That one time I was in jail… FWF 30/30 #24

It’s Free Write Friday time!!! Yeah yeah yeah, I know it’s Monday but hey, better late than never right? The prompt:
O.k., I know you have all heard that old saying, “…up shit creek without a paddle”, right? (Or maybe it’s just a southern thing, I don’t know.) Well, if you haven’t let me just break it down for ya. We have all been in a mess, a pickle, in a …tight spot, right? When times were hard and you couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, hence…up shit creek without a paddle. Often times we are able to look back on those situations and find humor, a lesson learned or just realize that it really wasn’t as bad as we thought…or maybe it was but you survived. Some great stories can almost always be found from these…ripples in life and for FWF, I’d like you to share them. Be poetic, be humorous, be inspirational…just don’t forget to be real, raw and most importantly, just write! You know what to do.

    My Story

Have you ever done something even though you knew you shouldn’t have? The consequences lit up like the Vegas strip but you ignored them, believing that the poo only hits the proverbial fan for everyone but yourself? Yeah, I’ve been there too. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you one of my most epic life moments, and when I say epic I want you all to realize there is an implied FAIL attached to it. Let’s take a little road trip down memory lane to the year 2009 shall we? I was newly in my twenty-third year, on my own, working and attempting to do the whole college thing. I had my very first car which I’d brought from my best friend about a year before, and I really didn’t understand the whole point of keeping up with inspection and registration…so I didn’t. Jokingly friends would say that I was riding dirty but that never stopped any of them from riding along with me.

Well one fateful day club hyundai sonata and I (yes, my car was named club hyundai sonata, you read that right) headed to the local college campus to pick up a friend so we could go be healthy and take a jog. First off, I should mention that my aversion to jogging and most forms of working out could very well stem from the situation that is about to unfold before your eyes, just throwing that out there. Now, did I hate working out before the “incident” you ask? Why yes I did, but I just feel this is a better sounding reason than I just hate it. But I digress…So Club Hyundai Sonata and I pull into campus abiding by all the rules of the road because when you’re guilty you don’t want to give anyone a reason to take a second look. Going probably below the speed limit we turn into campus nearing the agreed upon meeting place when who do you think pops out of the bushes? Campus police!

Ugh, now if any of you reading this post happen to be campus po po please do not take this personally but I never think of campus police as real cops, for goodness sake they don’t even have guns! Needless to say being pulled over by this campus cop made me realize just how badly they want to disprove that non-real-cop theory. So he pulls me over, long story condensed, he claims there is some silly little thing called a warrant out for my arrest due to a missed court date I knew nothing about in regards to said unregistered vehicle. Get this, he cuffs me! Cuffs ME! and sticks me in the back of the cop car. Most uncomfortable ride ever! So he hauls me off to jail which is kinda scary only because I’d never been to the building before and we went in some back alley type of way where we wound up going into some underground warehouse looking building…creepy. For a moment I thought maybe I’d been kidnapped by some crazy parading around as a campus cop but once inside the I was comforted, though briefly, by the reassurance that I was indeed inside of the Charlotte Jail house. I got the whole nine, fingerprints, mugshot, placed in a holding cell. It was all quite the experience. At one point I was in a large lobby with other inmates waiting to be processed and they were all discussing the why’s of what brought them to said place. I have never NOT wanted to fit in with the majority as much as that day. They were all in for assault, battery, robbery and all kinds of other violent types of behavior and here you have lil ole me, trying to figure out how to make my lack of updated registration sound gangster enough to not be picked out as an easy target. After eight hours, one soggy bread with green bologna sandwich, and countless phone calls trying to reach a friend and I finally got released. Who did I call you ask? Well everyone who’s phone number I knew by heart. My best friend at the time was in a completely different state as was any family. So that left me with limited options committed to memory. I had two friends and an ex… yep after the two friends didn’t answer I swallowed the last bit of pride I had and gave him a call.

An hour later as I walked out of jail he was there with two of our friends, all chompin at the bit to get a joke in as they took me out to dinner to celebrate the epic-ness (implied fail) of my stupidity. I should probably also add that a year before my friend who I’d brought this car from had basically the exact same experience. Expired registration, pulled over by campus police, warrant for arrest and thrown in jail. I guess I should have learned from her mistake huh? I find quite a lot of humor in the whole situation, especially the irony. I leave you with this little nugget of advice…if you’re going to get arrested (which you should try to avoid but if you can’t…) try and do it before you’re twenty-five. Getting arrested when you’re still young is kind of expected but getting arrested mid 30’s is just loser-ish…

It’s one of those things you can bring up in conversation that can just wow the pants off people who least expect you to have done some time. And of course make sure its for something minor, it’s hard enough to get a job these days without adding a stigma to your background check. But all in all it’s an experience like none other, you will forever be able to grab attention if you start a sentence “that one time I was in jail…”

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