Wednesday, June 04, 2003
My recent encounter with the Po-leece has me thinking about the more (read: less) innocent days . . . back when brushes with the law were, well, more frequent.
There's a great story about one of those. No, not the one where the cop broke up a make-out session between my 15-year-old girlfriend and I in the backseat of my Super Beetle (I was 17 at the time, pervs). Not the time where the cop pulled me over (with backup), saw my Star of David pin (I was a Siouxsie and the Banshees fan), and asked if I was Jewish. And not the time we were pulled over because the cops thought my friend and I were calling them "faggots," when, in fact, my friend had yelled that at some random kid on a bike who happened to be riding past a police car waiting to turn onto the road behind us. No, my friends, this is the story of the infamous St. Patrick's Day incident.
There were four of us. We were all 21, except for our younger (increasingly alcoholic) friend. We went out to a local dive bar for their green-beer special. It was godawful cheap (and nasty), and we drank a lot of it . . . and snuck some to our younger friend. But, as always happens, the night had to end.
Your hero was the "designated" driver . . . and very drunk. We piled into my 1992 Hyundai and headed home. Halfway there, travelling through neighborhood shortcuts, we were about to pass an elementary school. From the backseat, one of my friends said he had to pee.
"Man, stop here." Then the other two chimed in, "Pull over! Pull over!" It turned into a laughing joke between them to see if I'd actually pull over.
I pulled into the school's circular driveway, where there was an empty school bus. I drove around the circle until I was facing out toward the road.
"Okay," I said, somewhat perturbed. "Hurry up and go."
The three of them piled out of the car and ran toward the bus. I was anxiously watching the straight road that ran in front of the school. As my friends were peeing, a car turned onto the street, driving slowly.
"Car!" I shouted. The guys finished up and raced back to the car, but not before the cop car had pulled up. Flashlight beam in our faces. The officer walked up to my window, surveying the scene.
"License and registration." I fumbled for the requested documentation and handed them to him.
"You stay here," he said.
The cop called in my tag number and then walked around the bus with his flashlight. Upon returning to the car, he handed me my license and registration.
"If I had found one drop of piss on or in that school bus, I would have dragged your asses to jail." He continued, characterizing us as "good white boys," in obvious contrast to other-colored kids. He may have even used the word "nigger." Ah, growing up in the South.
My friend said he knew the guy, because his dad was a cop. He was likely on his way home and didn't want to go through the hassle of processing four kids for pissing on (or near) a school bus. I don't know if he could tell that I was drunk; luckily, he didn't tell me to get out and "walk the line." I don't know if he saw the empty beer bottles on the floor of the car. Or the half-full plastic cup of green beer my friend had tried to hide on the passenger side of the car.
Needless to say, I was scared shitless. I didn't drive drunk for . . . well, a really long time. I wish I could say the same for my friends, but that's another story.