humor · mental health

Arrested Development

I guess no biography is complete without a “that time I got arrested” story. Here’s mine.

There’s important context with this. At the same time that first breakup broke my little brain, I was working my first real job. I was a waitress at a touristy restaurant on the river. We did tricks throwing cornbread around and everything, it was pretty fun.

A really hot ginger started working the lunch shifts. Back then, before I hated all men on principle, I cared about two aspects of physical appearance.

Firstly, I was an absolute sucker for surfer/skater boy hair.

Secondly, holy crap you saw he was a ginger, right? I, Queen Weirdo, got a ginger!

I was dating someone who was older, hott, had a car, job, friends, freaking jackpot, right? Right guys? No! What the hell is wrong with you, have you seriously learned nothing yet? I’m calling this guy Crook. To skip the dull parts, know the following :

  • I was still broken from the last guy, so now I’m extra desperate to find my Topanga before I graduate and I’m an old maid forever.
  • He was the only (not arguably, actually) hott guy to ever look at me.
  • By the time I have gone through two reject Topangas and gotten around to Crook, I’m living in that very, very dangerous duplex I mentioned before. I was going to die living there alone.

Now we can FF 3 months. So much horrible shit went down in that duplex, we will be revisiting that situation in the future. Due to the horrible shitfest, Crook convinces me to help him buy his sister’s house, which is really a story itself, she stole thousands from us.

This was a normal, middle-class neighborhood home. We had a sheriff deputy two doors down and finally felt safe when we slept. With all our money combined, we were able to pull it off. I sacrificed my entire savings just to get us moved in. This all leads to terrible consequences but most of those will happen the following year. For now, this arrest story is about all I can handle re-living.

I wanted a tattoo more than anything. Especially since Crook had tattoos. I always wanted some anyway, but he definitely gave me a nudge toward sooner rather than later. It didn’t seem to matter I couldn’t decide what/where it would be. Why let that stop me now?

Crook said there were no decent tattoo places in our area, but his friend’s girlfriend lived a couple hours away where he got his first tattoo. Road trip and a tattoo? Yes, please!

When Crook invited that friend along on my birthday trip, I tried to be a good sport. I wasn’t a good sport, but the relationship felt too new to make waves. The friend can be Dick. Care to guess why?

That Friday, Dick wanted to take his car for some reason I can’t remember, but it’s important later. Right now, the most important thing you need to keep in mind is, Dick didn’t want to meet up with his girlfriend in a dirty car. We stopped at a drive-thru car wash on the way out of town.

For the ride we brought along a few (pre-rolled) blunts, and 2 gallon jugs of Long Island iced tea. Yes, we dumped out two gallon jugs and refilled them with booze. Only rookies bring labeled liquor on a road trip.

When we make it to the city, we pick up Dick’s girlfriend, Jane (get it? Fun with Dick & Jane), who then wants to pick up her friend, Paula. I’ve forgotten the real names of both girls, it bothers me not to know if I made Paula up, or if my subconscious is telling me it’s her actual name.

** Guys, maybe this is the weed talking, but am I the only person’s secrets the internet keeps? Who else can say their life story is being uploaded to the internet and not a soul has seen it? Or is this just an extension of my invisibility powers? **

After we have the girls, we go to a tattoo place. Once inside, I saw framed photos of artwork floor to ceiling. They had those spinning racks full of small popular designs, a few photo books on display, and lots of pipes.

As Dick bought a nice pipe, I realized I should have thought about what tattoo I wanted on the ride down. Now I was drunk, high, and very nervous about trusting myself to make permanent decisions for future me. This is why they say you can’t get a tattoo if you’re drunk.

Spoiler Alert: Impaired judgement is only one of the reasons. The other is because it takes away your blood’s ability to clot. Isn’t that fun?

Everyone else knew what they were getting. I let Jane go first, wanting to see what it’s like. I was doing ok, socially speaking, thanks to kicking sobriety to the curb early in the evening, but things were getting real again.

After Jane’s tramp-stamp was finished, I learned Paula was a minor, she couldn’t get one. They wanted me to go next.

I was too afraid to admit I couldn’t decide. Fear sounds like an unreasonable reaction, that’s because it is. I really do just want to strangle my brain like Homer gets to strangle Bart.

I saw every option by then, but kept coming back to the eye of Osiris with a bird silhouette behind it. I thought the smartest thing I could do would be something small, black, and hidden.

Google wouldn’t show me one with my bird, but this is the eye.

I was fairly certain I could handle the pain. I have a high pain threshold, I think all cutters do. We have to. It’s the emotional pain that cripples us like a 98 year old with liver failure. I couldn’t risk chickening out now no matter how bad it hurt. We were all here because I wanted a tattoo.

I’ve seen too many color faded tattoos to want to go down that path, and tv says the ones people regret are the ones they can’t hide with clothing when needed. I settled for just the bird to start with. I believed we could return for the Eye of Osiris on the next trip. Too bad Karma hates me, maybe my ancestors were cursed by Gypsies.

I felt a wave of relief after the tattoo was finished. They don’t hurt at all, I don’t know why some people make a fuss. Those feelings of success made me vulnerable to poor decisions. To be fair, it could have been the Long Island tea.

Paula needed to go home. Jane didn’t want to ride back by herself. The guys were still getting tattoos. It was decided Jane and I would take Paula home. Jane drove Dick’s car, I rode shotgun, and Paula piled in back. The remaining jug of tea was left with the boys, but we were all nice and tipsy.

A few minutes into the drive, we see sirens behind us. We were being pulled over, but hadn’t been speeding. When the first officer came to Jane’s window, he wanted to know why we didn’t have a license plate.

Silly man, of course we have a tag. Turns out, no we didn’t.

One man collected our ID’s while the other watched us call the guys. When Jane updated Dick, he explained he noticed the tag was gone when we stopped at a gas station. He called the car wash and confirmed they found his tag, but didn’t see any reason to tell us.

Dick gave us the contact info for the car wash, but they closed hours ago. We couldn’t prove our story to the police. At this point, stopping the Black Rage from escaping had to be my priority. I think that’s why I didn’t hear the cop ask Jane if they could search the car.

If I had, I would have said “No fucking way.”

That dumb bitch said “Sure.”

They cuffed us and sat us on a curb while they searched. We were also waiting for a female cop to frisk us. More and more strangers were touching me, I knew I wouldn’t last much longer. My mouth was the first to go rogue.

When they sat us on the curb, I had a bloody bandage on my shoulder. They asked what happened, and my mouth said, “I got stabbed in a drug deal! Geez it’s a fucking tattoo asshole.”

Apparently a tattoo shouldn’t bleed that much. They were honestly some super rude guys.

By time the female cop took her hands off my boobs, the first guys were finished with the car. They asked us to explain why they found seeds, stems, and a pipe.

Oh did you not find the blunt roaches under the seat, asshat? Thankfully it was only in my head that time.

I wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought, but I would have done better than Jane. Word vomit or not. She told the police she had never seen any of it before, and reminded them this wasn’t our car.

Paula did nothing but cry. Being a minor, her mother was called and already in the middle of everything, screaming, “My daughter is a victim. That shit belongs to those trashy bitches.”

Her daughter was the worst one, I hope the years have been cruel to the whole family. But in a nice way that doesn’t make karma feel the need to punish me.

I tried to be the responsible one. I tried to explain, “Jane’s boyfriend bought that pipe at the tattoo shop and put it in the car. It has never been used, it’s just a silly souvenir.”

That jerk told me I had it wrong. It was paraphernalia.

“Well,” I said, “actually you have that wrong too. The seeds and stems are paraphernalia, not possession. The pipe is for tobacco, and therefore, does not factor in at all.” I got smug. Cops hate when you’re smug.

They said, “You can say that to the judge.” as they searched the bushes behind where we sat.

They were disappointed when they didn’t find anything. One was ballsy enough to say, “Damn, I just knew they be dumb enough to ditch something.”

“Nah, they done corked it you can bet on it.” A fat one replied. It was super creepy how he stared at us, pointing his flashlight in our faces, as he said it.

These were the worst kind of cops. These were the ones who bullied their way through high school, failed miserably at life, and became cops to regain any semblance of power possible.

When they were finished pissing on their territory, they asked if any of us would take ownership for the illegal items, or would we all be arrested. Obviously none of us were taking that fall. We were all put in the back of the police car.

While all that was going on, we still had cellphones. I texted Crook updates as they happened. Most of what I said to the cops was what he told me to say. One day I’ll write about the years Crook spent in prison for robbing a pharmacy amongst a slew of other charges, but for now just know he knew legal talk good enough for me to think it was smart to use.

Jane and I were small, we could remove the handcuffs easily. That was pissing the cops off pretty good too, but if you’ve never been stuck in a vehicle with your hands cuffed behind your back, don’t judge me. They eventually left it alone as long as we put them back on when instructed.

When we made it to the police station, we were taken inside and cuffed to a long bench with handcuffs bolted to it. I could also slip out of these, which will become important in a few minutes.

They processed Paula first. Her mother followed us to the police station, and they wanted her gone as much as we did. Once they took Paula for processing, her mother unleashed. I was ready to unleash myself, I didn’t mind.

When she screamed, “You bitches ruined Paula’s future.” I snapped.

I screamed so loud my voice cracked, but I couldn’t stop. I was saying anything that popped into my head. Most of it along the lines of, “You can shut the fuck up! You don’t know me, I have a scholarship! Your fat whore daughter shouldn’t have been near us, but the stupid bitch invited herself to my birthday! I was stuck with her! Your fucking daughter is the only reason we were on the road! You need to take your fatass out of here before I come out of these handcuffs.”

Even though I was drunk, I think the illusion of safety near police made me braver than I should have been. I didn’t think anyone could be crazy enough to attack someone inside a police station. Not for a little name-calling. Boy, was I wrong.

When my own mother snaps, her eyes dart side to side like they’re having a seizure, there’s no way to make your eyes move that fast naturally, I’ve tried. I can never find anything about it on Google, but that’s what this woman’s eyes started doing. As soon as I saw her eyes moving that way, I got really scared, I needed to run. Those people are capable of anything.

She came at me. I was saved by pure reflex. Before she started moving, the cuff was sliding down. It came off right as she made it to me. My arms flailed out in a desperate shield. I kicked a foot out when her first punch went into my forearm. She made a weird shrieking grunt sound, and pulled her fist back again. I didn’t so much duck, as I collapsed to the floor in fear. If I had three of me, I might have been the same size. Somehow, my collapse timed perfectly to send her fist into the wall behind me.

She left a good size dent, it would have really messed up my face. Her knuckles were bleeding, but police finally restrained her. I think they took their time on purpose, hoping she would teach me a lesson. Thankfully, I would never see Paula or her mother again.

Did I go on to tell any who listened a slightly different version of that encounter? One where my cat-like reflexes foiled the attack of a 300 pound crazy bitch and left her bleeding? You bet I did. Technically, I never lied, I only omitted a few details.

It was my turn to be processed. I made the best I’m a bad bitch face I could for the mugshot, and let them ruin my dream of organized crime as I was fingerprinted.

When I asked, “How long til I can bail myself out?” they took pleasure in asking if I understood how expensive “out of state” tax would be. Apparently, getting arrested outside the state you live in is absurdly expensive.

I’m getting angry all over again thinking about the next part. I emptied what little savings I accumulated since buying the house. When I told Crook I was coming out soon, he was suspiciously relieved I paid for it.

Crook emptied his checking account to bail me out. He only had enough money to get me. He and Dick were in a heated argument over not having enough money to get Jane out too, but now he can give all his money to Dick.

Somehow, I was still too afraid to make waves. Apparently that’s what people who spend their lives in and out of jail do. You give anything to get the friend out. No matter how stupid they are for going in, or how poor you are for giving it.

Several hours later, we were free, but without a car. It was towed when we could not provide a driver who was not being arrested. I guess it’s comical they didn’t charge Jane with the one real offense of the evening, drunk driving.

Jane found a ride for herself and Dick. No one in my or Crook’s life was willing to drive that far to pick us up. Instead, we took a $250 cab ride. I would have to be back next month for court. I was close to skipping it all together. It was a baby charge in another state, I knew they wouldn’t come get me.

In the end, we went back for the shopping. I was given a crappy 80yr old cowboy lawyer. After I told the whole story, he got me a crappy deal. I could either go into court, plea not guilty, and get a trial date, or I could plea guilty, pay $250 fine, and take a drug test.

I couldn’t take a drug test, I smoke far too much weed. I also had my money slotted for the shopping trip. I reasoned it would be best to plea not guilty and never come back to this city again. After court, we threw money away all over town.

During the month before my trial, we spoke to Crook’s uncle who was a judge. After hearing the story, he thinks I was arrested because it was election time and they wanted the numbers. It didn’t matter it was a bogus charge. Even when it was cleared, they would still have that number to look like they were doing a good job. Thanks to these politics, he said they would offer the plea deal again.

He tried to call in a few favors, but since I was such a bitch (whether they deserved it or not) when arrested, they wouldn’t budge on the drug test. I would have to pass one to be clear of the ordeal.

I received a lot of advise, and it convinced me to go to trial and get the whole mess cleared up. When I tried to quit smoking for the two weeks it would take to clean out my system, my depression attacked with a vengeance. I was suicidal again and nothing else helped. I had stopped drinking by that time and sobriety was too much to handle.

That’s when I learned GNC sells a drink to cleanse your system, but you have to follow the instructions exactly. I’m a paranoid person so I bought a bottle and home drug test kit to try it out. They only had grape or cherry flavor. I puked half way through, but still passed the drug test after smoking all day. Totally worth any puking.

The day of the trial, I drank a gallon of water and my other GNC juice on the way to court. Uncle Judge was right, they offered the same deal. We explained it cost more money to fight the charge than paying the fine. They said they couldn’t let me sign a guilty plea if I said I’m signing for any reason other than being guilty.

They were pissing me off on principle again. It was bad enough they were getting away with this at all, now they wanted me to play act this ridiculous role too? Hell no. I told them I had already stated the reasons I was willing to sign their papers, they weren’t going to get the pleasure of me blowing roses up their ass too.

They said, “If you’re ready to admit guilt, sign here.”

I couldn’t let it go. I repeated my speech again. This time they sat silently as if suddenly deaf. I signed the stupid paper.

After I passed the drug test, I walked out talking loudly as possible about how ridiculous the whole affair was, how I was coerced into signing guilty on bogus charges so some guy can get re-elected, and how I would never spend a penny in their city again. On and on and on my mouth ran all the way to the car.

We still took one last shopping trip where we spent too much money, but once we left we never went back. I wouldn’t go back until almost 5 years later when Hubby and I relocated for work.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason I am incapable of trusting police officers. I’m not against police in general, but I’m not capable of speaking well around them, which inevitably leads to suspicion. I find it best to stay away. Yay for being invisible!

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