Thursday, March 11, 2010

In the Holding Cell, 2011

"So I was sitting there, talking to my broker over lunch, when this big cop walks in the front door and starts talking to the maitre'd. I didn't think anything of it until they both looked at our table. The maitre'd then pointed at me and I began to get nervous. This was a great little Italian restaurant and I certainly didn't want to create a scene. I'd been eating there for several years and knew the owner and most of the staff by name."

The skinny kid with the tattoos who sat next to me was waiting to find out how a well-dressed, Wall Street kind of guy like me wound up in the same holding cell as him. He looked like a nice enough kid and I could almost see him as a child on his grandfathers' lap, soaking up each detail of a story well told. "Did you think about making a trip to the men's room to flush it?" he asked. "That's what I would've done. I wouldn't have been caught with that stuff on me."

I looked at him and replied, "I thought about it, but that would've been too obvious. The cop would've chased me into the bathroom. I was already in enough trouble anyway, I didn't want to add fleeing from the police to the list."

"Anyway, the cop walks over to our table and stands next to me and tells me to keep my hands where he can see them. Then he reaches into my coat pocket and pulls out the baggie like he had seen me put it there, which I knew was impossible. I never thought I looked that suspicious..."

"Maybe you should've just dropped it on the floor. You could've claimed that it belonged to somebody else, you know." the kid said.

"Have you ever heard of dusting for fingerprints?" I shot back.

The kid nodded, "Oh, yeah, I hadn't thought of that,"

"Then the cop leans in and says, "You can come quietly or not." I chose to keep this whole thing as low-key as possible. I'd need as many facts on my side as I could get when I went before the judge. I played it cool and walked out the front door with the cop right behind me."

"The cop didn't do anything to your broker buddy?" the kid asked.

"No, but he paid our bill. I guess that was enough punishment. Well, that and getting the shit scared out of him right before dessert."

The kid leaned back against the block wall. "So, how will you plead? This law is pretty new..."

"I'm not sure. I've heard from some people that posession of salt and using it on food are two separate charges, some say it's just one. I guess we'll find out. I don't like being a guinea pig."

By now, the third guy in the holding cell, the one in the green flannel shirt and baseball cap, had heard my story. "Good luck in court. You'll need it."

"Thanks," I replied. "Say, you don't look like the dangerous type to me. What are you in for?"


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