Let me quickly relay a funny story Pete reminded of a week or so ago.
It was early Spring, 2003. I was living in a house in
So it was a slow Friday night in
Now, if you’re not familiar with the world of
With the exception of
So we all took off in different directions. It’s an old instinct finely honed in every man’s life in their early toilet papering days. However, I was faced with a problem. The other three guys all had cell phones. I did not. I was late to figure out that they really are a necessity. So they just called each other, met up and got something to eat. I didn’t have my wallet or a car or a phone. And just about everyone I knew in town had moved out for the summer. So the only thing I could do was walk around. I walked around the neighborhood, talking to myself like a crazy person for three hours, afraid to go home because I was convinced the SWAT team was staking out my house.
Common sense finally prevailed. It is a college town on a weekend, there has to be some other disturbance somewhere else that called these guys away from my house. Still, I snuck into the backyard, entered the back door. I grabbed my keys and my wallet headed to my car that was parked in front of my house. I started the engine to go get a Breakfast Burrito de Beto’s. As soon as I put it into drive, three cops came running in form different directions with guns pulled, screaming at me to “GET OUT OF THE CAR! OUT OF THE F*CKING CAR!” These guys had been hiding in the bushes for three hours waiting for one of us to come back. They handcuffed me and sat me down on the curb. Damn it I wish I was shirtless with a Cops cameraman filming me. Once in a lifetime opportunity blown.
One of the cops was a real smart ass. “How stupid to you gotta be? You run from the cops and then you come back the same night?” It took all the strength of my soul to not say, “Buddy, you’ve been squatting in dirt for three hours waiting to give me a 60 dollar ticket. I’m the idiot?”
“You go to school?”
“Yes, officer. I go to BYU.”
“Oh yeah? How do you think they would like it if they found out about this incident?”
I’m sorry, but did a police officer just threaten to tell on me? Aren’t they the authority? Shouldn’t I be fearful of the fact they have me in handcuffs and not my guidance counselor?
I was polite and subdued. I’m a smartass by nature, so that took some effort. I ended up with an eighty dollar ticket. Sixty for the fireworks, twenty for evading arrest. Or something like that. It wasn't very much. Now, I'm not claiming that my civil rights were violated. I'm not a victim of police brutality. If anything, this experience made me feel dangerous. So thank you, Provo cops for giving me a story to tell. But I do wonder if they ever sit at home, watch The Wire and cry because of the absurdity of their lives.