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A Tribute To Rob Smith (aka Acidman) June 30, 2006 - Although I stopped blogging sometime late in 2003, I never stopped reading blogs and my all-time number one favorite (and daily read) was Acidman's Gut Rumbles blog. I am putting my blog back up in honor of our dear friend Rob's memory and as my contribution to Chabli's Carnival of The Blogfaddah, leading off with the story of how I met the Acidman himself and lived to blog about it.

Rob blogged about the event as well, and while those posts seemed to have been lost in his own archives, I did find them thanks to the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine<%nbsp%> which are linked here in Rob's posts I Must Be Brief, See I Told Ya So and Yankee in Effingham

Rob truly was my blog father, as he provided me with an Acidlanche on one of my very first posts and afterwards sent me an email saying "You're international now."

Boy was he ever right and true enough, he got the ball rolling me.

Godspeed to you and thank you Rob. I'm going to miss you my friend.

So without further adieu...here is my Acidman story...

Weekend in Cracker County  
Wednesday, February  5, 2003 8:26:21 PM EDT


I took an odd trip this past weekend. I have an old friend that was moving back to Ohio, from Effingham county Georgia. She called me up last week to ask if I could help her move back to Ohio over the weekend. She said she'd pay for a ticket to fly me down there and that all I had to do was to drive this truck,



full of her worldy possessions back. As an extra incentive, she said that if I came down, it might be possible for me to hook up with Acidman, whom she knows is one of my favorite bloggers (and one of her regular reads as well). She knows that Acidman lives in Effingham county, just as she does. Well, she knew just what to say I guess, because I agreed to come and help her out.





Gimme Back My Bullet


At the airport, as I was going through the security checkpoint, I put all of my keys, coins and other miscellaneous pocket stuff into one of those little plastic bins. I had one carry on briefcase and put it and my coat and the plastic bin into the x-ray machine. I walked through the metal detector and passed just fine. As I waited there at the end of the machine for my stuff, I noticed several security officers staring at the screen and my stuff wasn't moving on the conveyor. "Ruht Row", I thought. They then started the conveyor back up and sent my stuff out. One of them immediatly went for the little plastic bin that my pocket stuff was in. He grabbed my keys and held them up for closer inspection. I have a key fob, pictured above, that is a fake silver bullet (with a big hole in it) that I got in some NRA newsletter a while back. It's monogrammed with Charlton Heston's name and "Silver Bullet Brigade" on it. Anybody that actually has seen a real bullet, would immediately recognize this one as bogus. It kind of caught me off guard, because I hadn't ever given that thing a second thought and was a little surprised by their (security's) reaction to it. It's a fake bullet, firmly attached to a glob of keys afterall. But I was not going to be allowed to take it. It was no big deal to me really, but at the same time I didn't like the idea of them taking something away from me either. I asked them what my options were and they said I could either mail it to myself or have them confiscate it. I said I'd mail it back and one of the guards escorted me back into the terminal. He was a pretty cool guy about it, but he said one thing that really demonstrated the intensity of paranoia at the airport. He said "the problem is, you hold that thing up in front of a flight attendant and the next thing you know you've got an F-16 flying next to ya." BWAAAHAAAA...I ask you, would YOU be afraid if I pulled out my keys and tried to hijack the plane with them?

Flying these days is getting to be such a pain in the ass....

I had sent Acidman an email the night before, telling him that I was going to be in his town county the following day and that I'd like to take him out for a drink or two if possible. On Friday morning, just before leaving for the airport, I checked my email and Acidman had left a message with his phone number, saying to give him a call once I got there. I flew to Jacksonville, FL, rented a car and drove to my friend Hope's place in Guyton, GA, arriving around 6:00 on Friday night. I called the Acidman and we set up a dinner date for 8:00 at Wisenbacker's restaurant in Rincon. I told him that I was bringing two women with me, my friend Hope and her friend Joan. Unfortunately, Joan decided that she really didn't look good enough (she was wrong) to go out on such short notice and bowed out just before we left to meet Acidman.

Acidman and I have never met before, so he said to look for a guy wearing a camouflage hat. When we got to the restaurant, wouldn't you know there were five guys wearing camo hats (hey Goddess, can you send me the picture that's supposed to go here)? Still, it was easy to pick out Acidman. It's a well known fact in the blogosphere that he looks a lot like this guy. He was sitting at the bar, talking to one of the locals. Hope and I introduced ourselves and sat down at the bar. We all had a few beers and some good conversation, mostly about blogging of course, before ordering dinner.

Although Acidman tells a different story, we had a real good time and ended up closing the bar down, being the last ones to get kicked out leave. I was quite impressed too that he insisted on picking up the tab, demonstrating his gracious southern hospitality in spades. I owe him one for that. Hope and I said goodbye to Acidman in the parking lot around 11:00 or so I guess.






A trip to River Street

Hope wanted to show me River Street in Savannah, which was just a short drive away. So we hopped in my little rental car and drove into Savannah. Now I've never been to River street before and I was pretty impressed. It's a quaint little cobblestone street along the Savannah river full of shops, restaurants and taverns. It even has a set of old trolley tracks running down the middle. I made the remark that Savannah sure does have a lot of cops, as they were everywhere it seemed. There were quite a few people on the street, mostly young folks going from pub to pub and I suppose that's why there were so many officers out and about. Hope directed me as I drove, but something just didn't seem right to me. I told her that the street was way too narrow and that it seemed like it should be a one way street. She assured me that it was not and we continued on. I was becoming more and more uncomfortable as I had to really be careful to stay clear of the traffic going the other way on the street and I was proceeding along slowly. The next thing I know, there is one of Savannah's finest standing in front of the car, pointing a flashlight in my eyes. I stopped and he approached me with a look of disgust on his face. He said "Sir, you are going the wrong way on a one way street, please turn around." Needless to say, Hope was a bit embarrased by this turn of events, but the cop was cool and we just turned around and went back the way we came. It was getting kind of late, so we didn't do the walking tour and instead decided to head back to Guyton.

Another run in with the Jawja law

As we were leaving Savannah, I came to a stop light and as I approached the car in front of me I realized that my headlights weren't on. My rental car had a set of those fog lights on the bottom and I had them on, but not the headlights. I switched them on and happened to look in my rear view mirror and noticed that a police car was right behind me. I was hoping that he hadn't noticed that my headlights had been off. The light turned green and as soon as I cleared the intersection the blue lights came on behind me. I was being pulled over by another one of Savannah's finest. I immediately pulled over and parked on the shoulder. I put both hands on the steering wheel (a lesson learned from a cop friend of mine) as two cops approached the car. It was a man and a woman. They approached VERY cautiously and stayed just behind the driver side door, shining a flashlight in my face (again). They looked kind of nervous, especially the female cop. She asked me for my driver's license, registration and proof of insurance. I had the license and proof of insurance, but since I was driving a rental car, I didn't have a registration and told her as much. I gave her what I had. As I handed her my documentation, the male officer said "please step out of the car, sir". This immediately sent up a red flag in my mind, as this is not the usual technique employed by the cops where I come from. That is, unless there is something much more sinister going on than just your headlights being off. By now, I myself was becoming nervous.

As I got out of the car, the male officer directed me to the back of the car. The female cop stayed right there too, holding my license and insurance card. The man told me that he had pulled me over because I was driving without headlights. I informed him that it was a rental car and that I was still a bit unfamiliar with it, but that I hadn't noticed the headlights were off until moments before he pulled me over and that the light from the fog lamps had been apparently more than enough for me to see while driving through the well lit city streets. I said that it was an honest mistake. He asked me if I had had anything to drink that evening. Of course I had spent most of the evening at a bar with Acidman and had (from my calculations) four draft beers with him. I had also had two or three before I even met up with him and I told the officer that yes, I had a few beers. He asked me how many and I said "three", all the while hoping beyond hope that it would all be over right then and there. Alas, this was not going to be the case of course and he asked me if I would mind doing some stupid human tricks (AKA a field sobriety test). I said that I would comply. In Georgia, there are apparently three different tests used to determine a driver's probability of being beyond the .08 BAC allowed by Georgia state law. The officer asked me if I wore contacts or glasses and I said that I did not. In my case, the officer only used one of several tests, which was the "Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test". You know it as the one where the cop holds a pen in the air and asks you to follow it with your eyes as he moves it from side to side. Before starting the test, the officer held his pen in the air and held a flashlight on it, asking me if I could see the top of the pen. I said that I could. He asked me to put my index finger on the top of it, which I did without hesitation and I touched it with what I considered to be excellent precision. He then told me to keep my head facing directly towards him and to follow the pen as he moved it with only my eyes. He moved that stupid pen back and forth for what seemed like eternity and I only barely moved my head once, but caught myself immediately and continued following the pen with my gaze. When he finished, I again felt like I had completed the test successfully. The officer then asked me to wait there by the car, as he went back to his. His partner, the female cop, was standing there watching me and as I leaned against the back of my car to wait for the other cop, I put my hands in my pockets. This visibly agitated the female cop and she instructed me to take my hands out my pockets, which I did. I then crossed my arms, and that was apparently ok. About this time, I noticed two more cops, lights ablazin', arriving on the scene. This was starting to become quite a show for people driving through that busy intersection, because I noticed a lot of rubber neckers as I stood there waiting. Finally, the male cop came back with something in his hand. I figured that it was probably a breathalizer, which turned out to be correct. The officer asked me if I would mind taking this test as well. Now, as I said before, I had already done some calculations in my head as to the number of beers that I had had that evening over the course of about 5 hours. I'm still pretty sure that number was 7, which I was certain would exceed whatever Georgia's blood alcohol limit is for a person of my puny size (160 lbs.). Not to mention, I could tell that these people were intent on busting me. I did NOT want to take this test. I told the officer that I was confused because I thought that I had passed his previous test without a problem and asked if this was not the case. He said that no, I did not pass the first test, but he refused to tell me at what point I failed insisting that the breathalyzer would help him to make a more definitive conclusion as to my sobriety. I told him that I was unfamiliar with Georgia's DUI laws and asked what would happen if I refused to take the breathalyzer test. He informed me that that would be fine, but that we would have to "go back to his office" and take the test there. At this point, I was feeling a little bit cornered, given the circumstances and I reluctantly agreed to take the breathalyzer test. He held up the device and instructed me to take a deep breath and blow hard into it. He said that he'd be able to tell if I was blowing hard enough by holding his hand on the other side of the blow tube. As I began to blow, he told me to blow harder, repeating it the entire time as I exhaled. When I was nearly depleted of breath, I gave one final hard blow and he said "ok, that's good". I was shaking from nervousness by now and very concerned as to what that little meter might say as he looked down at it. He was careful not to allow me to see it though. He began to tell me something about why it was an unfortunate part of his job to make DUI arrests and how it is a common thing for them to do on a Friday or Saturday night. I'm not really sure what he was getting at and I didn't care, I wanted to know what that meter said and at the same time trying not to think about being some bubba's bitch in a Savannah jail cell that night. The cop then told me that in Georgia, the legal limit for drunk driving was .08 blood alchohol content (oh great I thought, it's even lower than Ohio's .10 limit. I'm a goner). Then he looked at me and said, "fortunately for you, you fell well short of that number". "Wha?" I thought to myself, "that can't possibly be correct!". I was shocked and elated of course, though I acted as though I had fully expected that result. The officer then stated the obvious, which was to be more careful about driving around without my headlights on at night (I think I learned that one the moment the flashing blue lights appeared in my rear view mirror) and then, finally, he said that I was free to go back to my car and be on my way.

After I got back home, I took a look at this chart, which shows you how to calculate your blood alcohol content. Based on this chart, I calculated that my BAC should have actually been .089 (7 beers for a 160lb. person=.164 - (.015 x 5 hours)), which was just slightly over the Georgia limit, but it may have swung in my favor as I had not had any alcohol for at least an hour prior to being stopped. I'll never know, but I'm certainly grateful for whatever the reason was that I dodged that bullet. whew!

All in all though, it was a successful trip. We made it back to Ohio without incident and I gained some good memories along the way. I've always liked a good road trip.

I'm off to Manhattan tomorrow morning for the next 2 days, so no blog for you until the weekend...

Posted by: Marc  


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