September 21, 2007

an old story, getting hassled by the cops

Back when I was living in Oakland, around '92, I had hair down to my ass. I drove an orange '78 Toyota Corolla hatchback. Kinda beat up. Black and white zebra skin patterned seat covers. The ceiling lining had fallen down so I ripped it out and covered it with black and white checkerboard contact paper (vinyl, really). The lady I bought it from had named it Dabombji ('ji' being an east indian honorific "Da Bomb 'ji'. Get it?)

Anyhoo, in the east bay, not too far away there's a little town called Kensington. It's one of those little conservative enclaves you find in the east bay. Farmer's Insurance had an office there and one day I made an appointment there to get insurance.

So I drive into Kensington and find the street the office is supposed to be on, but I can't find the office. So I drive around the block. As I'm driving around I see a cop car. I circle back around, driving slow, still can't find the office. Cop car still there. Dangit. So I drive around one more time. This time the fuzz pulls me over. Asks me what I'm doing, all that. I tell them I'm looking for the Farmer's Insurance office.

Two cops. An older guy, grey hair, obviously eaten a lot of donuts. Younger guy, obviously wet behind the ears with peach fuzz on his cheeks. It's the younger guy questioning me. So he asks me if he can search my car. I ask why. He says he thought he smelled marijuana in my car. I tell him I didn't smoke pot. Which was sort of true. Hadn't had any in a week. I go "actually, yeah, I do mind if you search my car. But if you wanna then go ahead. Search it."

So I get out of my car and step aside so the young cop can search it. I have my arms folded and I look bored and irritated. The guy is searching all over, CERTAIN I must have some pot in the car. He keeps searching, getting more and more disappointed, and I keep waiting, getting more and more irritated. The older cop is watching the whole time.

I think the older cop finally started to get the idea that they were barking up the wrong tree, because I had gone beyond looking irritated... I was pissed off, but I guess he figgered it was the younger cop's stop so he was gonna let him deal with it.

Finally peachfuzz cheeks gives up on the car and asks if he can search ME. "yeah, okay, whatever." I used to wear a fanny pack. Not one of those humongoid ones you see on tourists, but a small black leather one. Pretty tight, actually. Fit my hippy trip. So he's digging through there. Digging and digging. All I kept in there were, shit I dont remember. My swiss army knife, my wallet. I dunno. guy crap. Anyway, he finds nothing. Then he asks me to put my arms out, I do, and he starts to pat me down.

Now, in a lot of big cities that have a bus system, you can get a paper transfer from one bus to get onto another bus. You know in blue jeans, in the right front pocket there's that tiny smaller pocket at the top? I had put one of those bus transfers in that little pocket, and it had gone through the wash in there. So it had turned into a wad of paper.

The young cop feels that, digs in there all eager, his eyes lit up. He starts tearing it apart looking for weed in it and I go "that's a bus transfer, it got washed."

Meanwhile older cop has seen that it's VERY apparent that they're hassling someone over nothing.

The young cop finally gives up, looking like a total fucking moron. They give me directions to Farmer's Insurance.