James “Where The Hell Is This Damn Road” Bond


I get an email now and again asking me to post about my job.  For some inexplicably reason some people seem to think it is a) interesting and b) exciting.  In truth it is rarely either.  Mostly it is mundane and predictable.

Still, it beats digging ditches.

But for those folks who are just jiving for a glimpse into one of my days, here goes.

First of all, I got three hours sleep last night so I had half-expected to slip into work late and have an easy day of last-minute paperwork before my Christmas leave starts Monday.

As usual, I was sadly mistaken.

Instead I was jolted out of bed before dawn by an agent in another state who needed a favor.  It seemed he had a last minute trial  subpoena to serve on a witness who lived near our office and I was his last, best hope of getting the job done.

Big mistake.  Because if I am your last, best anything you’ve got major problems.

However, being a team player I enthusiastically jumped into action, showering and shaving in record time, dressing in my finest Turnbull and Asser suit,  and rushing out  the door and my driveway in my Aston Martin with blue lights and siren blazing.

Cool, huh.

Well, don’t get all tingly because the truth is slightly less exhilarating.

The truth is I bitched a fit while on the phone with him about how this was “royally screwing up my busy day” and then I grumbled loudly and repeatedly as I skipped my shower and shave, threw-on an old pair of wrinkled jeans I found on the floor and a sweater with a small hole under one arm and then reluctantly drove the 30 miles into work listening to AC/DC to help relieve the demons possessing me as I slipped in and out of traffic that was much, much too slow for someone as pissed-off and important as me.

Then after arriving at work I quickly suckered a co-worker into going with me since you don’t do this kind of work by yourself. One reason is officer safety, but mostly it’s because it’s boring work and you just want someone to share your pain.

So the two of us head out at about 7:30 am and drive about an hour and a half to this rural county where the witness allegedly lives.  We have an address, but my trusty GPS doesn’t seem to want to zero-in and instead it gives us a general range of addresses on a Lick Creek Road, instead of Lick Creek Trail, which is what we are looking for.

But even with this inexact location both my partner and I feel pretty confident we can find this guy, serve him, and be back at the office before the Christmas luncheon at noon.


Instead what we find is that there are no less than four Lick Creek roads – North Lick Creek Road, Middle Lick Creek Road, South Lick Creek Road, and a just plain old Lick Creek Road. All interspersed in and around . . . wait for it . . . Lick Creek.  Unfortunately, Lick Creek is a long damn creek and so are all the Lick Creek Roads, so we spend the better part of three hours looking for our guy.

To no success.

And we do everything in our little criminal investigator arsenal. We read the county road map (which used to be easier when I was younger – damn my crappy near vision now), we stop at no less than four gas stations, several  homes,  and one general store to ask for directions. We ask a State Trooper who was kind enough to anticipate our need and pull us over as we sped down the road and a little later on we ask a Deputy Sheriff who evidently shared the Trooper’s ESP. Then we ask a rural Postal Carrier who doesn’t seem to know where anything is and finally we ask no less than four “Bubbas” who just happen to be standing around waiting for lost souls like us to make their day.

None of whom (who?) gets us any closer to our guy.  Oh yeah, they all said they “sorta” knew where Lick Creek Trail was, but not a one of them really knew what they were talking about because their directions never lead us to, you know, LICK CREEK TRAIL.

So as you can imagine by this time we are pretty frustrated.   Lack of sleep and no vodka martini is getting to me and my partner is receiving the brunt of my low blood sugar and definitely regretting his decision to accompany me on what was supposed to be an easy morning away from the office, but which is turning out to be a cluster-“you know what.”

Still, even though it is past noon now and we are getting desperate we keep looking, finding still one more Lick Creek Road which looked promising since it was narrow and gravel and we were sure it was really a “trail.”

But no it wasn’t, so we were back to square one, only with hardly any energy and damn little patience for continuing this quest.   Especially one that had nothing to do with any of our own cases and therefore was a waste of time as far as we were concerned.

So we were about done  . . . finished . . . spent . . . when we see a couple of guys working on a house and we pull over to inquire one last time as to the whereabouts of the mysterious Lick Creek Trail.  Hoping against hope that they would know, but not really expecting much except to be sent on another Lick Creek wild goose chase.

But damn it if one of the guys doesn’t say he know exactly where it was.  Not the false claims offered by all the other folks we had questioned, but the absolute certainty of a guy who lives a mile away from our destination.  Nope, he knew where it was and he was going to send us right to it.

I swear I had an erection.

So he gave us directions and off we went and about about 30 minutes later we found it.  Lick Creek Trail itself.  No where near Lick Creek of course which was both amusing and frustrating, but definitely Lick Creek Trail.

And at the end of Lick Creek Trail was our guy. At home. Half-asleep in his jammies and not expected two hungry, annoyed, and armed men knocking on his door so early in his morning (about 12:30 pm our time).

Still despite our frayed nerves I am sure we left him with a good impression, even with my growled instructions and glaring stare.

Then we were off, satisfied at least to have done our duty and secure in the knowledge that a McDonald’s was no more than 20 miles away.  No Christmas luncheon and no vodka martini, shaken or stirred,  but good enough for government work.

James Bond would be proud.



  1. Pissed off AND important, now that’s an impressive combo!

  2. So you work for Publishers Clearing House?

  3. Yep, that’s me and you WILL be happy when I knock on your door.

  4. And, of course, as soon as you got back to the office–or maybe not until this morning, early–you called the agent who roped you into this in the first place, and thanked him properly for such an exciting, adventuresome day out of the office…. No?? Huh!

  5. Yikes — I hope your afternoon was a little less eventful. You James Bond types have all the fun…

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