Hazel Dupes the Trooper

by ALEXI VENICE

I’m proud to say I’m friends with a professional with whom I share similar adolescent experiences from the land of fifty-mile-per-hour wind. No joke. Ask any North Dakotan, and they will tell you the persistent wind is the state’s defining feature. The high-velocity airstream barrels down from Canada (sent by handsome PM Justin Trudeau to remind Trump who’s boss), and prides itself on molding the chaffs of wheat and tips of trees into the shape of the crescent moon. God bless all of you who not only tolerate it, but have adapted to thrive in it.

Anyway, without using names, my fellow North Dakotan, Hazel, did what we all did back in the 1970s. She drove around in a battleship-of-a-car with her friends, unbelted, drinking Schmidt beer.

There was a lot of wide open space back then, so the chances of running into another car were slim. We drove for miles amidst the sunflowers, wheat fields and potato fields (thanks for confusing me on how to spell potato, Dan Quayle). We held keggers in super-sized Quonset huts that housed heaps of harvested potatoes (again—Dan—you’re no Jack Kennedy. He could spell potato backwards—which roughly translated into pain killer for his back).

We got liquored up in the subzero temps, then drove from party-to-party, or if just two people, to a secluded spot to make out in the ginormous back seats of those gas-guzzling boats.

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It was on one of these late-night journeys that my anonymous friend, Hazel, and her car full of underage drunken, but straight-laced, high-achieving kids (because that’s what straight-laced, high-achievers did for fun back then—back there), was pulled over by a state trooper.

Hazel wasn’t driving, thankfully, but was sitting sloppy drunk in the passenger seat. While the lead trooper subjected the driver to a field sobriety test, the other trooper opened Hazel’s car door and asked her to get out—into the frigid, night air. She was wearing a dress because they had just attended a wedding reception. Per standard protocol back then, the hosts of the reception offered her “one for the road,” so she and her companions had plenty of beer in the car when they left. As they finished each beer, they threw the empty out the window.

For you younger readers, the 1970’s decade was a time when lots of garbage was flying out of car windows—before the crying Indian commercials (literally) broadcast by the government instructed us to stop polluting. (See the below clip on YouTube: “Keep America Beautiful-crying Indian-70s PSA Commercial.”)

That was Hazel and her friends on the highway who threw the bag of fast food (and cans) out their car window to land at the Indian’s feet. She made him cry! Evil Hazel—the North Dakota polluter.

Don’t blame Hazel. We did everything wrong back then because there was so much bad information combined with bad fashion. Dean Martin influenced us by singing and performing while drinking and smoking. Bad fashion was rampant, illustrated by men wearing Lilly Pulitzer pants on the golf course. (For years, I thought Lilly Pulitzer sponsored the “Pulitzer Prize” award, which I vaguely thought was a “best-dressed” award rather than an award for true high-achievers. As soon as I left North Dakota, that misconception floated out of my brain.)

Anyway, Hazel was down to her last, half-full can of beer, riding shotgun that night. (What she was about to attempt never would have worked with a bottle.) As soon as they were pulled over, Hazel had the foresight to shove the open can up her dress and wedge it TIGHTLY between her thighs. It was nestled right below her panties when the trooper commanded her to get out of the car.

With thighs of steel, Hazel swung her legs out of the door first (like a lady should) and planted her high-heels on the frozen roadside. She rose to full height in front of the suspicious trooper, and stood stock-still, clenching that now-tilted can between her thighs, feeling the cold beer drip down the inside of her legs…trickle…trickle…forming icicles on her knees. Despite the trickle and icicles—which made her want to pee—she politely and thoughtfully answered the trooper’s questions with an inscrutable expression on her face. Her ability to deceive while inebriated, in the face of authority, qualified her to become either a sociopath or a lawyer. Since we’re still friends, you can assume she’s both.

When the trooper had run out of clever things to ask, he told her she could get back in the car. She did so in royal fashion, keeping her legs together, lowering herself back onto the seat and swinging those wet legs—held together from thigh to ankle—into the car while still clutching the dripping can. The trooper nodded and closed her door, never noticing the beer spillage around her strappy sandals.

Pause for a moment here. Did this trooper have a sense of smell? Her breath was boozy and beer was dripping down her legs! How about sight? Did he look down at Hazel’s hot legs to see the trickle? Isn’t that why they carry a flashlight—to look at women’s legs and up their skirts? I get it if he was distracted by her natural beauty, but I’m glad this guy isn’t a TSA agent today. How unobservant—and faintly idiotic. I never did ask Hazel what his story was.

Fortunately, Hazel’s driver was mostly sober, so he passed the field sobriety test and they were on their way. When they were a safe distance down the road, Hazel extracted the almost-empty beer from between her legs and drank the remainder. And, that, Ladies, is how it’s done—on a dark night in the frozen tundra.

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