Thursday, February 09, 2006


Back in the '70s I was working at a body shop in Berkeley. Was sent by my boss to his loan shark to pick up some cash, didn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign and was pulled over by one of Berkeley's finest. He determined that I had on old ticket ($107) that I hadn't paid, and therefore needed to go to jail.

After he cuffed me he couldn't get the back door of the cruiser open, so I had to sit up front next to him. At the station he took my shoes and belt, and asked me a bunch of personal questions to which I mostly gave incorrect information.

In the cell there were 3 other guys. One black guy, who told me he was a model and was on a Kool cigartette billboard crosstown (and sure enough, he was), and a couple of white guys. One of the white guys told me he was happy, because after 2 weeks in jail he had finally gotten his head to the place where he "didn't mind it so much". The other white guy was equally out of focus.

When dinner came, which was a little "Swiss" steak, mashed pototoes, and peas TV dinnner, I told them I was getting out in a bit so they could have my dinner. They thankfully split it into thirds.

My boss came down and paid my ticket, and I was free, but my paycheck was $107 less.