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“Have you boys been drinking?” The words had stunned the four men in the car as their gazes met where the guard’s eyes were fixated: the empty beer cans in the back seat.
Michael Kane had just completed boot camp for the Marine Corp. He was in his final steps of schooling with some of his old friends from Elmhurst—the town they all grew up in causing normal boy chaos. Kane and his two friends had the weekend off (what they called ‘leave’) and decided to go to Oceanside—a city in San Diego—to do their laundry. Or so they thought.
With their duffle bags in hand as they strolled down the street, Kane heard a whistle. He turned to see another friend, Bob, driving up in a red convertible.
“As soon as we saw him, we knew we weren’t going to just do our laundry.” He laughs.
They spent the night in the town, observing the beach and enjoying themselves.
“This was a time where drinking and driving wasn’t as frowned upon. And that’s exactly what we did. But with Bob half lit, I was left to drive the car” he says with a smirk.
Kane had never been on the roads before (and his lack of judgment wasn’t helping him much either) as he was trying to get them back to Bob’s house on base. He accelerated the convertible up to ninety miles per hour as he was approaching a curve trying to make it back to Camp Pendleton. Why was he going so fast? He simply says, “Not only was I not thinking clearly, but I had to go fast. I was in a convertible.”
As soon as he turned the corner he saw what was waiting for him. There 20 feet away was the military post with three guards lined across it waiting to check ID’s.
“I slammed on the breaks so hard. I was practically standing up on them,” he says.
After the smoke cleared, or so how he puts it with a chuckle, the guards asked them to pull over when they saw the beer cans and cooler.
They were taken into the main office being constantly reminded about how much trouble they were in.
The guards called everyone: the superiors, bosses, and the master sergeant or the head of military police. They were told that they were in jeopardy of losing a stripe, being demoted, and being fined. Big time.
Kane asked if he could run to the restroom quick. Not knowing what would happen, they told him to go out back and around the corner.
“When I got outside, I booked it to the car. I launched every single can over the railroad tracks to my right as far as I could. When I got back inside, I gave my friends a wink.”
His friends, still wrapped up in the moment, didn’t understand why he winked at them. When the master sergeant arrived, they all went outside to take a look at the car. Kane couldn’t tell his friends about what he did. They all stared at each other breathless. This is it was the only thought in their heads.
Absolutely nothing. The car was completely empty. The guards and his friend’s jaws dropped. “Where the hell is it all?” Kane says the guards stuttered.
The master sergeant faced the guards. “Let them go, we have no evidence,” Kane says.
“We got a little reprimanding, but nothing too serious. I got away that time, but I never did it again. I knew I would never get that lucky in a million years,” he says as he shakes his head.