Causeway Stories -- #4

Tomas Carey

I was driving along in my red Volkswagon (that car got me into more trouble, it ran over everything!!!) on the causeway one fine sunny rainy season morning with Allegro Woodruff. We were just riding along minding our business and I see a big flock of turkey vultures sitting on the grass over on the side of the causeway between Naos Island and Ft. Amador beach on the Panama City side. Apparently one of Noriega's victims washed ashore there and the buzzards were fighting over the remains. Well I never like to see a fight so I tried to break the flock up by running them all off into the water ... he-he-he-he. When it came time to apply the brakes, surprise! ... Jimmy Ganser's brake job worked marvelously; however, the grass was wet from days of rain so we kinda just slid right over the side.

Now here are two points I wish to make regarding an erroneous statement that I drove "off the causeway":

Number one -- I did not drive "off the causeway" ... I drove "over the causeway" and onto the rocks. We didn't hit the water, we didn't have to swim, we weren't fighting for our lives, we weren't swallowing salt water through our noses ... hell, I don't think I was going more than 50 or 60 miles an hour ... he-he-h-ehe ... so we didn't achieve flight ... as it were.

Number two -- Since I applied the brakes and those brakes worked, but the car kept going ... technically ... I don't think you can say that "I" drove off the causeway.

It's plain to see that the "car" drove off the causeway. They had to bring a big deuce and a half with a crane on the back out from the Ft. Amador motor pool (they kept those trucks out there just for all the people that ran off the causeway, really folks ... I'm not lying ... there were literally thousands of us ... we should file a class action) to pick my volkswagon up off the rocks.  Needless to say my "friends" turned the "crane picking my car up off the rocks" into an occasion for a beer party ... cheering the crane driver on ... (that was their one redeeming quality ... they could make a keg party out of any occasion).

I remember one time when I was selling fruits and veggies to the ships in Rodman; I ended up with a few extra crates of tomatoes ... so I was naturally gonna take them and give them away to my friends on the causeway ... but NOOOOO!!! they have to turn it into a "Hey Tom has a few crates of very ripe tomatoes, so lets have a tomato fight!!!" party ... with friends like that, you tend to have very few enemies ... Needless to say (back to the car story) the car fired right up and I drove it off the causeway for the last time for a year ... (they kicked me off the causeway ... those military hard asses ... for one whole year!!! ... they weren't even born in the CZ and yet can tell me where I can't go ... let em try it now ... I have a cedula and THEY DON'T!!!!) That necessarily didn't mean that I stayed off the causeway for one year .. .he-he-he-he ... I just didn't "drive" out there for one whole year ... (the buzzards were happy about that) and I kept what you might term a "low profile" when I went out there during that year of exile.  Now, the third point I want to make (thats right ... I changed this into a three pronged defense ... the most effective kind of a defense..) because  it has been stated that since that time Allegro hasn't ever driven, and watches the speedometer like a hawk while David Rankin, her husband, is driving.  Is he insinuating that that fun little frolic on a sunny rainy season morning on the causeway was the reason that his wife never drove a car again in her life?????  I ask you fair people of  Cyberspace??? Can you really say that one little "cause" has so much "effect"????? I think not!!!! 

Instead let me tell you about the time that I  almost ran down a group of nuns who were piously crossing a street. (What do you call a group of nuns anyway?? A gaggle of nuns???) I've been riding with Dave before in one or another of his big American bombs, and feared for MY life....... The point is that it could be any number of reasons that made Allegro choose to spend her life waiting for the chiva ... But don't blame me!!!!!   After all ... all I did was run her off the causeway ... I mean "over the causeway"....

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Update: October 4, 1998
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