The story you are about to read is true. The names were not changed, because nobody was innocent.
I’m probably the only kid in America that ever asked permission to run away.
Back when I was about 16, my phone rang early one Saturday morning. It was my friend Mark calling to tell me he was frustrated with his parents and wanted to get away (translated, run away). I was concerned for him so I said, “Why don’t you spend the day with me before you do anything.” I had plans to go down to my uncle and aunt’s house for the day, so Mark tagged along.
This uncle and aunt’s house is kind of a destination for a lot of kinfolk, and that day was no exception. Not only was I headed down for the day, but another uncle and aunt, and their two kids were up from Dallas. It was, and is, an awesome place to spend the day. (For more on their place see my blog entry titled “Ole Blue”.) Now one of these two cousins I mentioned happens to be a girl, and my friend Mark kind of took a shine to my girl-cousin…and her to him. They flirted back and forth for most of the day.
Evening came and it was time to head for home. That’s when I called dad and asked permission to run away - with Mark. Dad said no, so I headed north to OKC. Mark headed to points unknown. A couple of days later they found him and his car somewhere out west…I don’t recall what state. What I do recall is what my dad said to the police when they knocked on our door. See, the police found out that Mark spent the day with me, and they wanted to know my aunt and uncle’s name so they could “interrogate” them, I guess. Dad refused the information. The cop demanded.
Then - dad pointed to the police car in our driveway and said, “In my entire life there has never been a police car at my house…either arrest me or get that black and white out of my driveway RIGHT NOW!” The names were not given. The car was moved. You had to know my dad!
But that’s not my only runaway story. Not too many months after that incident (or before, I’m not sure) two different girl-cousins were up from Dallas to visit our aunt here in OKC. (I have cousins by the dozens!) I introduced my friends Paul and Gary to these two girl-cousins, and we went on a triple date.
I don’t know what caused the pot to boil over, but for some reason Gary and Paul got upset and decided to run away. They stole Gary’s dad’s work car and headed south to Dallas. What’s funny is – the girl-cousins were still here in OKC! Anyway, they ran out of gas so they bartered the spare tire for more and kept driving until they ran out again, somewhere near Ardmore. They thumbed a ride the rest of the way to Dallas.
They spent a dark, cold, lonely night in a city park, scared half to death by some druggie homeless guy, and were so happy to get “caught” by the police. They ate Hostess Ding Dongs and drank Coca-cola and waited for their parents to come pick them up.
So if you’re really hacked off about something… if you’ve had enough and just aren’t gonna take it any more… you might consider running away from home. And hey, if you do, give me a call. I’ll see if I have a cousin available!