“Mom, do you think the $18,000 price for the car is with or without the bud?”
“Bud? Who’s Bud?”
“Not WHO, Mom, WHAT. Bud…weed, grass, mary jane—“
“I get it! I’m just trying to figure out why in the name of your great-grandmother Pearl you are asking me that!”
Sweet Pea was holding open the driver-side door of a cute little 2007 Pontiac G-6 with a “For Sale” sign, parked on the well-manicured lawn of a beautiful two-story home in a small northwestern town in Tennessee. It’s like Norman Rockwell lived there—only he was a Yankee and he died in 1978.
She giggled, pointed to a small compartment to the left of the steering wheel and said, “There’s weed in this car!” This scene from Pulp Fiction flashed through my mind:
Jules: What country are you from?
Brett: What? What? Wh – ?
Jules: “What” ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of. They speak English in What?
Jules: English, @#$%&*%, do you speak it?
Brett: Yes! Yes!
Jules: Then you know what I’m sayin’!
Jules: Describe what Marsellus Wallace looks like!
Jules: Say ‘what’ again. Say ‘what’ again, I dare you, I double dare you @#$%&*%, say what one more *bleeping* time!
Before I could irrationally yell, “Let’s get outta here,” I turned to find Grandpa Elmer heading toward us. “Howdy! That was supposed to be locked.”
Did Grandpa Elmer from Milan—pronounced “my-len”—know that I had discovered his illegal drugs? Were Sweet Pea and I about to be “offed” by this middle Tennessee farmer so we could never speak about what we saw? I considered running but wasn’t sure if Sweet Pea would understand my non-verbal head-twitching cues or if she’d simply think I’d had too much Starbucks.
I stammered, “I’m…I’m…it was open…thought it was okay…maybe gets locked at night—“
He smiled, hoisted his pants to mid-chest and told us it was his granddaughter’s car and he was helping sell it for his son. I relaxed a little, figuring Grandpa Elmer was clueless to the car’s contents.
After spending a reasonable time chatting about the car, just in case Grandpa Elmer did farm a little more than ‘taters, ‘maters and onions, Sweet Pea and I left. A few miles down the road, a troubling thought occurred to me. “Wait a minute…how did you know what that was?”
“I go to high school, Mom.”
“Oh yeah, right.”
I wondered if I should notify the owner. What if a cop came to look at the car? Even worse, what if a little old lady bought the car, got pulled over, and then got busted for possession? I could see her running her fingers through her blue hair exclaiming, “Officer, I swear it wasn’t my marijuana. I have no clue how it got there!” Andy Taylor and Barney Fife would look at each other and say, “Yeah right, Grandma. You were driving 18 in 40 mph zone.”
Sweet Pea chimed in her thoughts, “I think we should go back, call the owner and tell him unless he sells the car to us for $10,000 we’re going to call the cops.”
Suddenly, the fact that she knew what the contents were wasn’t so disconcerting. It was the fact that she had extortion skills! A tear trickled down my cheek as I realized my sweet little baby girl might someday enter politics.