It was my cousin and one of his friends (okay, maybe more of an acquaintance that sold him pot) in my car as I drove toward the South side of Milwaukee. The destination was a small pub “Mc” something or another that served cheap good beer, or as they were called in the nineties, micro brews. This bar played Pearl Jam and had a pool table that we ruled most nights. There were not many girls at this bar, but we were young and more concerned with the beer and who we could hustle for a twenty, or if lucky, more… We could always go to the strip club if we did well shooting pool.
I don’t believe I was speeding, maybe going 60 in a 55 when the lights turned on. Now, it’s not like this is the first time I had been pulled over, far from it, but this was different. For starters, we were in downtown Milwaukee which is not exactly Disney Land and also, there was the fact that we had done some pre-gaming over a few sessions of NBA Live and I had drunk three beers. Not a great situation.
Milwaukee cops don’t play around, too many of their own have been murdered making random traffic stops, so it was no surprise he immediately asked me to get out of the car. Once out, he moved me to the back while his partner kept an eye on the other two in my car. The cop took my license although I suspect he had already known my record of speeding based on my license plate. Apparently a rear-view light was burned out. The officer asked me to “pop the trunk” and I did, revealing several ice scrapers, a spare tire and baseball bat. The cop took inventory and shut the trunk. Baseball bats weren’t going to get you very far here so why bother. Then the cop looked me in the eyes…
“Have you been drinking?”
I took a deep breath in, “Just one sir.”
I realize when you say “just one” there is a ratio that cops are aware of and that’s multiply by three. One drink equals three; two equals six and so on… It’s the opposite of “how many women have you slept with?” Everyone knows you divide by three there…
The partner kept looking in the car. The acquaintance was riding shotgun with my cousin in the back. Did I mention the small time drug dealer had long dread locks? Yeah, that shouldn’t matter, but yeah, it does. Looking back now, I realize the cop was stalling, trying to find a way inside the car. Of course, had they asked me, I would have allowed them to search the car itself; I had nothing to hide. Unless the contraband law had changed to include Whopper wrappers, I was pretty safe.
The cop handed back my license and let me back in the car. The three of us were dead silent as I merged back into the highway traffic. The cop passed us and we all exhaled.
Relieved, I said, “Man, I had three beers, I thought I was toast.”
My cousin in the back laughed nervously, “You don’t know the half of it.”
I looked over at dreads; he moved his leg, displaying a back pack. He unzipped it, revealing a nine-millimeter hand gun and large brick of pot.
I exhaled again and headed to the pub. I really needed a beer.