Soon after I turned 18 and secured my driver license, I asked a pal named Mary to go to a drive-in movie with me. It was my first time, and I begged my father to use his brand new ’65 Ford.
Other friends told me wild drive-in stories. Some stuffed other friends into the trunk to enter without buying a ticket.
Mary was a good friend. We had no past adventures and no future plans–other than to get through freshman year with decent grades. In short, we were good kids but unsophisticated.
Well, except once her mother walked in on us as we were in contorted positions playing Twister. I blushed claret.
I have no memory of the movie titles at the drive-in. We gorged ourselves on popcorn but had no alcohol.
The second movie was long and boring. I glanced at my watch when I opened my eyes. It was after 4 a.m.
My dad’s car was the only car in the parking lot. Every light was out. The speaker hung lifeless on the window.
I gathered my wits. The concession stand must have closed early. There was no security guard.
“Wake up, Mary.” I shook her shoulder.
She awoke with a jolt.
We agreed on one thing. Like the line in “Wake Up, Little Susie” by the Everly Brothers, we were “in trouble deep.”
I put back the speaker and put on the bright lights.
At the exit, we got another shock.
A heavy metal chain blocked the enter-and-exit road.
We drove around the inside perimeter until we found the only fenceless hole. The high beams revealed a muddy field. Beyond it must have been a road. A car or two was visible going past us.
This was not going to be our night.
The car hit a muddy patch and stalled.
While Mary grew more frantic by the second, I gunned the engine.
A tidal wave of pure mud bathed the Ford from the back. Genius that I am, I had left the driver’s side window open. Some mud hit the steering wheel, dashboard, and my legs.
But, at last, the car was free.
Incredibly, both sets of parents were understanding. The mud that coated the car verified our story.
Soon after, Mary met a nice guy, a friend of mine.
I hope they enjoyed their golden wedding anniversary.
“Ooh, la la.”