Whacha gonna do when they come for you? – California Highway – 15 mins from Nevada Border, California, United States

It wasn`t long after we had clicked our seatbelts and were on our way before we got pulled over. Joey asked if we were all buckled in earlier to which I had answered in the affirmative, fully thinking I was. But somehow, I was mistaken and when I glanced down I noticed that I was actually not buckled in at all. I scrambled frantically fighting with the seatbelt which just happened to get stuck at that very moment. I collapsed in relief when I finally did get it secured just before the cop walked up to my window.

The California State Police Officer was polite and matter of factly pointed out that the light above the licence plate was out. Joey was more than co-operative and willing about fixing whatever needed to be done right then and there. The cop said he could do it later, chuckling at his exuberance and told us the reason he pulled us over was really just an excuse. He chatted with us while the radio was running our information to make sure we were clear. Joey, the talker that he is, got the guy into a pretty sociable place which made the next turn of events just that much more shocking.

Suddenly another cop car screeches in behind us and the first cop runs back there. They both have their guns out pointed at our van yelling at Joey to get out of the vehicle. I tried to watch what was happening through the side mirror but could only make out that they were putting him in handcuffs. Anna and I were feeling pretty scared by now as we had no clue what was going on. After all, it was only moments ago that this guy was telling us about his family and how he was a beekeeper on the side.

My adrenaline was pumping but I tried to remain calm because I knew deep down that we were all innocent. What could could this be about? Perhaps something way back in our past that we don`t remember or know about? I ran through my mental rolodex and came up clean. Anna and Joey were together for quite a while so I figured she would know of any long lost skeletons. I questioned Anna to see if she could think of anything suspect but she seemed bewildered as she shook her head. After that, I assumed that the whole thing was some kind of crazy protocol that they have to go through. After all, this is the United States.

A few minutes later, the cops yelled at ME to get out of the vehicle. At this point, I was like WHAT? Why? They hadn`t even run my name. Why was I getting cuffed? I co-operated and inquired as to why I was getting this kind of treatment. The officer told me that it was procedure when one is associated with an armed and dangerous drug felon. I took one look at Joey and broke out laughing. Now I KNEW they had the wrong guy. Joey? Dangerous? Yeah right.

The cop admitted it may possibly be a mistaken identity and I assured him confidently that it was. In any case, this was an experience I had never had before so I intended to soak it all in. Anna was next to be searched and cuffed but was a little less relaxed. She later told me how angry she was when she heard me laughing, thinking that I was not taking this whole thing seriously. They sent the dog into the van to search it out and I couldn`t get over how this whole thing was JUST LIKE ON T.V.! Anna and I were put in the same car while we waited for the cops to sort the whole thing out.

It ended up taking over an hour during which time the mosquitoes were getting really bad and taking chunks out of my exposed legs. I complained to the officer who offered to spray some repellent on me. I overheard the lady on the radio giving the stats explaining that the “Joey” they were after, had quite an opposite description, complete with tattoos and all. Still, we had to wait until they got the ok from the Alberta authorities. The guy figured it would be ok to let me put on a pair of jeans as the night was getting colder and bugs more adamant.

When all was said and done, we joked around with the cops getting tons of photos with them. They were super nice even re-cuffing me for the shot and letting us make dramatic poses. The officer with the dog even gave us a baseball type card with him and his pooch. He was quite flattered when we asked him to autograph our new cop card as a cool souvenir. The whole thing took a little over an hour but was well worth the delay. What an exciting event to vault us out of this world and into our mission to burn the man!

Today I am grateful for innocence.

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