New Orleans was a watershed. We decided that our naivity wasn't going to cut it in the 'Big Apple' and it was time to head on home. Remember how I mentioned my father's deep reservations about lending us their brand new car? By now it was trashed. I had no idea how often to add oil, water . . . or even when to fill the tires with air - let alone how much pressure they needed. I also had no idea that the heat of the summer sun in Texas could literally melt the plastic in a car if the windows weren't left ajar when it was parked. Yup, by now the plastic inner door handles/rests no longer existed, except as a small pool of black gunk.
So, crossing Texas again, headed full-speed for LA when a police car flags us down. Officer gets out, walks over and says: " Son, your tires are almost flat, your signal lights don't appear to be working and you were speeding. I need you to follow me to a mechanic I know to get the first two things I mentioned seen to." So I replied: "Sorry officer, we're too tired and just don't have the time." He replied: " Son, you got the time. I promise you."
Again, a guardian angel was looking after us. The mechanic fixed some rather important problems and the officer decided not to give me a speeding ticket after all. My father wasn't as charitable.