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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The One in Which George Almost Gets Arrested


“Did I tell you I almost got arrested the other day?”

I have been picking through my salad, pursuing lumps of goat cheese and strawberries.  I look up.  “Arrested?” I say.  “Why?”

“Oh, it was stupid,” George says.

I fish through my purse for the book and pen I keep there for just these occasions.  “I love stupid,” I say.



From the paintings that line the walls of her one-room apartment to her gloriously funky wardrobe to her liquid eyeliner, everything about George screams “I am poor and talented.  Please buy me a drink.”

Aside from painting portraits and illustrating the odd book or two, George has worked a variety of temp jobs, a hodge-podge of meaningless positions with predefined futures.  As an artist, these sorts of jobs are appealing to her: it keeps her head in her art. 

George’s money goes into art supplies, and she takes the bus everywhere.   




“This opportunity comes up, right?  A high-security kinda thing, requires a background check, high-level clearance. “

“More money?” I interject.

“Way more money.” 

We grin at each other.

“So the day of the background check, I get all packed.  I’m wearing layers upon layers of clothing, of course, plus I’m going to meet a friend that evening so I’m packed for that, too – which primarily means that I’ve got extra underwear and socks and that I’ve stashed a more-than-half-full bottle of vodka in my backpack.”

We raise our Diet Cokes to each other. 

“So I go the police station for a background check.  Only they don’t do background checks.  The second station I take the bus to?  They do it – but only until 12:00.  By the time I arrive, it’s 12:30.  I plead with them:  please, I took the bus, I need this job.

“They’re pretty cool about it, actually, and they agree to do it.”

She shakes her head.  “As it is, this police station is connected to the jail. Do you know what that means?” 

I shake my head.  I do not know what that means.

“It means I go in, they go through my backpack – and they pull out my bottle of vodka.  The officer is astounded. He says to me, you can’t bring that in here!

“And I’m like, “What?

“You walked into the jail,” he says, “with a bottle of vodka.  That’s against the law.”

“But --,” I say.

“Do you know that you can be arrested for this?  You cannot bring liquor into this building!”

“But --,” I say.

“Sit over there,” the officer says.  “I’ll get the sergeant.”




“So what happened?  Did they throw you in jail?”

“No,” she says.  “The sergeant was really nice about it, actually.  I explained to him that I take the bus everywhere, that I had places to go later.”  She smiles.  “I think the socks and underwear did the trick.” 

“But you got the job?”

“Nah,” she says.  “After all that, the job wasn’t on a bus line,” she says.  “And, of course, I had to replace the vodka.”

She sips her Coke, shakes her head sadly.  “No new job and down one bottle of vodka.  Some days, it’s best to just stay at home.”

31 comments:

Shelly said...

I think all governmental authority is a little cranky these days. I'm glad she made it out to freedom.

Reminds me of the time last year when I went to go pick up a friend at the border (literally) and at the custom's guy instruction, drove my car to where he pointed. Next thing I knew, Border Patrolmen were all around me, hands on guns...

I had inadvertantly crossed the border into Mexico, albeit by only three feet, but they certainly got their drawers in a wad about it.

Pearl said...

Shelly, :-) Three feet into Mexico! Ha ha! You fugitive you...

vanilla said...

Yep, with George and Shelly I observe, too, that overreaction precedes rational thought among the constabulary these days.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I wonder what they did with that confiscated vodka? Hmmmm?

Sioux said...

I hear doughnuts are delicious when dunked in vodka...

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

My daughter lost a bottle of gin trying to sneak it through customs from Ireland. She made it home with the bottle, but it was suspiciously empty!

Pearl said...

Ha ha! I've suspected that it was Bloody Mary Luncheon at the station that day...

savannah said...

the only question i have is why was she wearing layers and layers of clothes? the rest of the tale makes sense to me, sweet pea! xoxoxoxo

Pearl said...

savannah, it's a mid-winter Minnesota thing -- especially when one stands at a lot of bus stops!

Mandy_Fish said...

I would have wondered more about the underwear than the vodka.

bill lisleman said...

some days you just can't win. Those vodka stayed at home days.

jenny_o said...

Maybe it's a good thing she had extra undies!

Daisy said...

Poor George. Sounds like a rough day. I'm glad she escaped being arrested!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Man, what a waste of perfectly good vodka!

Jono said...

They took her vodka?!?!? Those thoughtless bastards!

Lorna said...

I have known people like y our friend George. You can almost predict what they are going to say, actually.

~Lorna
_______________________________________

Pearl said...

Mandy, :-) throws a nice little "huh?!" into the search.

bill, every day we takes our chances. :-)

Daisy, but if she WAS arrested, think of the graffiti she'd come up with...

Jono, I know! What's a little legal infraction among friends?!

Lorna, and how would you predict what George would say? She's a rather unusual girl!

Joanne Noragon said...

Artists are the coolest people and have more adventures than anyone. Especially when they ride the bus dressed for Minnesota winters, carrying an open bottle. Wait, a partial bottle. Just the facts, m'am.

fishducky said...

You know the most interesting people--& cats!!

Gigi said...

You live in Minnesota and they frown upon bringing life-saving warmth - in liquid form, into the police station?

Mr. Charleston said...

Well, good grief! That's why cops are called cops and not peace officers.

Austan said...

Bring back the 70s! And give them all that operation where they take the sticks outta their butts!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Thank you for making me laugh this afternoon for some reason this had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my face

Suldog said...

I once forgot about a joint in my suitcase before I went through customs. D'Oh! So, I sort of know how George felt. I would know better how she felt had I been caught with the joint, but I'm glad I wasn't :-)

Rose L said...

They did not return the vodka??!! Bet they had a party later on.

Eva Gallant said...

Officers of the law confiscated her vodka? That sounds like a crime to me!

River said...

I've learned to check if a job was on a bus route before leaving the house. Saves all that layering and waiting, because if I can't get there by bus, then I'm just going back to bed.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Criminal waste of vodka, poor George!

jeanie said...

Poor George!

I have learned in life never to joke with airport security - serious lack of humour going on in that industry!

Vinny C said...

Did George have to pay for the background check? We have to pay $50 (local currency) for them here. It would really suck to not get the job, lose the vodka AND have to pay money for the whole experience.

Pat Tillett said...

That puts a new spin on "support your local police department."
Great story Pearl.