just enough to buy a second bicycle.

I used to ride my bike or take the bus and walk during the day and Lou drove me home from the fraternity house at night. Now, I always bike to school, work, and the frat house during the day, and Lou bikes home with me at night, even when I work the 3pm-11pm shift. It’s good exercise, I guess, but it is a pain in the neck biking over the bridge through the slushy snow. It is a treat when the weather is bad enough to justify calling for a big yellow checker cab so my bike and I can both ride home in the huge back seat.

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