Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Renegade

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

ME
Hi! This is Suzanne Mylastnamethateverybodyknows I hear you're looking for me?

PPD
(long pause)
You...heard we're looking for you?

ME
Right. I hear the police are looking for me and so I thought I'd call and see what they wanted.

PPD
Ma'am, I don't know what they want.

ME
(pause)
Maybe you could...I don't know...ask around?

PPD
Can you give me your name again?

ME
Suzanne. Mylastnamethateverybodyknows.

PPD
Can you hold please?

ME
Sure.

(a minute or two goes by.)

PPD
Ma'am?

ME
Yes?

PPD
There are no officers here right now, what is your location?

ME
(pause)
I'm at...work?

PPD
No, ma'am, what is the address where you are at right now?

ME
(pause)
And you would need that why?

PPD
So we can send an officer out to you.

ME
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?

PPD
It may be that an officer needs to get a message to you. About your family or something. That happens sometimes.

ME
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."

Thanks, dude.

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.)

12 comments:

NGS said...

This TOTALLY made my day. I read it out loud to my husband. Just because he was staring at me as I laughed and laughed.

I'm sorry you had to go through all this, but since it sounded relatively painless, I think the laughter was worth it.

You were handcuffed. Awesome.

Suz said...

I am so going to move to Paducah. Which is obviously so free of crime that they can devote all those resources to ruthlessly hunting down, arresting and processing someone over a $25 ticket.

Great post!

Stephanie said...

Wow and I thought I had a rough day.

Rhonda said...

Will this go on your permanent record?

Suzanne said...

Rhonda:

You know? My permanent record is already in process of being scarred by this whole Astronomy situation? Can an arrest be much worse?

No Lettuce for Me said...

I would first like to start by saying I’m not really sure how I feel about my mother being friends with an ex-con. Not exactly the crowd I want her to be hanging with. Secondly, can I just tell you how much I envy you? I have this weird, yet somewhat embarrassing, obsession for anything involving prison--anything from MSNBC prison documentaries to The Shawshank Redemption (I blame this on my grandmother for taking me, on a regular basis when I was just a young little tot, to see the prison where John Gotti “lived”). So, while I read your post, I may or may not have envisioned myself in your shoes. I feel like the whole way this went down was probably the best possible scenario for you, girlfriend. You got all the highlights of a real prisoner but didn't even have to stay that long--just long enough for a good story. But I did wonder, did they take your mug to be posted on the jail website?! What about a shank?! Did they ask you if you were packin’?! Were you asked to be in a prison gang?! Godddd, I’m so jealous.

Suzanne said...

Dear Hold the Lettuce:

Funny you should mention it, yes, I had a "shank". One of the many parting gifts from my ex, a small blue swiss army pocket knife that hooks on my key chain and goes with me everywhere. My AR suggested I unclip it from the ring and place it in my purse which I did. They did take my mugshot, but I was told it would not appear on the website since it digitally updates only once per hour and I was instantly booking in and bailing out. Not that I'm confident about that. My mug shot might really be there for all I know with me looking all "crazy Nick Nolte" preparing to digitally haunt me for life.

Believe me, like you, my overthinking self envisioned me in every possible scenario: from sobbing scared girl in a cell to head bad girl chick in the shower and then I went right on and imagined myself into the Cell Block Tango.

I realize my experience was, like, total cake and I am grateful mostly to my arresting officer for this. I actually sorta know my AR, but that's a whole 'nother story which, believe me, would have made for a waaaaay more interesting blog post.

3 Magpies said...

And to think, I just had another typical boring day at work. Yours was sooooo much more interesting. I'm certain my ex wasn't your AO at the PD because gawd knows he is not the least bit handsome, at least not w/o the gorgeous girly @ his side.

WooHoo! Downside... How will your next post ever compare to this one??!?

Some people have all the luck!

I'm wondering something, though. Do they really "delouse" inmates at intake? If so, can you request, say, the Paul Mitchell brand or do they only use generic products with the budget cuts and all???

met said...

This is really Really REALLY scary. I am sorry you were subjected to such horrendous treatment. They ought to be ashamed. (in hindsight . . . shoulda called My My.)

Patience-please said...

Every bloogger in the world is cheering for you: blog material of the FINEST kind handed to you in the shocking shade of Orange! And you took it and RAN, girlfriend! AWESOME post... going to read it to Bill now.
Yup, it's Billworthy. My highest praise.

Suzanne said...

Billworthy! Go ME!

Mary Thorsby said...

I keep meaning to leave you a comment on this. THIS is a very, very funny post. Well done! It's so rare that I can tell someone about a friend being arrested and handcuffed, no less, and be able to laugh about it. Wonder if you're now ineligible for jury duty? Cuz that would really rock! xoxooxmt