Rambling Ray was in the Tunnel Bar getting ready to head out to a mega used car lot in PA that was supposed to be like the Holy Land for everything with four wheels. Vinny Buchelle (affectionately known to all as Vinny the Rapist) was going along for the ride. They finished their beers and walked out the door. Five minutes later, I’d completely forgotten about Ray, Vinny and their quest. Until the next day.
Late one hot and sunny morning, I was walking down State Highway somewhere past Baldwin headed to the Tunnel Bar. There was Vinny, standing next to a spiffy little car with cardboard Pennsylvania plates, waving his hands and telling three stories at once. He was in parley with a motorcycle cop.
Ray, mumbling and incoherent drunk, was spread out in the back seat. Since I knew that Vinny hadn’t had a license in at least ten years — if ever — I was waiting for an opportune moment to offer to drive the car. The policeman was going through and trying to make some sense out of a shoe box full documents, filling station road maps, and diner placemat menus. Giving up, he asked Vinny, “Do you have insurance?”
For a moment, but just a moment, Vinny didn’t know what to say. He then replied, “Yes, Medicaid.”
The copy yelled, “GET OUT OF HERE!”