So, Friday night I went to go see Man of Steel. After the movie let out, it was around midnight. I wanted to smoke a few cigarettes before returning home. Due to the heat and the lack of air conditioning at our house, the windows are open and it bothers Clancy if I am smoking near the building. So I went to the local Motor Court and had, bought some hot chocolate, and went behind the building.
I’d been there about ten minutes when a cop car rolled up. It’s never a good thing when you’re hanging out and a cop car rolls up. I’ve been through the drill before. They get out, shine a bright light in your eye (if it’s night), and start asking you a bunch of questions. What are you doing here? Do you have somewhere else you should be? Are you waiting for someone? What are you waiting for someone for? Do you live in town? Could we see your driver’s license? Is this driver’s license current? How long have you lived at this address? Where did you live before you lived at this address? Did you drive here? Where is your car? Would you mind if we searched it? And about a hundred thousand ways of asking why I am acting so suspicious-like.
When it’s all said and done, no ticket is issued. It’s mostly just a nuisance and a notice that I need to find some other place to go in the future. If I’m not from whatever town this happens in, they suggest that I leave and maybe next time I find some other place to stop. If I do live in town, they suggest that I just go mosey on home.
I had my answers in a row by the time it stopped in front of me. I just got out of a movie and am smoking a couple cigarettes before I go home. I’m smoking here because it bothers my wife and I have an infant at home. I was a tad irritated because, seriously, they were going to quiz me when there are three fellows over there sleeping in that drainage ditch and a family of six that has parked for the night in that van over there? I’m the person of interest here?
They never got out of the car, though. They just parked there for about three minutes. Then they drove, did a Uey, and then parked behind the aforementioned family van and stayed there for about five minutes. Then they pulled out and went back on the street and left.
I guess they’re a little on high alert due to the fact that it’s Hippie Week and they have people spending the night in vans in parking lots and drainage ditches. Having thought about it, this hasn’t happened in Arapaho at all. Either because I am a local and people recognize me, or the community trust quotient is high enough that a guy standing there smoking doesn’t raise alarm bells like it does in other places I’ve lived. The only time I have been hassled in the last three years has been when we took a trip back home to Deltona. In that case, the cop was actually pretty cool about it and made it clear from early on that he was just needing to collect enough information to fill out a “Suspicious Person Contact Form.”