Or maybe it's just me...
Like the mighty salmon, I came home last week for the first time since October of last year. With a nephew on the way in a couple of weeks, three nieces that need reminding what their crazy bearded uncle looks like and the need for a change in scenery, I was due to see some mountains. Unfortunately with the limits of my youthful sobriety, it seems I've retired from commercial fishing for the time being, but who knows? Anything can happen.
In any case, on with the story.
Here I sit in Anchorage, with a very real need for some marginally reliable transportation for the time being. Now a rich kid I am not, so I look to the best resource I know of for a cheap vehicle: CraigsList. I punch in the specifications I'm looking for and immediately find a gloriously neglected and abused 96 Ford Escort within my price range. I called the man selling it and less than an hour later I was standing in front of what was left of its rear bumper, negotiating the price for this first prize shit box of a car and fiddling with an old jack to replace a shot rear tire.
With the new tire in place I trade the nice man $350 cash for a key and paperwork.
Half way home the alternator is fried. I left it for the night and in the morning was joined by an old friend and fixed it on the Road. It ran great all the way to the DMV where I hoped to make my new rolling death trap as legal as possible.
Now it doesn't really matter where you're from, the DMV is a miserable experience. Long waits in uncomfortable seats, disgruntled/sadistic government employees behind the counters, absurd fees and taxes coerced from your wallet for the basic need to get to work... It's a law of the universe: the DMV just sucks.
So the next time you're sitting there waiting, ever so patiently, for your number to be called, wishing you were ANYWHERE but here, I'd like you to recall this tale.
I handed the paper work over to a young lady behind the counter with a sign that said "In Training" in black and white. I noticed she was so new her eyes weren't entirely lifeless yet...but it was only Monday. She did some clicking and clacking on her keyboard and said she needed to consult her manager, and scurried away into a back room with my papers. I waited about a half an hour before giving up and sitting back down to wait. I was at their mercy.
A few minutes later, a professionally dressed man in his 40's sits down next to me and says my name. Assuming he knew me from the old days I answer in the affirmative, at which point he states clearly "I'm with the Anchorage Police Department and we have a warrant for your arrest."
"You're fucking kidding me?'
"Nope, we had her stall you until we could get here."
"That bitch. Look, I'm not pissed off, I'm sure whatever this is about will get resolved, but I'm trying to do stuff here, this is really inconvenient."
"I know, and thank you for not spitting on me, but we need to get going."
I got up and saw 2 more cops standing by the door. One in uniform and another in plain clothes and light body armor underneath.
After a few minutes of lackluster details I'll spare you, I was cuffed and riding in the back seat to the holding tank. All in all, they were really quite decent as far as cops go.
Sitting in seating about as comfortable as the plastic lawn chairs in the 5th circle of hell, I stared at a flat screen in the corner watching reality TV shows for four hours. A white guy with a shaved head and a mask of facial tattoos was talking to the guards like they went to high school together. A drunk native gal was yacking violently into a garbage can.
I thought back to how much worse it was the last time I was in the pokey, when they wouldn't let me leave until I blew a zero.
I was really missing the DMV.
Finally my bail was posted for the bench warrant from 2007 I didn't even know existed. I stepped outside and rolled my first cigarette in over 8 hours.
This is how I got arrested for picking up an Escort off of CraigsList.