Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sadness, memories and humor.

I just got news that the older brother of my best friend in high school passed away this week.  The details are not important, but it did remind me of this story.
E was my best friend in high school, and we are still close as ever 30 years later. 01 We met because his older brother, C, taught in the same department as my father, and in the winter of ‘76-‘77 E came out to Utah to live with his brother.  (The night we first met is a whole other story).
I was 17 the one and only time I got myself arrested.  I had some beer in the car, and a little bit of an illegal substance.  As I was coming home from E’s apartment on the Avenues, I flipped an illegal U-turn on the U of U campus.  I was pulled over several blocks away, and immediately went for the registration on the visor.  Oh, crap! I was driving my mother’s car, and she didn’t leave the registration on the visor.  It was in the glove box, with my –ahem- substance.  Now, mind you, this was 1977.  Cops would still have their faces in the driver’s window as you went through your glove box, which made it really hard to hide anything you didn’t want them to see in there.  But hell, I was 17, I was smarter than any adult, I’d just quickly move the papers around and that dumb ol’ cop03 would never know.  Yeah, not so much.  He noticed, and I got handcuffed, stuffed in the back seat and brought down to the U of U cop station.  
As luck would have it, my parents were in the middle of hosting a party when I called home with my one phone call, and my dad and C were elected to come pick me up.  They got there right as the cop told me I had to pour out the beer (Heineken imported from Evanston, Wyo.), and the first thing my dad said to the cop was “Uh, I’m over 21, can I take that home?” Nope, it just needed to be poured out.  Some lucky squirrel had the night of it’s life.  I don’t even remember how long all the paperwork took, but I do remember the drive home.  I got some of the best advice of my life from my father that night - “Don’t break two laws at once.”  If you have illegal stuff in the car, drive p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y.  This has helped me many times02 in the last 33 years, for things as simple as making sure my registration is up to date before I go on any long trip, because I never really had many heavily criminal tendencies (and there’s another story to that). 
C, on the other hand, gave me a big lecture on how you NEVER hide your marijuana in the glove box.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  Under the seat, in the trunk or even in your book bag, but never in the glove box.  Might as well sit it right up there on the dash.

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