Color me naive, but when I was tipped off that the police (or as we say in the south, the "POE-lease") were looking for me my major reaction was,
"Gee! I wonder what they want?"
I learned this information from a helpful source with whom I had a work meeting at the (let's all remember now) new job. It didn't take but a few hours before curiosity got the better of me and I just went ahead on and gave the police a call. It went a little something like this:
PADUCAH POLICE DEPT.
Paducah Police Department
Hi! This is Suzanne Mylastnamethateverybodyknows I hear you're looking for me?
You...heard we're looking for you?
Right. I hear the police are looking for me and so I thought I'd call and see what they wanted.
Ma'am, I don't know what they want.
Maybe you could...I don't know...ask around?
Can you give me your name again?
Can you hold please?
(a minute or two goes by.)
There are no officers here right now, what is your location?
No, ma'am, what is the address where you are at right now?
And you would need that why?
So we can send an officer out to you.
Let's review: I don't want an officer at my place of business for heavens sake, I want to know what officer is looking for me and why! Hello?
It may be that an officer needs to get a message to you. About your family or something. That happens sometimes.
My family is fine. Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to give you my cell phone number and if you happen to run into an officer that's, say, looking for me? You give him this number and have him call me, okay?
And then, if you can believe it (and I'm sure you can because it's me we're talking about here), I just went right on about my business and forgot about all that. In fact I forgot about it all the way up until this morning at 7:30 am. when my cell phone rang.
Indeed, the caller was the elusive officer of the law in question. And friends? I was informed on my very own cell phone that I was, at that very moment, a fugitive from justice. It seems I had gotten a ticket some time back (on, yah, that) that boiled down to a mere $25 fine for not wearing a seatbelt? I was supposed to have paid that ticket at some point in time right around that little ice storm we had. Turns out? I had forgotten all about that.
Which is how I came to be a fugitive, wanted, a person of interest, a desperate woman on the lamb, a suspicious character, a wanton criminal, a perpetrator who had been, only moments before, applying under-eye concealer as if it were just an ordinary day.
Having absorbed the shock of all this information, briefly fancied myself (as stated above) in the role of Official Criminal, and (kind of) regained my composure, I asked the officer what some good advice might be for some in my, er, situation?
Turns out, I needed some cash (they don't take any guff at the jail and they sure as hell don't take Visa) to show up to the PD and to, dear God, turn myself in [cue dramatic violins]. At this point in the conversation Tallulah, no doubt sensing the worst, began barking her fool head off at my feet. I placed my hand over the receiver and shouted, "Will you SHUT UP Mommie's UNDER ARREST for god's sake!" And she did.
I told the officer I'd be there within the hour and got off the phone.
Two things: what to wear and, oh my heavenly stars, I'm going to have to call the office. It was easy really, black pants, black sweater, the usual black cowboy boots (might as well look the part). Then the office, "Um, yah, I'm going to be in a little late today? I'm going to have to be arrested, etc." My boss's response?
"Don't drop the soap."
Then it was off to the PD--tra la!
I mean, seriously, who else does this just suddenly happen to on a Tuesday? I met my arresting officer and we moseyed on over to the jail where we filled out some paperwork--hey, this arrested thing isn't so bad--and then? Well, and then I was handcuffed. Handcuffed people! In broad daylight in the street! (Bright side? At least it wasn't zip-ties. 'Cause...eww.) Once the cuffs were on, I couldn't help but remark to my arresting officer as well as the world in general,
"Now THIS RIGHT HERE? Is what you call a blog post."
I was escorted to the jail where the big metal door of freedom clanged shut ominously behind me and presented to at the booking counter (?) where there was someone already in process ahead of me. I was then led to and seated on a metal bench. My AO (get me and the slang) removed the cuffs--yay--but then the jail dude hurried over and cuffed me to the bench. (Bright side? This left one hand free.) A nice looking, young incarcerated man hurried efficiently over and desposited what was obviously meant to be my orange jump suit and flip flops on the bench next to me. And just like that? It was here. My own personal Private Benjamin moment. I placed my free hand on the folded clothes, glanced around to the officers and others bustling around and said,
"Do these come in another color? Because orange just isn't good on me."
I went on to be fingerprinted and photographed, pay my fine and bail (in exact change in cash), sign some stuff, repeat my mother's phone number over and over (everybody needs your emergency contact in jail) and was in and out in probably twenty minutes or less. Everybody was super nice, it was all very smooth. And, honestly, I seriously don't think it had one single thing to do with the fact that my AO, upon first presenting my handcuffed self in the booking area, made a little announcement. And that announcement was,
"This woman writes. On the INTERNET."
(Note to yourselves.)