I want to take the time to laugh. Not to share something of vital significance to the community or to overload you with inane rambling about how this can be a better town. We all know what needs to be done … it’s just a matter of doing it. Sure, every so often I’ll feel the need to write something just to serve as a reminder of those things, or perhaps a commentary on a particular situation or story we’ve been covering, but right now I just want to laugh, and providing me with that laughter this week was Lieutenant Martin Morales of the San Benito Police Department.
As many of you who know me are aware, I often enjoy a good cackling laugh if the mood strikes. It struck this week after I saw so many people slip and fall as they attempted to walk on the icy streets. Not that I get a kick out of other people’s mishaps, but it’s funny to me being that I’m just as clumsy. I often compare other tumbles with mine and rank them accordingly. Still, no one has been able to match my epic fall that occurred during Tropical Storm Hermine in September of 2010, when I was at a local gas station and stepped outside the convenience store to pump gas and … POW! I hit the ground hard and almost successfully performed a split! Trust me, my weight and posture considering … it was hilarious.
But I digress. I already had the giggles on Friday after a co-worker slipped (it was great, you should have seen it), but I nearly fell over laughing when the lieutenant returned my phone call. We talked about the number of accidents in the city the last couple of days as a result of the freeze, and then we talked about the highway closing. I asked how that went since local law enforcement often stand with their police unit and block the on-ramps until crews with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) arrive with barriers. No matter, because in true San Benito fashion, people still tried to get on the highway.
Now here’s the funny part. There’s Morales, standing in front of his car not allowing anyone on the highway near the Sam Houston entrance, and sure enough there were folks who tried to creep around the lieutenant, as if he and his car were invisible, in an attempt to sneak by him by finding room to drive around the man-made barricade. Morales waved his hands dramatically to let them know, “Hey, I’m right in front of you and can see what you’re trying to do.” Again, it mattered not. These were San Benito people, and they had their mind set on getting on the highway. Some demanded explanations, others actually waved their hands in that really dumb way … you know what I’m talking about, when someone sticks their arm out of their car window and gestures wildly yet lacks the intestinal fortitude to flip the bird.
Ahh … San Benito, I love you.
What can one expect though from people who are so busy? After all, schools were closed, most businesses were staffing skeleton crews, and authorities were quite clear in recommending that folks stay in. Perhaps all this coupled with a police lieutenant and his vehicle blocking the entrance to a highway that was prohibited from use at the time wasn’t enough to send the message that … hey, the roads are frozen!