It was a hot summer evening in July 1982, when my Maine State Police trooper buddy, Mark Nickerson asked me to ride along with him for the evening.

Riding along with the rocket man was always a treat, but this night was particularly funny and it quickly made its way into my memory books.

Mark arrived at my house a little after dark on this humid summer night. He was sure we’d be busy that evening as there were several parties in the area. Usually, whenever parties involved alcohol, before the night was over, the police would somehow become involved. It might be to cover an accident or break up a fight or some other disturbance.

As we left my driveway, we headed south toward Brooks. A short distance away, Mark turned onto Jewell Street, a side street that circumvented the town square. As we slowly rounded the bend in the road, we observed a couple of local hoodlums walking along the edge of the street.

I was very familiar with both of them. Mark, on the other hand, was just starting to get acquainted with the local folks.

I recognized these juveniles as two who were fairly frequently in trouble with the law. Their sly activities were never too serious, just enough to be a constant pain in the butt for those of us trying to enforce the rules.

As we approached these young men, we noticed they were drinking beer. Both of them were under the legal drinking age of 21.

Once they spotted the cruiser heading their way, in typical kid fashion, they quickly tucked the open containers underneath their shirts and continued walking like a pair of momma’s little innocent angels.

Mark said, “Watch this John Boy, they’ve got beer they are trying to hide underneath their shirts “ as he pulled the cruiser alongside them. Stepping outside of the cruiser, Mark casually asked, “What are you boys up to tonight?”

With a silly smirk on their faces, they said, “Nothing much, we’re just out walking around for something to do.”

Loud music was coming from a party just up the street and, without a doubt, these two hellions had just come from there. Both of them had death grips on the beer bottles they had hidden underneath their shirts.

“What’ve you boys got underneath your shirts there,” Marky smartly inquired.

“Oh nothing much,” Randy sheepishly mumbled. The other lad wasn’t talking at all. Instead, he just kind of stared off into space pretending like we weren’t there.

It was quite obvious from the smirks on their faces that they’d had more than one beer that evening.

“Pull your hands out from underneath your shirts, and let’s take a look at that “little nothing,” Marky demanded.

Slowly out came their hands clenching bottles of Budweiser. Mark proceeded to lecture them on the ills of their sins and he ordered them to dump the beer on the ground.

“Where’d you get the beer,” he demanded.

Again, using the old excuse that underage kids always pull whenever they’re caught with alcohol, they stated, “We found it in the ditch!”

“Yeah, I’m sure you did,” Mark responded. “I’d like to know who that guy is that goes around the area throwing his beer in the ditch,” Mark smartly responded.

But nothing short of a stick of dynamite stuffed up their butts was about to get them to change their story. They both had obviously been around the horn several times before.

Marky proceeded to give them a stern lecture and warned them that they’d better not get more beer. “Do you understand what I’m telling you,” he loudly barked.

“Yes sir,” they humbly sputtered as we climbed back into the cruiser and drove away.

Proud of his firmness and the threat of near capital punishment if he ever again caught them drinking, we headed off down the street.

I said, “Marky, You really don’t think they’re not going to march right back up the street and get another beer, do you?”

“They wouldn’t dare,” he boldly sputtered.

“How much you wanna bet,” I smirked. “I know both of them, and I’ll bet you a day’s wages that in five minutes they’ll have more beer. You didn’t scare them a bit,” I deviously snickered.

“You’re on,” he chuckled, as we continued down to the end of Jewell Street and made the loop around the block.

I said, “Pull over right here to the side of the road, and shut your lights off. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts, they’ll both be staggering back down the street with more beverages in a few minutes,”

Sure enough, five minutes later, back underneath the street lights they hiked along. This time, they had coats on as they slowly walked along the road a short distance from us. They were completely unaware of our presence.

Mark snapped on the cruiser headlights and we again pulled up alongside of them. They frantically stuffed objects into their coat pockets as we stepped out of the cruiser.

“OK boys, what you got in your coat pockets this time,” Mark demanded to know. Like he didn’t have a clue.

“Nothing,” they sheepishly replied.

“I know better than that,” Mark bellowed, and he told them to start emptying their coat pockets in front of the headlights of his cruiser.

Just like before, they removed not one, but two bottles of beer from each pocket. As Randy slowly pulled the last one from his pocket, he was standing mere inches in front of Marky, swaying back and forth.

Randy’s hand ever so slowly slid the bottle directly over Marky’s foot, almost like he was guiding it as if it was a small torpedo. Suddenly he dropped the bottle. It landed with a thud on top of Mark’s polished boot and smashed all to pieces, spraying beer over Marky’s foot and pants.

Randy just stood there with a sheep-eating grin on his face.

I was sure the world had just come to a screeching halt for those two lads. I figured I’d have to have a super duper toilet plunger to pull my trooper buddy back down to earth. He went off like a rocket.

If looks could’ve killed, those two boys would’ve been dead right on the spot.

Meanwhile, I was trying my damnedest to remain somewhat serious during this minor crisis of sorts. But there’s only so much humor a person can really withstand.

I said, “Now looky what you boys have done. Marky’s not happy.”

Then I completely lost it. I was of absolutely no use trying to assist my comrade who was fulfilling his legal duties. I was desperately trying to hide my hysterical amusement.

This time, Mark wasn’t quite as generous as he’d been before. He quickly assigned these two young lads a day of reckoning, requiring them to stand before the judge and be held responsible for their sins.

As my pal Marky always says, “Just another night on patrol.”

And what a night it was.