suddenly, from our perspective, there were flashlights shining in on us from both sides. uh oh. the cops. they got us out of the car. took the beer that was unopened and dumped the open cans. then they decided that we had to go to jail so they took us to the san mateo police station. by the time we got there we had calmed down and thought… beer. big deal.
they took us into the the big cop room and had us stand in front of the guy in charge. sensing that we were not yet properly serious about the situation he began lecturing us. “i’ve seen your kind. punks. you’ll be back here soon enough for something much more serious. no respect for the law.” he went on like that for a while.
as we tried to look serious and even maybe contrite we could see the other cops in the background smirking and laughing and almost daring us to laugh along. that was the hardest part of the whole thing. keeping straight faces.
by and by he ran out of steam and they determined that as we were all seventeen that they couldn’t put us in jail. we had to go to juvie. they put two of us in one car and two in another. i was in a car driven by one of the cops who pinched us. he told us that he would have just dumped the beer and sent us on our way, but it was our bad luck that he was patrolling that night with a sergeant who was strictly by the book. he also showed us that he could go 80 miles per hour on the dark two-lane road up the hill to juvie.
not exactly as i remember, but close enough for dramatic effect
as the place was almost empty they put us each in a cell alone. the place looked more like a mental ward than a jail. concrete rooms. windows with bars. heavy door with a small window. i slept in my clothes. in the morning we were released to our parents.
my father came to pick me up. he looked unhappy but not really angry. it was just beer. and a small amount. when i got my possessions back my father was handed my cigarettes, because i was under eighteen. as we walked to the car he handed them to me.
when i got home i was reminded that today was the day to have my senior picture taken for the yearbook.
ahh yeah. a night in stir and then a picture for my permanent record. nice hair.