I was making the 37-hour drive back to New Orleans after another dizzying weekend at the 2015 Savage Henry Comedy Festival. As is customary, I was given a hearty assortment of cannabis-based gifts, including – but not limited to – some dank nugs, shatter, dabs and a dozen highly potent rice krispie treats. Being the obsessive that I am, I put the entire stash in tupperware, wrapped in a giant Ziploc bag, wrapped in another giant Ziploc bag, under ice, under some snacks, in an airtight cooler wiped down with Clorox wipes, and blessed with a tender “I hope we make it” kiss.
I was driving through Texas, just four hours from home, when I saw a harsh spectrum of red and blue lights in my rearview mirror. I knew I hadn’t broken any traffic laws so I pulled over, gathered my documents, and with hands at 10 and 2, waited patiently for the officer.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“You were following too close.”
“You mean, like, my dreams?”
He did not appreciate the joke, which was fine. It wasn’t that good.
I knew I hadn’t been following anyone too closely. In fact, I was being tailgated right before being pulled over. But the officer said not to worry. I was only going to get a written warning.
“Why don’t you join me in my cruiser while I write this up?”
Fuck. Be cool.
We sat in the cruiser and had some friendly small talk as he scrawled out the written warning. It was actually kind of nice. Before handing me the ticket the officer looked at me and said, “Hey, you don’t have any drugs or weapons do you?”
“Of course not.”
“Great. Here’s your warning.”
“Thank you. Am I free to go?
“Sure. Just one more thing: do you mind if I search your vehicle?”
Fuck. Be cool.
“I’ll pass. I don’t feel like dealing with the hassle. I hope you understand.”
“Of course. How about you just wait outside of the car for one more minute?”
I stepped outside into the Texas heat to find a K9 unit four-wheeling its way up and over the embankment on the side of the road. A lanky trooper emerged from the SUV, donned a pair of latex gloves, and opened the back door. An old brown hound hopped out, accepted a treat from his master, and accompanied him on the short walk to my car.
“Since you declined the search, we’re going to have our four-legged friend here do a quick perimeter search of your car. If he detects anything, he’ll give us a signal. A signal means probable cause, which will require us to search the vehicle. May we begin?”
“Be my guest.”
The dog started at the front passenger door and slowly worked his way around the car, completely missing the driver’s side corner of the trunk, where my illegal treasures hid like the psychedelic refugees they were. The dog rounded the corner, positioned himself at the starting point, and sat obediently.
Then, as if saying, “Hey dude, check this shit out,” the dog turned to me, made eye contact, and gently placed one paw on the door.
“Good boy,” the trooper exclaimed, as he handed that fucking asshole another treat.
Next came a humiliating dismantling of my entire car. All of my possessions were strewn along the gravelly shoulder of the highway until one of the troopers found the jackpot.
“Is this everything, buddy?”
They went back to the cruiser, did an inventory, and returned with options.
“Obviously, you have a lot of drugs here. You have two options: we can either charge you for everything, or just charge you for this bowl.”
“Is this a trick question?”
“I’ll take the paraphernalia charge.”
“Good choice,” the trooper said, handing me back my fully packed bowl. “Now we just need to watch you destroy the rest of this stuff.”
I started with the nugs. They were packed tightly in an old Starbucks mints tin. I banged the tin repeatedly on the ground, but this was some sticky shit and they wouldn’t budge.
“Here, try this,” said the trooper, handing me a knife.
I dug the weed from the tin, all the while thinking of the incredible amount of trust these lawmen must have in me. The dabs and shatter were destroyed with minimal effort. Now it was time to tackle the rice krispie treats. I emptied the tupperware and began stomping the desserts, but rubber and marshmallows have a way of forming a bond and left the soles of my shoes covered in several inches of sugary goodness. The trooper handed his knife back to me. I scraped my soles clean, leaving a pile of yet to be effectively dismantled goodies on the ground.
“What should I do?” I inquired.
“Hell, just kick them out into the road.”
“But, there are cars coming.”
“It’s fine, watch,” said the trooper as he began punting the soft white squares into oncoming traffic. The other trooper joined in, giving me a wave that said, “C’mon, pal. When is the next time you’re going to get to kick garbage into the interstate with two cops?” I started kicking. It was cathartic. We were bonding. We were friends.
The troopers told me I was free to go. I asked about the bowl. They said, “Keep it.”
We shook hands and I pulled off into the sunset. I drove to the next exit and promptly discarded my bowl, because despite the lessened charge, the knife share, and the treat punting session, I don’t trust fucking cops.