Copyright 2010 Clyde Key
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It was about to happen again. It was announced by the distant loud roar of a V-8 engine and confirmed by a cloud of dust on the horizon. In a couple of minutes, a red ’55 Chevy pickup truck would roll slowly past, and its teen-age driver would wave at Sonny. Then when the teen had gone a few hundred yards, he would switch to his muffler cutout and roar away while spinning great streams of gravel with his large rear tires.
Then the constable would have two choices. If he ignored the taunts of the teenager, he would evoke side-splitting laughter from the old men on the bench in front of the feed store. If he gave chase, they would still laugh but at least Sonny wouldn’t be around to hear it. Of course, he might catch the young fellow, but he didn’t really want to do that either. He had managed to catch the kid once and had cited him for speeding, disturbing the peace, and unlawful flight to avoid arrest, but it had all come for naught because Judge Swank, the young man’s uncle, dismissed all the charges. Then the judge circulated a memo to all the lawmen in the county, instructing them not to harass teen-agers.
All of this got Sonny to thinking. He decided that being constable in Reddeen County is not a great job. Last year it had sounded exciting when Sheriff Trump advised him to run for election, but Sonny soon learned that constables mostly just serve papers, and there aren’t that many to serve in a rural Texas county. Of course, they sometimes haul drunks into jail, but that’s not much fun either. Too, there was the problem with the teens that heckled Sonny, even though he was only a couple of years older, himself. Even with all the aggravations, though, there weren’t many good jobs of any kind around so this one would just have to do.