Monday, August 06, 2007

Fingerprints and cop cars

So this fingerprinting thing, needed to start the adoption background check, has been a clusterfuck.

As you well remember last time we tried to go J didn't have all of our paperwork and I maturely melted down.

This time it got much more interesting.

A bit of background - we flew in on the red eye this morning from Miraval, an amazing spa in Arizona. We earmarked this half day off (I had to be in at 1, and J had to be in as soon as he could) to get our fingerprints, thus starting our lengthy background check. J also planned to get some car stuff done as our registrations had lapsed. Also, due to an unpaid parking ticket he never got in the mail as they sent it to his long ago address, his NJ license was suspended. Which was fine, as he had a perfectly good NY one and had no idea that his NJ one was an issue. Since he TURNED IT IN over 2 years ago.

So we are merrily jetting along on 1/9 today, on our way and on time. Birds are singing, the sun is shining and we are moving quickly.

Too quickly. A Newark cop pulls out and immediately pulls us over for doing, well, shall we say, above the speed limit.

I look at J and say "oh shit, we may be late" and he says "nah, we'll be fine".

Fast forward to J being hauled out of the truck, with the ignition off, the keys in the nice inner-city, murder-capital-of-the-world cop's hands, as we have a lapsed registration and a suspended license. J is frisked and summarily thrown in the back of the cop car.

At this point we had already known this may take some time as the cop told us that he couldn't let us drive off with a lapsed registration and suspended license, so we called fantastic Bro in Law S to pick us up on the side of freeway like so much road meat.

Once J was, shall I say, escorted rather brusquely to the back of a goverment issue I called S again. At this point, no one was laughing. Cop comes back to tell me i have to wait in the truck until the tow truck shows up. Then he would take J and me to Newark's Penn Station (get your own train station name, Newark!! Stop stealing New York's!) where we could catch a train back home.

Soon J comes back to our hot car with 100 pieces of paper, each representing a small down payment on a house, that we will have to pay to get our car back. Then the tow truck shows up and we have to go back into the cop car.

Ever been in the back of a cop car? The seats aren't padded! It is just hard plastic, the better to throw you off when he turns corners and I am sure clean up when you puke/bleed/whatever. At one point bad cop also got tired of waiting for red lights, probably wanting to be rid of the yuppie couple (I asked him if I could bring my latte into his car!) who were too "busy" to manage their car issues, and turned the sirens on to get through a few of the longer ones. Now that is a trick I can get behind.

He also had this giant touchscreen computer right by his steering wheel that had, on the screen, a bunch of scary looking names and crimes. It also had our names in giant print saying "HIT" (meaning our registration had pulled a hit on VICAP or whatever) and, and I swear I am not kidding, a floating icon of the Genie from Aladin in the upper right corner of the screen, assumedly to be his "guide" through the police databases of Newark. It was like the paperclip you click on when you need help in Microsoft Word. Only his was.a.genie. In a bottle.

I had, and I am not exagerrating, 8754757497594 questions for him. Had he shot anyone? Seen a murder? Booked a druggie? Was Newark as dangerous as everyone says? Why a cop in Newark and not, say, Maplewood where he would cut his own mortality rate by over 75%? Did he use his gun much? How fast had he gotten his car up to?

Instead I sipped my skim decaf latte and kept quiet.

After being dumped at Penn Station (the OTHER one) while a group of commuters and some of Newark's more colorful crew stared, S pulled up, like our hero, and picked us up.

Where he drove us to the fingerprinting place and we got it done.

Goddamn fingerprints.


Anonymous L from LB said...

Ahh, what a relaxing ending to a wonderful spa weekend. There's nothing like a good crime to help keep that zen going.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Malia said...

Sorry, you don't know me & I don't know you, I just happened up on your blog while browsing (I follow another blogsite, and just kept clicking 'next blog' until I found something interesting to read!)...but ANYWAY, just wanted you to know your blog (at least this one) is HILARIOUS...(I was laughing out loud at work while reading it)...so thanks for giving me a great end to a busy day! SO glad you got those fingerprints taken care of after all that! ha ha

4:12 PM  

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