Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fateful Urination

I think there are more pictures of cats on the internet than naked women.
Anybody want to count for me?

Once upon a time, back when I was living with my friend Pierre, I was chasing a girl named Cat.

Pierre and I were supposed to meet up with Cat and her friend Robin (yes, they are a superhero team) at a Sigur Ros show at the Riviera Theater in Chicago, not long after I met Cat while working on a McDonald's Diner commercial shoot in the southern tip of Indiana (aka Fattown, where all the fast-food companies test-market new products).

I got back from work later than expected that evening, Pierre and I pounded some drinks, and we took off for the show. We were running late, had trouble finding parking, quickly took some puffs from Pierre's trusty inhaler, and speed-walked toward the theater.

After only a few blocks, Pierre and I both had to piss so badly that we didn't feel we could make it the remaining two blocks, much less wait in any line that might have formed at the theater. We noticed a dark alleyway nearby and did our business.

Well, it wasn't exactly an alley, more like a dead-end sort-of alley in between a couple buildings that formed a U-shape. That's an important detail because, as soon as I zipped up, a car came barreling into this 'alley' and trapped us, temporarily blinding us with its headlights.

It was the cops.

'Shit,' I thought. 'Am I gonna get a ticket for public urination? Nah...they don't really do that...'

The two cops leaped out of the car as I, for some reason, tried to casually squeeze past the passenger door as it opened, as if they were there for somebody else.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"We're late for a show..."
"Not so fast. What are you guys doing back here?"
"You know I could give you a ticket for that."
I just looked at him, as if to say, 'I bet you won't.' His partner spoke up.
"Alright, hands on the hood."
Pierre and I put our hands on the hood of the idling cruiser and I got really freaked out because Pierre had a bag of weed and a one-hitter on him.

The driver shined a flashlight on us as his partner frisked me and found nothing. He searched Pierre and found...nothing.


As if reading my mind, the cops shared a confused look.
"Alright, stay right there. I'm gonna run your IDs."
He ran them and nothing came up. Layers of confusion.
"You know this alley is the number one spot in the city for dealing heroin."
"No, I didn't..."
"Well, now you do."
"You're free to go, but use a toilet next time or we'll write you up."
The disappointed cops climbed back inside their car and peeled away. Our hearts dropped back into place and we hauled-ass around the corner and down the street.
"Shit, that was scary."
"I thought you had the weed on you that whole time. Where'd you put it?"
"In your glovebox."
"Damn, man--thank God. I was freakin' out."
"I don't think I'm high anymore."
"I sure am. I can't believe I tried to walk away from them..."
We laughed and headed into the theater, where the show had not only started, but Sigur Ros were already onstage.

The crowd was exactly what you would imagine--indie hipsters in their 20s and 30s--but instead of milling about and chugging beers, they were staring unblinkingly into the void, hands at their sides, entranced by the lead singer's lyrical made-up language, Hopelandic.

As we made our way through the sardine-packed, standing-room-only crowd and I searched the dark room for Cat--a girl I had only seen in person a few times before--I felt like an intruder at a funeral for the King of Sweden or something.

The annoyed glares from audience members may have been withering, and the search may have taken way longer than it should have, but at least we had a killer story to help break the ice with a coupla foxes when we finally found them.

The night certainly could have turned out far worse...


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