Does the title of this surprise you? After all, I am the lucky SOB who’s never gotten a speeding ticket (don’t hate). I can’t hit any good numbers on the lotto to save my life, but I can kick my Prius into fast mode and speed down the highway at a good 4 miles over the speed limit without detection. (Going from a 6 cylinder car to a hybrid was quite a change!)
It may please you to know that there was a brief moment in my life when I thought I was going to jail, though.
Back when I was 26, I tried a certain illegal substance that really shouldn’t be illegal for the first time. The kid was away (which I feel obligated to say, so the possible judgment is knocked down a tad), and my sister was home for the weekend.
She is an aficionado when it comes to that particular illegal substance and had been for quite some time. She made many, many efforts to get me to try it before, but I always declined. Not because I’m a goody two shoes (only partly), but also because I figured I’d look like an idiot considering how the three times attempting to smoke a cigarette went. (I know, to be concerned about looking like an idiot while trying that is rather silly.)
I finally gave in. Peer pressure. It took a long time to get pressured into it, but by golly, it happened.
So, we went out to the carport and did the thing. Well, I did two small puffs of the thing and coughed terribly and said that I’d just have a drink.
That’s not a terribly interesting first time, is it? Well, fast forward to three days later when I look on my phone and see that I have a missed phone call. I looked it up on the computer and it was the local Sheriff’s Department.
I had a slight mental breakdown because I’m the paranoid sort and dammit I knew what would happen if I did that, and then the phone rang again. I answered.
“Is this E?” the deep voice asked.
“This is the Sheriff’s Department and we wanted to let you know that we have a warrant for your arrest for doing illegal drugs and will be by to pick you up at 4:00.”
I burst out into tears. (Yep, this was one of my rare crying moments.) I was going to jail for the rest of my life for doing that illegal thing one time, didn’t even get the effects of it, and I was going to be someone’s bitch. Noooooo!
My husband was working in his office and I went in there, crying still. “I’m going to jail!”
“What?” He looked rather amused.
“They called and are coming to get me. They have a warrant! I’m being arrested!” I sobbed.
“Why on earth would the cops call you to tell you that they’re arresting you and give you a chance to get away?” he asked.
I didn’t know the answer to that question. I didn’t know how jail and being arrested worked.
“Well they are!” More tears.
He took my phone and looked up the number to verify that it was indeed the Sheriff’s Department. “This doesn’t make any sense. Who did you talk to? I’m calling them to find out what’s going on.”
Just at that moment, the phone rang again. Same number. Sam answered it. “You do know that she has certain Constitutional rights and that you can’t just come arrest her with no proof of something that was done on private property,” he barked into the phone without saying “hello.” Crap, he was going to make me stay in jail longer.
Then he shook his head and handed the phone to me.
“Hello?” I was shaking.
“We’re coming to get you now. Be ready,” the deep voice said.
“I’m sorry, I won’t ever do it again!” I pleaded.
And then, “Bwahahaha!” came a high-pitched laugh, one that I had grown up with, belonging to my sister. “Man, I got you!”
As it turns out, there is something you can pay for to mask your phone number and put in any number you want to pop up on someone’s caller ID. Combine that with a voice changer purchased in the toy section from Walmart, and my sister had indeed got me for a mere $10.
I wanted to kill her, of course, but considering how happy I was over the fact that I wasn’t going to jail at the moment, I laughed. Later I realized how easily it would be for someone to fake being from the credit card company or whatever using this masking technique to rip you off. (So don’t trust the caller ID!)