Harry Reynolds opinion column: Kicking it up to 71 mph on the interstate

Most of the time I drive 70 mph on an interstate highway; occasionally, I kick it up to 71. At my age, blowing through the posted speed makes me feel like 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud.

Gripping the wheel, expecting any moment to be pursued by a state trooper, and face a stiff fine, I crank it up to 72.

One time, I was pulled over in the dead of night. I was the only motorist on the interstate within 30 nautical miles. For several minutes, a car hung on my tail.

Eventually, he turned on his red and blue light.

The first thing a trooper will usually ask is: “What’s the hurry,”or, “Do you know how fast you were driving?” Occasionally, a maverick officer will ask, “Is that your dog tied to the rear bumper?”

I yearned to answer, “It is the dead of night; no one is on the four-lane interstate, so, what would you do, trooper?

What I really wanted to say was, “Of course, I was speeding, you idiot, my truck has a big engine; according to the speedometer, the truck can hit 125. Shouldn’t you be out looking for Walter Mitty, the serial killer?”

In extreme cases, if a trooper is a “Make America Great Again” guy, he will ask, “Do you have any Mexicans in the truck?” I would not advise you to reply, “Si, senor,” you might end up on the south side of the Rio Grande

He wrote me a ticket, which I took to the courthouse a few days later. The clerk asked, “Are you Reba Reynolds’ son?” Considering, what my mother’s reaction would be, I replied, “I am, but, please don’t tell her.”

I gave her an extra $50; she kept her word.

At the time, I was 56. Assuming, dear reader, you have a mother; you get my drift (cliché). On the day she died, the last thing she said was, “Carry a spare pair of underwear in your car.”

If you are a law-abiding citizen, you never exceed the speed limit. Some of you – in your 90s – drive 45 mph, the minimum speed limit. The bureaucrat who settled on that number is long overdue for retirement.

Where are the troopers during the daytime? Legions of motorists hog the left hand lane and drive 95. Occasionally, a trooper will pull one over and issue a warning.

Truckers, to their credit, generally follow the speed limit – at least on the interstates. Driving through town, well, that a different story. Truckers see 35, and drive 53.

My wife does not like driving on the interstate. Being behind the big rigs make her nervous. So, I drive through Chicago. As for those 55 mph signs, forget about it; if you do not, go with the flow on the expressways, there is a good chance you will cause an accident.

If you do not get dead, you might end up standing on the side of expressway, which will guarantee a trip to the morgue.

Chicago drivers are insane. They weave through traffic, but what is really dangerous is when the traffic ahead of you comes to a full and abrupt stop.

Mechanics do a lot of business installing brake pads and rotors in Chicago.

Harry Reynolds can be reached at reynoldsharry1943@gmail.com

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