Article By: Ben - 2/25/04
Theater practice got out
around 9:30 p.m., but I hung out with some friends at the Randolph
Diner on Rt. 10, so obviously I wasn't on my way home until 12:50. I
had hurried along on my way to try and get home at a reasonable hour,
and was about 5 minutes from home when I hit a red light at the corner
of Franklin Rd. and Rt. 46 in Denville. Now I was trying to turn right,
but there's a "No Right On Red" sign staring me in the face. No one's
around, so I decide to reverse about 50 feet and cut through the
parking lot of Charlie Brown's (a restaurant) and to hop on 46. Well,
no sooner did I do this than a cop from the opposite side of the
highway immediately goes through a red light to chase me down. He puts
his lights on and I pull over. Then another cop car pulls behind him,
and I quietly sigh to myself.
As he walks up to me, I have my license in hand, along with my
registration and insurance card. He asks for the proper ID's and I hand
them to him. I tell him the current insurance card is lost and we have
a new one coming in the mail. I know this because I had gotten pulled
over about a month before this and had discovered that sad fact to my
dismay. But the cop looks at me and says, "This insurance card is up to
date," with a puzzled glance on his face.
I merely reply, "Ok, great then." Apparently my dad had fixed the
situation over the weekend and received the up-to-date card in the mail
without telling me. And just as this is happening the second cop is
peering in through my side windows to view the utter monstrosity and
dismal mess that is my car. By the way, I drive a Chevy Suburban, and
for those of you who know: that thing is huge, so it holds a lot of
Anyway, the second cop catches a glimpse of something shiny and says,
"Hey, Doug, are those weapons?" And indeed they were, for a week
earlier I had put a pair of sai in my car to show some friends. For
those completely uneducated people reading this, the sai are the
weapons Raphael used in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
So getting back to answering the cops' questions about why there are
weapons in my car, I lie a little. I say that I had just gotten back
from Boston (which was true) and that it had been my birthday just the
previous week (which was true) and that a friend in Boston had given
them to me (which was a lie) and that I had them in my backpack on my
way home from Boston (which was another lie) and that I had merely
tossed my backpack containing my books, my clothing, and the sai in the
car to hurry off to Theatre Practice (which was, yet again, another
The cops ask me to step out and stand in front of my vehicle, which I
do very agreeably. They inspect the sai, and ask me if there's anything
else in the car that they should know about. My mind is already running
at a million miles an hour, and I can't really think of anything, so I
say no. The cops start rummaging through the car again, and then one
pulls out a bottle of rum (a bottle of rum which had been previously
opened and consumed from, so therefore is considered an open
container). The exact second I see the bottle of rum I say, "Oh yeah,"
while my mind is saying, "Oh shit." I explain the rum, only this time I
don't lie, not in the least bit. I explain that I had turned 21 a week
ago, and then while in Boston my sister and I had gone out drinking. I
decided to take the remainder of the rum home with me because no one in
her house drank it, to which the cops nod their heads and continue
In an attempt to make a long story short (too late I know), they find:
- A whole lot of lumber, which isn't illegal but looks suspicious
- 1 walking cane with a brass knob on the handle (which they think is
another weapon and search the handle for some spot to press to reveal a
sword, but my cane is not that cool, it's just a cane)
- 16 feet of 5/8 chain, which I use as a tow chain in the winter time
in case I need to help anyone
- 1"boffer" weapon (which is a fake weapon used in role playing, and
for any further clarification log onto
- 1 crow bar (which I use at work; I work at a Lowe's hardware store,
don't judge me)
After about 20 minutes of shivering in front of my car, the cops make
notes of everything that's in my car and let me get back in my driver's
seat to warm up a bit while they run checks and things back at their
squad cars. And while I'm sitting there I'm thinking to myself, "Oh
shit.' This is it.
They found booze,
weapons, tons of crap that is so random and circumstantial, and I'm
gonna get arrested and put into handcuffs and I'll have to call my
parents from jail and get bailed out and never get accepted into acting
school and I'm gonna spend the rest of my life a failure who just
wanted to get home and never emptied his car."
Finally, the cop walks back up to my window, hands me my ID's, and
says, "Well son, we seem to have a strange situation here. You were
found with an open container of alcohol, weapons within reach of the
driver's seat, and quite a few strange objects in your vehicle. . ."
"OK," I manage to say without pleading for my life.
". . . So" the cop continues, "you need to go home, take the alcohol
and weapons out of your car, and for God's sake, clean out your car.
Now go on home." And the cop presumes to walk back to his squad car.
You have to understand: I'm in such a state of shock I can barely
drive. I could have been arrested. They found booze. They found
weapons. I even reversed on a road to cut through a parking lot to skip
a traffic light, which is really illegal, and they didn't do anything.
No ticket. Not even a warning.
So I came to this conclusion after discussing it with some friends.
Everyone gets one time in their life where something could really fuck
you over, and for some reason it just slides past you like it was
nothing. So I'm not taking anymore chances like that ever again. I am
never, ever going to pull something like that unless I'm SURE no one's
fucking watching me.