The Cabbage Patch
She was the epitome of the term "Biker Babe", and she lived in two completely different worlds---one of family and one of her friends. Every once in a while, one life would trickle into the other. Here's an example: Bike Week, Daytona Florida
Every year she went to bike week with her husband, and they often won prizes and contests for their customized Harley-Davidson. One time she called my mother, "I'm so mad! Would you believe I came in second place this year? That's impossible. That winner cheated!"
Mom replied, "Cheated how? Did her bike have some sort of illegal addition?"
Annoyed, Lee responded (and in my head I can see her pouting and stomping her foot), "Not the bike contest! The wet tee shirt contest! I came in second! She cheated.... her boobs were fake. That isn't fair!"
"Oh my god, Lee! What did your husband say?"
"He was furious."
Apparently these two were on totally different brain waves, as my mother replied, "I guess he would be. I can't believe you entered a wet tee shirt contest. What were you thinking? You better apologize to him."
Lee got confused, "Apologize for what? And he was mad. He paid $50 for me to enter, and I win every year. So he's fuming that we just lost the $2,000 prize."
One year she called me, "I just won a lot of money. next year you are coming to the cabbage patch with me. We could make a killing together."
I knew I shouldn't have asked. I should have kept my mouth shut. As a girl born in the 1970's, The Cabbage Patch was a doll. But stupid me inquired, "What's the cabbage patch?"
"Coleslaw wrestling! We'd kick butt in a tag team!"
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This woman made me laugh so hard, "I take Cymbalta, I'm ready to explode, and I didn't take my pills today. I break people's arms."
My mother worked the overnight shift when I was 17 years old (Lee was 28). One night at 2 am, I got a phone call from the police in Lee's town. "This is Officer Perry. We have your sister, Lee, here and we need someone to come get her."
When the officer told Lee her ride arrived, she started screaming and yelling, "I hate all you pigs! The only good cop is a dead cop! None of ya's ever do anything good. All the killers are running loose on the street and you picked me up for nothing." (No, she wasn't drunk. Just crazy. It happens. lol) "My sister's taking me home now!"
I could hear her from the lobby of the police station. I asked the officer if I could yell back to shut her up. He responded, "Oh my god, please do. She's been screaming like that for an hour."
I obliged, "Lee, shut the hell up or I'll leave you here. You know I will!" Silence. She thought it was our other sister, not me. She knew I would leave her if she didn't behave.
The officer looked to the air, "Thank you, God." He turned his attention to me, had me sign a release paper and brought her out. He then realized he omitted a crucial step, he failed to get a photocopy of my driver's license. I handed it over and his face went white. Dread crossed his face as he lifted his eyes up at me, "You're not legally an adult. I can't release her to you."
Once again, Lee exploded in a series of rants that mimicked a vicious dog. Throwing her hands in the air and screaming, she ran after the officer. I wrapped my arm around her waist and lifted her off her feet, swirling her behind me. I said to the officer, "Come on. I'm obviously more responsible than her. My mother's at work for another six hours. It is either release her to me, or you're stuck with her until then."
Still screaming, "Don't talk about me like I ain't here! I want out of this place. I'm gonna sue you for harassment! I hope you all die!"
The officer raised his brow, took my license and turned up the ink on the photocopier. He made sure to blur my date of birth. Then waved good-bye. Poor guy.
That was the start of me picking Lee up from the police station, it was not the last. I become such a regular at the Paulsboro Police station (a city in which I never lived, and rarely ever go) that I was on a first name basis with the officers. We would run into ether in public when they were off duty and exchange pleasantries.
Every once in awhile they would say, "How's your sister doing? I haven't seen her lately. When she's quiet, I get scared."