Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nurse the Hate: The Greatest Gift

I stood near the band merchandise area and caught my breath.  Southern Culture on the Skids was about halfway through their set, and sounded great as usual.  I felt a tap on my shoulder.  “Hey Greg… I thought you should know… Leo is getting busted out there with a couple other guys for smoking weed.”  Many people in that situation would panic, concerned that things would spiral wildly out of control.  The scenario of standing in a police station at 2:15 am while attempting to put together enough money to bail him out would send many people into a panic.  Not me.  Leo has a long and well documented history of emerging from such scenarios unscathed.  It would all work out.  Somehow.  I turned to the tipster.  “That sounds like something I don’t really need to get involved in…”  I went back to watching the band.

About 15 minutes later I saw Leo walk back into the club without a care in the world.  He stopped in to see what I was doing and yelled over the band.  “Dude!  It was reeaally fucked up.  I almost got busted!”  Then something else caught his attention and he careened off into the crowd.  I will admit to feeling some relief that I wouldn’t have to problem solve getting him out of legal trouble, but at that point I was more interested in the story about how he got out of it than the actual fact that he got out of it.  He has a quality of harmlessness to him that seems to protect him in these types of jams.  The devil would be in the details.

It wasn’t until the show had ended and the venue had pushed out the last of the revelers that I got the full story.  “OK… So I was outside with these guys I just met and we went into this alley to smoke.  Then this guy starts walking down the alley and says “Hey, what are you guys doing?” and I’m like “We’re getting high.  Do you want to join us?” and he says “I don’t think so.  I’m an undercover police officer.”  The next thing I know these cops are saying things like “Sir!  Stand down sir!”.

Wait… You were arguing with them?

“I don’t know.  I was kind of upset.  Then I just explained it to them, and it was cool.”

What do you mean?  What do you mean you explained it to them?

“I said “Now I know that you do not smoke because you are not allowed to…but…if you did, you would know that to get someone high is the greatest gift you could ever give someone.”


Let’s analyze this just for a moment.  I know that in the unlikely case of having been in that situation, I would have gone to the “Yes sirs” and “Sorrys”.  To be busted dead to rights usually means having the tactic of throwing oneself on the Sword of Justice and hoping for the best.  The hope is that the self-sacrifice of admitting total guilt will buy mercy from the court.  This also tends to be a plan that backfires terribly, and I have no doubt that I would right now be swinging a hammer on some sort of chain gang while singing traditional negro spirituals.  I think I would look OK in stripes, though I have some concerns about the shackles chaffing my ankles.  Still, I think I would have just admitted that I was in the wrong.  Not Leo though…

Leo amazingly went on the offensive.  He came right out of the gate and decided his move was to explain, in clearly distorted and flimsy logic, that he was actually “providing the greatest gift you could ever give someone”.  His plan was to essentially say, “Sir, I know that this activity is something you cannot be a part of, but as I thought that there was no issue for you, I think you can agree that I was actually offering you a gift beyond measure.  The fact you could not accept the gift was immaterial.  It is now my duty to educate you on the fact that ignoring the law you were sworn to protect makes more sense than to enforce it.  It’s not an issue really.  It’s that you just didn’t know before right now.”

Let’s ignore for a second the startling idea that Leo believes that “the greatest gift you could ever give someone” is to get them high.  I would suggest that a kidney, freedom, love, or a large sum of money would be a greater gift than getting buzzed up in an alley, but what do I know?  The last time I got high was when I unknowingly had a pat of pot laced butter on a muffin and crawled into the van to go to sleep about 15 years ago.  I think I was paranoid for three days.  Let's get past that idea that experience was "the greatest gift" anyone could ever give me.  What I would like to focus on is that the police somehow bought in.  Leo somehow got an undercover cop to let him go with that story, moments after being told to "stand down".  It's incredible.
I have a suspicion that after Leo told the cop about his "greatest gift you could ever give someone" theory, the cop thought to himself, "Do I really want to bring in this obviously high, tatted up leprechaun and do the hours of paperwork necessary to process him when I know damn well that he will be back in this alley 15 minutes after I let him go?  I mean, I let this guy go, and I can be home watching cable and eating a Hungry Man chicken dinner in about an hour."  Yet, there is another half of me that thinks maybe Leo just got into some kind of wild Matthew McConaughey zone and somehow turned the whole thing around.  "You know, this guy is making a lot of sense... How can we bust him when he just wanted to give me a gift?  The greatest gift you could ever give someone..."


At May 14, 2015 at 6:56:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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