A Trip to get Soda

A Memory from Jerry KoretzA Memory from Jerry Koretz

Imagine somebody lending you a new Chevy Silverado to use for the summer. Crazy right? All of the trips you could experience with your friends traversing the endless roads that could last as long as your 10.4 mpg. Well, that somebody was my wealthy Uncle and he lent me a top-of-the-line Silverado to use for the summer. Unfortunately, the truck and I were in the desolate town of Yuma, Arizona where the summer heat hovered around 107 degrees daily and fun attractions were fictitious. After many days of staring at my phone, rerunning Grown Ups 2 on the T.V., and boredom reaching deadly levels, my friend Noah, my brother Lance and I finally decided we needed to do something extravagant as our summer diminished and dreaded school was looming.

Before I tell you what we did, I need you to understand that my parents think very highly of me and expect no wrong from me. Now that I’ve said that, Yuma, Arizona is 5 miles away from the border of Mexico and the only thing separating the two countries is a river and your citizenship. On one of the last days of summer, desperate for any suggestions that could suffice our boredom, the three of us decided it would be a stellar idea to drive my Uncle’s Silverado on the canal that lies on the international border.

Moreover, we wanted to see how much we could test the border patrol. Noah, Lance and I decided that on the last day of summer we would do the daring act. When the blistering sun was below the horizon on that fateful July day in 2018, I ran inside to inform my Dad that we were going to Circle K to get thirst busters. My Dad said we could go but only under one condition, we must bring him back a thirst buster. I was surprised by the simple request and promised I’d return with a soda for him. I sprinted outside and jumped behind the wheel of the Silverado and peeled off for the border of Mexico which was only 5 minutes away. To clarify, our intentions were not to cross the border but only to drive along the imaginary territory lines. I also wanted to capture a picture of the international territory sign. When our convoy of adolescents arrived, we began to drive on the “no man's land” trying to keep the dust down as border patrol was monitoring and being on the canal was strictly prohibited. We finally arrived at the menacing sign as it stared back at us with its big red text that read “International Border Stay Back 100 ft”. Just as we took a picture of it, I heard the roar of an engine screaming down the canal. I swung my head in the direction of the noise and saw what looked like a white Tahoe with a dust cloud billowing behind it. I shouted, “Holy (fill in the blank), It’s the border patrol! We need to get out of here!”

The three of us sprinted to the truck like dogs running for an open gate. I jumped in and immediately saw the Tahoe drifting off of the canal bank beaming for our direction. My plan was to scram to the main road and “blend in” with traffic. The plan did not work because there was no traffic at eleven at night. The Tahoe’s headlights were blinding me once again and this time the headlights were accompanied with shades of red and blue. My heart sank as I stared at those lights, I recollected about all of the times my Dad apprised me to stay out of trouble with the law and not to do “stupid sh--” with my Uncle’s truck. So there I was, pulled over on the side of the road and in my uncles truck. “What else could go wrong?” I thought. Just a couple seconds after that, 3 more border patrol vehicles showed up and surrounded the truck like lions circling a wounded gazelle. I knew I wasn’t getting away with this one. The agent that initially pulled me over finally walked up to my window. He was a middle-aged man with a cowboy hat and the most intimidating mustache I had ever seen. He then asked, “So what were you guys doing on the canal?” Searching for a good answer to say, my genius self mumbled, “Sightseeing” The agent raised his eyebrow gave a scowl and then said sarcastically, “Ahh, I see. In the middle of the night? We’re going to need to search your truck for any contraband. Immediately.” 

I obeyed and opened the doors to present the agent with a blessid sight of empty water bottles and old candy wrappers. He proceeded to check the backseat for anything illegal. Failing to find anything, he commanded me to get back into the truck and wait. While the three of us sat there, we noticed the border patrol vehicles beginning to leave. The cowboy hat agent finally returned and stated, “You guys stay away from the border and have a safe night.”

My eyes were wide and all I could do was nod my head viciously. While I drove off, I screamed in happiness knowing nothing was going to happen and most of all knowing my Dad will never find out. As we walked through my front door, still shaking from the adrenaline, we scurried to my room with heads low and trying the avoid any eye contact with my parents. The three of us sat there with faces caked in dirt and our dignity at an all time low. And to top it all off, I heard the footsteps of my Dad approaching the door. The door creaked open and my Dad’s head peeked in. His only question was, “Where is my soda?”

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