We’re several hours into the Baytown evacuation on Thur., Sept. 22. Several hours in a car and we’re still not to the first town (only twenty miles away from home). That means everyone’s gas gauge is going down and everyone’s bladders are filling up. Now, whose bladders fill up first? All the little children, right? So, come mid-morning it’s not an unusual sight to seek folks pull off the road and allow their wee ones’ a moment of relief. With that in mind, fair reader, I bid you continue.
I’m sitting on Hwy. 146 between Baytown and Dayton and it’s mid-morning. There’s not a lot to do except sit in your car and slowly steam since the highway has become a parking lot (this is at a point prior to my role as impromptu traffic director, as you probably noted in an earlier post entitle “My Cajun Convert”). So, I start digging through one of the boxes we threw in the car knowing that there’s a stash of CD’s in there somewhere. Hey, I’m in my son’s car and it has a CD player so I might as well make sure it works, right? A random reach into the box retrieves one of my favorites – The Greatest Hits of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (hey, I was a trumpet player back in school). I pop open the case, slide the CD in the player and wait for the first tune to cue up.
At that very moment, I happen to cast a glance out the passenger side window. Understand that window is rolled down just like all the others. What should appear but a car width away on the shoulder but the sight of a young mother peeling her young man’s pant down (probably 20-24 months of age) just in time for him to start taking care of business. And what song should cue up on the CD simultaneously with my taking in this sight? Love Potion # 9! Now if you’ve ever played Herb Alpert’s rendition of Love Potion # 9, you know that 9 out of 10 people not familiar with it will, upon hearing it, mistakenly refer to it as The Stripper. And if you’ve heard it, you know why people call it that.
Well, I’m a little deaf and I like to rock out a bit when I can so the volume was probably a touch louder than is comfortable for people with normal hearing (sorry about son, but I’m sure your speakers are just fine). And do recall, the windows are down and the folks “in action” are only a very few feet away. What happens? Mama’s head snaps around and she looks straight at me, aghast.
I honestly couldn’t tell you what else happened after that point because I was too busy scrambling for the volume knob. Now the volume knob in my son’s car is one of those you have to spin a few dozen times just to crank it up or down ten decibels so this process took a while – several seconds, but they surely did seem like several eternities at the time! Why didn’t I just hit eject? I don’t know; I was just too stunned in the moment. And since the traffic wasn’t moving at all, I had to just sit there in that same place for awhile. The only thing I could do was flip the radio back on and start paying apparent close attention to the traffic reports and evacuation news until I could inch forward a few more yards and “escape.”