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We stop at a liquor store and he gets a 12 pack of beer and some orange juice. We go to a park in a woodsy area and open up the doors to the van and put on some music. I sit on a picnic table that is near the van and we all just play some 3 handed joker spades in the back of the van. After about a half hour when Jeff is beating the hell out of us in the game, a cop car comes rushing into the park with its sirens flashing.
Two cops get out of the car and come over to the van and tell us to get out. We get out and I walk over to the car. Joe almost falls down getting out of the van and one of the cops ask him if he is drunk. He looks up at the cop and tells him to fuck off. The officer walks over to him and yells "What?" at him. Joe shoves him and the policeman grabs an arm and the other cop comes over to help. Jeff tries to run off and the second cop catches him after about three strides. The cops call for backup as Joe and Jeff are both struggling with them now. I sit on the hood of the police car and watch. Another car comes rushing up and as soon as it gets there Joe and Jeff realize how dumb they are being and stop fighting.
They tell us that we are under arrest for being in the park after dark and for drinking in public. They put me in a car with Joe and Jeff in the other car. They drive us to the police station / courthouse / jail and bring us inside. They book us separately and put us in the cellblock. There are eight cells with four on each side of a main room with picnic tables and a television. Everyone else is in there for various other petty crimes as well, mainly drinking in public. Jeff is ranting about how he wants to call his naval station and Joe goes to his cell, unrolls his mattress and goes to sleep. I go into my cell and sit down and start playing solitaire. My cellmate, Chris, in for drinking in public also, asks me if I like Gin Rummy. I tell him I do and we start playing a game. At about midnight some Navy officers actually do come to the jail and Jeff leaves, promising to send us cigarettes and money. Joe pretty much just rolls over and falls back asleep. I tell Chris I want to sleep as well and pass out also.
In the morning I wake up at 8 when they give us breakfast and they tell Joe and I that we will be going to court tomorrow. He goes back to his cell and sleeps again and Chris and I grab the Monopoly set and go to our cell and play Runny Monopoly, where instead of using a pen and paper, we kept score with the Monopoly money. Other than going to get cigarettes and meals, which are carted in from the local diner, that is the remainder of my day.
At six the next morning I wake up to find out that Joe had been released during the night. Apparently he had some STD and the Sheriff had offered to let him go rather than pay for the medical treatment he would need. I go to the courtroom and see that Jeff is there. He says he is going to be tried in a Navy court rather than civilian but he gave me some cigarettes and $30, which the jailer took. After about a half hour I go before the judge.
"How do you plead to illegal trespass in the park?" he asks me. "Guilty, your honor."
"Drinking in Public?"
"You will come back to court in two weeks for the trial."
"Never mind, I will plead guilty then, sir."
"Are you, in fact, guilty?"
"No, sir."
"Then I cannot accept that plea. Bailiff!"
The bailiff comes and walks me back to the jail area. I go back into my cell and play rummy with Chris. He tells me that the town gets $150 for every prisoner per day from the state, which makes me realize why I was not allowed to change my plea. Nothing happens for the next two weeks except playing Gin and the Redskins squishing the Bills in the Super Bowl. Finally my day comes in court and I am brought before the same judge.
"How do you plead to illegal trespass?"
"And Drinking in Public?"
"Time served. You will be released in the morning."
I go back to the jail and go back to my cell. I have the last of the Kools that Jeff brought me and Chris and I finally run out of money to play with. Incredibly we end up with a tie at $7570 each. I go to sleep and in the morning the sheriff lets me out. He tells me where the nearest truckstop is and warns me that if they see me hitchhiking that they will arrest me so that I had better walk the five miles.


Hitchin USA / Poetry   P.L.A.H. Enterprises