Early morning and the police cruiser flashed its red and blues. The van pulled over, a few hundred feet from the destination. The coffee shop. The Van Man knew what was about to transpire. He rolled down his window and took out his license. The van's registration had been expired for over a month and he had danced with the devil long enough.
The officer approached. Van Man prepped. He would lie and tell the policeman that he had simply forgotten to renew it due to the holidays and his recent health issues. Van Man was actually en route to an x-ray and blood test appointment for the big, bad cough, so there was some truth in the fabrication. The Officer was genial and smiled. He pointed his flashlight into the back of the van and explained to Van Man why he had pulled him over. Van Man told his lie and apologized. The Officer asked what the contents were inside the crumpled plastic bag shoved in the ashtray. Van Man showed The Officer. A fuse for the wipers. "Just wanted to make sure it wasn't marijuana", stated The Officer with a smile and glanced at the air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. His smile faded quickly. The air freshener had sexual imagery printed all over the front and back. On one side, the aroma's name: "cu-CUM-ber melon". On the other side, colorful stick-figures engaging in numerous foreplay positions of the oral variety. The aroma had long been drained, but Van Man kept it dangling from the mirror because he found it humorous. Especially, since it hung over a Dashboard Jesus. It was not so funny anymore.
The Officer checked the license and handed it back to Van Man. He asked him if there were any outstanding warrants or recent traffic violations. Van Man said there were none. "Just get that registration up to date. Other officers might ticket you", replied The Officer and smiled, as he walked away. Lucky me, thought Van Man. His day continued and coffee was needed.
Van Man arrived at the clinic and was quickly seen to. The technician called his name, pronounced it correctly and ushered him into the back room. He noticed her face. It was severely dry and red. Too much time around x-rays, he though as he entered the room. There was a large machine on one side and a backboard of some kind on the other. She instructed Van Man to press his chest firmly against the board. He did. The Technician asked him to take a deep breath. And he did. After the first x-ray, she loaded the image onto a computer.
"Long lungs", she proclaimed with a slight chuckle.
"Say that again?", asked Van Man.
"A lot of people with your build have long lungs. Tall and thin."
The Technician got what she needed and sent him on his way. Van Man left and wondered if there was anything about the x-rays to be concerned with. But he figured it was better to not know. He had other concerns to deal with.
The blood tests were next and The Sun was hiding. An overcast day for an underachiever. He was hungry. It was still morning. Breakfast. The Van Man had a few bucks and decided on a milkshake. You only live once, he thought and drove on.