Posted on 12.22.13: We all know Springsteen’s “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” Well, here’s an early ’70s occurence called “Gas Pedal Space-Out.”
We were all young and wasted and riding around the wilds of Wilton, Connecticut. Five of us, no direction in mind, maybe 11 pm or midnight. Wilton is exurbia — all shady and winding country roads with woods all over, woods and big lawns and colonial rock walls guarding homes on two and three-acre lots. I was sitting shotgun with two others in front and three in back, and I swear to God the episode is as clear now as if it happened last night.
While engaged in a fairly mesmerizing conversation (are there any other kind when you’re fried on cannabis sativa?) the driver gradually forgot to keep his foot on the gas. The car went slower and slower until it came to a dead stop. And nobody noticed for a good five or ten minutes, of course, until some guy pulled up behind and flashed his lights and honked. If it had been a Wilton patrolman he would have have searched the car and our pockets, and somebody would have been popped for possession.
Two or three years earlier the same driver was motoring across a bridge in Kansas City with four or five friends. Somebody had a recently-bought ounce of something potent. They were all passing a pipe around when someone noticed a cop behind them. Instant paranoia. “Be cool, just be cool,” etc. Then the cop flashed his lights and gave a short blast with the siren, and the person with the bag decided the only thing to do was dump the contents out the window. He poured it out the driver’s side window and, sure enough, the finely-ground pot blew right back into the car, covering everyone and everything.
Here and now. Anyone who was getting high in the ’70s or ’80s has at least a couple of stories like this. I asked this five years ago and I’m asking again in 2019: Has anyone ever experienced a late-night car slowing and then stopping for the above-described reason?