Sunday, November 19, 2006

COP BLOCKED: Abusing the Penal System

I was swapping stories with my buddy Johnny Roast Beef at the Badger game yesterday, and remembered one that I thought was worth passing along. It shows just how ruthless the Milwaukee police can be.

After my second year of college in the early '90s, I was working a summer job in a factory in Milwaukee. I think it's generous to say that in my first two years of college, I had a little trouble attracting the ladies. Actually, I could have been hiding the cure for childhood poverty in my pants, and I wouldn't have been able to get a girl to investigate it.

Anyway, my friends and I used to go to a super skanky dance club downtown called Metropolis. This was the type of bar that should have given out a free chaser of penicillin with every shot of whiskey. Fishnet tank tops for men was actually part of the dress code. There were only two ways that you could leave this bar without a girl: 1) If you were dead; and 2) If you were me.

So one night, I actually meet a girl there and talked to her for a while. She had two eyes and a full set of teeth, so I was a happy guy. Everything checked out. We went on a couple dates and had a good time. Then, she indicated to me that it was "go time." She wanted me to meet her at her parents' house on the near south side on a weekday afternoon that I wasn't working. Seemed reasonable to me - I probably would have moonwalked backwards to Arkansas for the chance.

So I show up at her house, and it's just me and her there. Quickly, it becomes evident that the third base coach is waving me home. The captain had turned on the "fasten seatbelt/no smoking" sign, and the plane was ready to land. The camel had applied the sunscreen. (I just made that last one up - feel free to use it casually in conversation.)

Suddenly, there was a loud knocking on her front door. We didn't know who it was, since her parents weren't supposed to be home for at least another hour. I ducked into the closet, and she went to get the door. It was a couple of Milwaukee city cops.

Apparently, there was a crackdown on high school truancy going on at the time. For some reason, the cops had watched me pull up to her house and go inside. Thinking we were high school students skipping school, they decided to investigate. I was 20 years old at the time. They made me come outside and sit in the car while they ran my driver's license for a background check. As I was sitting there, millions of innocent little Yorks were crashing head first into a wall at full speed.

By the time the whole episode was over and they let me go, it was too late. Her parents were due back, so I had to jump in my car and high-tail it out of there. It was the end of the summer, so I soon left for school and never saw the girl again. On behalf of all the people who were likely being robbed, shot, or plagiarized in the City of Milwaukee at the time, I would like to thank the police for their attentiveness to the turmoil in my boxers.

Despite the statute of limitations having passed, I'm pretty sure I have a pretty good case against the Milwaukee police department. In court, I could just supply the jury a picture of what I looked like at the time, and they'd order me millions in punitive damages. At the very least, the Department should give me a "one free public urination" coupon.

Also, that little episode marked the first time I had to go buy... uhhhhhh.... "protection." I worked in a drug store in high school, so I had seen this done and knew it was possible. There were two strategies employed in purchasing prophylactics: You had the guys who would bury them in a mountain of other various sundry items, to distract and confuse the other people in line. On the other hand, you had the guys that would walk up to the register, slam down their box of condoms, and announce to everyone in the store that this was the night they were going to set the world coital record.

I, on the other hand, was absolutely horrified. I figured I would try gas stations, since there were likely less people in there to see me. Problem was, every gas station I went to was either full of people or had a female working the counter. Most of them kept the goods behind the counter, so you would have to publicly announce your purchase to the gas station patrons. And forget about standing there in front of the counter and looking at what brand or style you wanted. Suddenly, saran wrap seemed like a viable option. (AKA, Doin' it lunch style)

Just so I didn't look like a criminal, I'd chicken out and buy a bottle of Mountain Dew and slink out of the store. At one point, I looked down at my passenger seat and counted nine bottles of Mountain Dew.

Finally, I sucked it up and bought a box from the PDQ out near the happy barn by Delafield. Keep in mind, I was living in Greenfield at the time - and that is where I ended up finally making the purchase. I think I hit every gas station inbetween. That reminds me, that box I bought is almost empty - I should probably go get another one.