My new bride and I were exhausted. The wedding was held in her hometown, a two-hour drive from where we lived. In spite of some hiccups, including waking up with a brain busting hangover, the ceremony itself went pretty smoothly.
I have no idea what time we actually got home, but we were both so tired we just fell into bed with our clothes on. Not the most romantic way to start married life, but there was always tomorrow.
About 4 in the morning there was a knock on the window. Our friend, Carol, who had been the Mrs. bridal attendant, was outside screaming and crying. We had dropped her off at the train station several hours earlier (this was one of the hiccups to the beginning of our marital bliss). Apparently, she had missed the train and had to get back home before morning. She was asking me to drive her - approximately 300 miles - home on the first morning of our marriage.
So what do I do? Hindsight being 20/20 we definitely would have planned things better when it came to our friend, but we didn't and as a result we had to help her. So I leave my young bride in bed and we load up in our '78 Datsun to make the 6 hour drive.
Following my friend's directions, we ended up taking the long way to get there. There are basically two choices for driving across Nebraska, Interstate 80, or numerous 2 lane "highways" (I use the term loosely) that zig-zag through small towns and cornfields. She directed me to take the Interstate, which deposited us about 2 hours north of where she needed to be, so we drove the rest of the way on dirt roads, arriving at the train station where her car was at about noon.
Tired, frustrated, and really wishing I hadn't left home in the first place, I stopped and got a map. Which only made me more frustrated as I immediately saw that the road I was currently on was hiway 6 - which went due east back home.
So what does the typical 20 year old do when he's tired, frustrated, and desperately wants to be in bed with his true love? Drive like a bat out of you-know-where. It was the middle of the day on a Sunday in middle of nowhere Nebraska. I don't know how fast I was really going, but if the map was any indication I was making good time. The spedometer needle was buried, but I was obviously doing better than 100. I had been on the road about 2 hours and at this pace I would be home in an hour. I hadn't seen another car on the road - not one - since I dropped my friend off. I was going to be home in enough time to enjoy the evening with my wife.
Then, suddenly, there was another car. I didn't have time to slow down, only time enough to see the lights on the roof. As I flew by the state patrol man I knew I was done. I saw in the mirror that he was quickly turning around to come after me, but I was already pulling over to the side.
"Son, do you have any idea how fast you were going?"
Terrified, I squeaked out "No sir".
"By the looks of this little car I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it - you were doing 155."
"Give me your license please, and I'm going to ask you to hand me the keys too"
My keys? I'd never heard of anyone having their keys taken when they were pulled over. I sat there for several long minutes while he did whatever it was state patrolmen do when they take your driver's license.
"Son, you want to tell me why the he** you were driving so fast?"
I managed to blurt out the story without crying.
"Don't move", he said, like I was going anywhere, he still had my keys.
After several more long minutes he came back, ticket pad in hand. "By all rights, I should take your car, you license, and haul you into jail. But it's Sunday, I'm off in an hour, and I want to go fishing. So, I'm giving you a ticket instead. By the looks of this car you can't afford to pay it and will probably lose your license anyway, but at least you'll be off my stretch of road. $5 for every mile over the limit. And every law enforcement officer between here and the state line will be looking for this car, so you better keep your foot off the floor - understand?"
All this he said in a less than polite manner, making it sound as if he'd just as rather shoot me as ticket me, but that would just be a bigger hassle. So, I took the ticket, my license and keys, and drove 5 miles under the speed limit the rest of the way. The remaining part of the trip took longer than the first part, even though I had fewer miles to go.
I got home to my darling bride, only to drop the news on her that a good portion of the money we were given as wedding gifts was going to keep her husband out of jail.
She didn't speak to me for days.
Suckiest honeymoon ever.