We were sitting in a Mexican restaurant last Thursday about 5 minutes after leaving the courthouse. We had just finalized the last case against my wife and were directly across the street waiting to order when we heard screeching tires and a horn blowing.
We assumed that someone had almost gotten into an accident and concentrated on ordering from the menu. After a while our food arrived and we settled in to eat. After a few minutes though, we saw cherries in the street and a crowd of people forming outside.
Assuming that there had been an accident, we went about our business and ate our food as more and more cops and people showed up. Pretty soon it became obvious that this was no car accident. Cop after cop arrived on the scene along with fire trucks and a growing throng of people.
In no time at all, there were at least 25 squad cars and hundreds of people in the parking lot of the court house across the street. Something was up and as the waitress approached my wife inquired if she knew what was going on.
She informed us that someone had just come in from the crowd outside to use the restroom and had told her that the court house had been evacuated because of a bomb threat.
A bomb threat? The street was crawling with squad cars with their cherries on and cops were forming up in groups now to cordon everything off. My wife looked at me and leaned forward “Do you think this is for us?”
I thought about it for a moment before I replied. Mere minutes earlier we had been in the courthouse. They had us confined in a hallway waiting to be processed and pay a fine. We had to pay the woman in the closet sized office $3.00 and we had been waiting in this stinking hallway for 3 hours.
Sit here and wait until they call your name.
I was less than happy.
Much less than happy.
I was in the courthouse, which to me, is the belly of the beast. The only worse place to be forced into by the state is a prison. I am in a place into which I have been forced and now I am being forced to pay them money at the threat of my wife being jailed.
I can hardly think of a time that I had been less happy.
I looked across the table at my wife as she inquired and responded slowly “I never said bomb. I mean, I said a lot, but I never said bomb ”
As a matter of fact my final words as I left, turning to address all present were “Fuck this place and these assholes”
Yeah, that was my finale on the way out the door, but that was nothing compared to what was going on in the hallway. By the 3 hour mark I had an angry crowd of people gathered and was relentlessly pounding the system and everything that it stood for.
I was in rare form and I had a captive audience that was just about as happy as I was. I was especially pissed because I knew that the very money that I was paying was the only thing that keeps the system functioning.
As the time passed the crowd grew uglier and uglier and what had been a bunch of calm people just waiting to pay a fine, became a group of outraged people being raped by the state.
This of course did not go unnoticed. There was a desk set up at the end of the hall for probation and PTI and the woman sitting there who had been happy and laughing now wore a dark scowl.
She had been apologizing and joking with everyone as she set them up to take their money and freedom in monthly increments. She appeared to be happy and care free and enjoying her job as she set everyone up for periodic payments.
I think that all changed when I walked over to her desk and informed everyone that this was just like a prison and if everyone refused to go long with it, that they could never afford to make it work. That If everyone was non-compliant that the system would collapse under the weight of trying to enforce it.
I then went on a diatribe about the prison system, the police state,and how many people were imprisoned in this country. There was a guy there that was a sovereign citizen and he was like my cheering team, chiming in at one point that the only good cop was a dead cop.
But I never said bomb.
We wandered out into the street after eating and as we walked towards the parking lot, the cops started blocking all of the roads off adjacent to the court house. There were now squad cars and groups of black vested cops everywhere. We both agreed that this would probably be a good time to exit stage right and get out of the area.
We got into the car and as we drove out of town, feeling a little nervous, my wife looked at me and inquired again” This can’t be for us , can it?”
I assured her that it wasn’t us. We had spoken to the lady at our attorney’s office as we walked by and she said specifically that someone had called in a bomb threat.
I immediately thought of the sovereign citizen.
And then the guy who got fired via telephone while waiting in that hallway to dutifully pay his fine.
And then my wife says “Wait a minute, You did say it!”
What? I said what?
She then reminded me of what I had said. She cut a plea deal with no time, no judgement and no record and I said that if it the judge would have given her time, that I would have laid siege to the place.
That’s not a bomb threat.
Besides that, I had used it in a what if context, not saying that I was going to do it, but rather, would have.
Laying siege is a pretty broad term and can be interpreted many ways.
But now she had me nervous. When I say that I was in rare form, I really mean it. I was sitting right in front of a camera, not 4 feet away the whole time as incited my fellow citizens.
I didn’t care, it was principle . Here we were, paying money out because of some lying scum bag cop and they confine us for 3 hours waiting to pay $3.00 in a hallway.
We finally hit our limit and went up to the window and demanded her paperwork back. At first they couldn’t find it but they finally located it in a basket all by itself, totally unprocessed. At this point we figured that it would be easier to have our attorney pay it instead.
That was when we had exited and I left them my parting words which my wife followed up with “And fuck this whole system too”
It couldn’t be for us.
The entire drive home, which is about 40 minutes, we were wondering if we had caused the scare and to tell you the truth, I half ass expected to see squad cars parked at our house when we arrived. But we got home and everything was quiet and peaceful and we were done with the police state and the court system.
Until the phone rang.
It was the attorneys office. They couldn’t pay the fine. It had to be paid in person.
Before 4:30 or an arrest warrant would be issued.
It all smelled like a set up to me.
It was us
And now they wanted us to walk right into their clutches.
What a choice. It is now 3:15 and we have to drive all the way back there.
Yes, I said “Egad”.
It smelled like a trap
But what to do? If it wasn’t paid by 4:30 an arrest warrant was certain.
Back to the court house.
We went to the attorneys office and the girl that works there walked across the street with us to the courthouse. She took us to a down stairs office where we could pay our $3.00 and be done. It was take your kid to work day and the nice lady who processed our paper work had her young son with her.
It took her all of 5 minutes to accomplish what the incompetent idiots upstairs couldn’t do in 3 hrs. It ended up that it wasn’t a set up and soon enough we were all paid up and back on the road heading home.
The next day I read that there were a number of court houses evacuated because of bomb threats, including the one in my own town. Someone had called in with very specific and credible threats that closed a number across the state.
I told you it wasn’t me.