I’m not sure all of you will approve of these stories either, but now that you have some idea who I am, you might be wondering whether I had any run-ins with the police in my lifetime. I can honestly say that I had several notable experiences but was fortunate enough to escape relatively unscathed in every sense. I can also say that I was still the same easygoing fun person I am today. I never thought of myself as some crazy rebel who hated the police or anything—I just didn’t (and still don’t!) believe that other people had some magical authority over me in terms of forcing “naptime” upon me at age 4 or telling me I couldn’t drink a beer or smoke a plant at age 16. I guess I was always hard wired to be an anarchist libertarian. At the end of the day, I’m grateful for my run-ins and close calls with the police at a young age because it made the concept of freedom crystal clear to me and gave me a healthy fear of what authoritarians could do to you if you weren’t careful. And holding freedom as one of my highest values allowed me to enjoy life waaaaaay more than I otherwise would have. (And I think they are pretty funny and ironic stories you may enjoy…)
My First Close Call (1978)
It was in 1978, and I was 16 years old at the time. Back in the 1970s, a steady supply of weed was difficult to come by consistently, particularly since we lived in Wisconsin about 1,500 miles from the Mexican border. Since my buds and I were regular weed smokers, it was a bummer when the town went “dry” for a month (usually in the winter when we needed it most!), and this pissed me off considering that we lived in a so-called “capitalist country.” My solution to the problem was quite rational (or so I thought at the time!)—I simply decided to buy quarter pounds of weed instead of smaller amounts (called “nickel bags” and “dime bags” back in the day because of their respective $5 and $10 price tags) so at least my close friends and I wouldn’t have to suffer during the dry spells. I would have enough in my inventory to sell to my friends for a while, and it had the added benefit of reducing the per unit cost by about 40% so I would get to smoke for free! (Yes, I was a capitalist even as a weed-smoking teenager!)
I had just returned to our local burg from my downtown high school where I scored a “QP” (quarter pound) of so-called “Gold ‘Lumbo” (it was probably grown in some hillbilly’s greenhouse in Kentucky—Hahahaha!) and went over to my friend K’s empty house (his parents had put it up for sale but he still had the keys) to divide it into smaller quantities I could share with my friends. We went inside for a while to smoke a quick one and shoot a round of pool, and I divided the bulk weed into 16 quarter ounces in sandwich baggies (how 1970s!!). We locked up the house around 5pm or so, hopped in K’s car, and were just about to take off when literally at least a half dozen cop cars (and at least twice as many cops) pulled into the driveway surrounding us! I was sitting in the back seat behind K, and was quickly getting pretty freaked out! A few thoughts went through my head (none of them good!) as I frantically stashed the bags of weed under the back seat of the car. Not only did I have weed; I had a quarter pound of it, AND it was in 16 separate baggies which automatically made me an evil “dope dealer!” Things could have turned out badly for me indeed!
Fortunately for all of us, K had the presence of mind to jump out of the car and immediately greet the first “Officer Friendly” who was walking up to the car. K quickly explained that he was the owner’s son and that his Dad sent him over to check on things or some BS story. While this was going on, one of the other cops peered through the windows at the rest of us, and I thought for sure he was going to search us or the car or both. Thankfully, K was such a great schmoozer that the cops bought his story and let us ride peacefully away in a few minutes. We were all sweating bullets of course and glad to have escaped unscathed. But that left a really important unanswered question…
I’m sure you’re wondering why all those cop cars would pull into the driveway of a residential home in a small town without suspecting a thing about us. I know I was confused, and it turns out that K’s dad (unbeknownst to K) had given the local cops permission to use his house and 5-acre lot for “training purposes,” and that’s why nearly every cop on the force showed up at once. For a training exercise. Talk about an unlucky coincidence! But it worked out much better than my next interaction in “Fun with the Police-Chapter 2…”