Every now and then, a story comes along that even I cannot embellish on, regardless of how hard I try. This...is one of those stories.
After church on Sunday, a few of my friends and I went to a charity event to support this sweet little girl who has Crohn's Disease. The point of the event was to raise money and awareness about the illness, and in general, it was an opportunity for people to come out and have a good time.
Leaving the fundraiser, the five of us felt content and happy with the results. Lots of money was raised, everyone had an awesome time, all was right with the world...until...
On the way home, we got a little carried away with the music and the laughter, and my friend (the driver) sped up a bit too much. About 20 mph too much. Needless to say, the celebration quickly faded as those dreaded red and blue lights danced across the interior of our vehicle.
Each of us immediately went into a mixture of panic and nervous laughter. This continued until the officer slowly emerged from his cruiser and headed our way, at which point we all went silent.
Leaning his head in, he informed my friend she was doing 74 in a 55 (Our motto: Go big or go home.), and following the usual "license and registration" bit, the officer said something that none of us were expecting. I still can't believe it.
"Is that marijuana I smell?"
Whaaa? First of all, I'm fairly certain that none of us in the car have ever touched the stuff, let alone used it. Second, we just came from a freaking charity event, preceeded by a church service. Way to choose good suspects, buddy. Still to this day, none of us can figure out what he was smelling. It could've been the mixture of Capri-Sun, Doritos, body spray, perfume, and various other smells in the car, but he was absolutely convinced it was pot. He assured us, "I've been an officer for 20 years. I know what marijuana smells like."
Oh, I'm sure you do, officer. But, given the grand display of intelligence you've shown us so far, I believe the source of that smell is your upper lip, not the car.
At this point, I was laughing as was my other friend in the passenger seat, and honestly, who wouldn't? You just accused the most innocent kids on the highway of using illegal substances. We may have been in a rough part of town, but seriously? Cheech and Chong, Al Capone, and OJ Simpson all passed us like we were sitting still, and they all had smoke and gunshots pouring from their windows, but he pulls over the church kids.
Anyways, Officer Oblivious responded to our laughter rather angrily:
(shining his light back at me) "You think that's funny, sir? You all think this is funny? I'm gonna ask that you step out of the car. Everyone out of the car, now."
Everyone did as we were told, and as my one friend unbuckled, he happened to move a cotton candy bag out of his way. The cop, who had stepped away from the car (because we were all probably packing heat), lunges his head back through the window and grabs the bag.
"A confession?!? You're gonna give it up easy, huh?"
"Um...no," my friend replied, "that's...a cotton candy bag."
This bag was the size of a small Wal-Mart bag. If we actually filled that with marijuana and smoked it, we would all be dead. That's not a dime bag, that's like a two-hundred dollars and change bag. There would be no need to search the car because we couldn't have hidden it. It was like a sixth passenger in the car.
Standing beside the busy road, the officer had us all back up against the guard rail while he called in drug dogs. No one really listened to him for the next several minutes as we were all calling our parents and friends, telling them all about this pillar of intelligence working to keep our streets clean of upstanding citizens, like ourselves.
Several minutes later, the canine arrived with another cop. After trying to scare us with the dog, the tail wagging, happy looking dog who clearly wanted us to pet it and take it away from his special needs owners, the second officer walked the animal around our vehicle several times until finally it jumped on one of the doors (leaving several long scrapes down the side, I might add).
Immediately, we all exchanged quick, puzzled looks. I'm still skeptical as to whether the dog jumped on his own will or his owner's. My friend who was driving was exhibiting a more accusatory face. A face that said, "If one of you were smoking that crap, you don't need to worry about what the cops will do to you. They won't get to you before I will."
The policemen first searched my friend and I, the only two males (and the only two who laughed in their faces). Then, they moved on to the car, and of course, didn't find anything. One final glimmer of hope struck the first officer, and he searched all the girls' bags. But SUPRISE! There was nothing there either. Sniffling and heartbroken, he sombered back to his cruiser to write up the report.
About this time, my laughing friend and I began to get somewhat cocky. While he snapped pictures of himself smiling in front the cruiser, I offered the officer stool and urine samples since he was so thouroughly convinced it was in my system. "If you'd like me too, I can crap on something and you can take it back to the lab for testing." He didn't respond.
He quickly signed off on the remainder of the paperwork, and after a few heated exchanges, released us with this warning, "You pulled a fast one on us this time, but we'll catch you next time." My eyes, very evidently, narrowed, and I was within inches of losing my testimony. Instead, we all silently got into the car, and without even so much as a glance back, we left.
The moral of the story? Don't speed because this officer could very well be the guy who pulls you over. The other, more important moral of the story? Don't mess with church kids.