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Durbar VI Plumber's Award 2

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The Nightman, Steve Cunningham, confusedly receives a dirty, bent section of pipe, from the original Camp, for what he is told represents "The "Plumber's Award." Not knowing what the dickens was going on, he was told it is given for an event that created much story and rumor telling among the campers. Or, a major "Oops...dang!"

The event is told below.

Durbar VI Plumber's Award 2
Courtesy Florence and John Mercer

This year's recipients of the Plumber's Award:
Steve Cunningham and Frank Pine.

The Story as Told by Steve

      After drinking in the Dur-BAR hospitality suite, then at dinner and back at the hospitality suite, Steve and Frank decided to see if The Pit was still open. It wasn’t, but on the way back Steve (driving) didn’t go around a roundabout to turn left and didn’t use his signal. He was pretty much hapless at this point. Just before they arrived at the hotel, lights were flashing in the rear view mirror.

      “Driver’s license and registration, please.”

      Unknowingly, I give the Officer my license and insurance card. As he went back to his blinding patrol car, Frank and I talked about how many days we’d be in jail, and what we would tell our wives. Somehow, we both felt guilty.

      The Officer came back to the car, leaned in the window and said, “I smell alcohol so I’m required to give you a simple sobriety test: Recite the alphabet - and you can sing it if you want.” At this, both Frank and I burst into laughter. “You mean people old enough to drive have to sing the alphabet to get through it?” I asked . The Officer responded, “ Yeah, there was a lady last week who had to sing it." Frank and I tried our best to sober up.

      I made a good start on the letters but couldn't remember what came after "Q." Tiny whispers of "R" came from Frank's side and after taking the hint, I was able to finish. "Okay, now count backwards from 100 to 53." Danged if I forgot 58. The Officer said, "Wait here" and went back to his car.

      Soon, after what seemed like hours, another patrol car arrived (backup) with the revered, and probably seldom used, Cooperstown breathalyzer.

      "This is what I want you to do:" said the Officer, "Take a deep breath in" and he mimed the task. I sucked in some fresh air in response. "Now blow it all out" the Officer said and blew all his air out. I exhaled to a hue of purple. "Now take in a deep breath and blow into this hose." I took in a lion's share of fresh air and blew into the contraption. "Okay, stop." said the Officer. I was only halfway through exhaling.

      Both Officers looked into the little readout-window with confused and questioning looks. After about a minute or two of incredible and heart-pounding suspense, the original Officer stated ".04" and that I was under the legal limit and free to go. He then handed back my license and insurance card. Never once did we exit the car, nor did the Officer question the insurance card.

      Frank wanted to demand a retest, but I sped off at 5mph.

      How did I pass? Possibly the notion of blowing out whatever they measure by filling my lungs with fresh air twice. I'm quite certain that if the Officer had made me take a deep breath and blow into the tube without his demonstration, I'd have gone before the Magistrate.

      The last thing I said to Frank as we parted was, "Not a word to anyone!" Frank agreed.

      The next morning at breakfast, I overheard several tables talking about the incident. What the....? By nightfall, everybody was talking about the event and rumors were rampant.

      That night, Rusty posted this message on facebook: "Durbar is off and running. Stories to tell already - Did Steve Cunningham and Frank Pine pass their field sobriety test on the way to the Pit last night late???

      I now have to keep the Godforsaken section of rusted pipe until the next Durbar where it will be presented to the next deserving camper. I hope.

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