The cop saw us walking on the side of the road in the dark and burned his reds and blues to get our attention and we walked over to him to see what the story was. He asked us our names and where we were from and what we were up to in the night. My southern girlfriend told him where she lived and then they engaged in that very southern pass-time of do-you-know? Do-you-know is a social game where the contestant mention people they know from an area and then where they live and who they are related to. There are many regional variations of this social dance but unless you have seen the sheer majesty of the art as practiced in the deep south then you have sampled a pale imitation not worthy of mention. After we had figured out which old boy's cousin lived in the house two down from her we got down to business. He launched into a long and convoluted reason why we should not be walking on that stretch of the road. He told us'all that in through this area there were a lot of criminals driving up and down looking for an opportunity to rob, rape or beat some young nice folks like us. He appeared uncomfortable with how he was trying to explain what the exact threat was so he kept finding different adjectives for us and different more specific one's for the potential criminals.
'On through here, nice folk like ya'll may find yourselves in trouble from, um, less nice elements in this here community.'
He went over the same basic formula for his cautionary sentence plugging in those more specific terms like a politically correct Mad Lib. After ten minutes of struggle he finally just said what he had wanted to the whole time, that a couple of nice young white kids like us were in danger of being assaulted and robbed my a roving gang of black marauders. He offered us a ride to a safer area for white folks and we politely declined siting the two blocks or so until we would be back to my cousin's house. He re-warned us by telling us he was serious and then drove off. We finished walking home and told everyone how we had a run in with the law. The next day my aunt drove us to the airport in the morning and my cousins and my sister and I cried and hugged some goodbyes and before long we were in Texas and then home.