Really? The Law Applies to Us, Too?

My Brother the Trespasser (proof that he's a nose-picker - been trying to prove that since the 70's) Photo © Matt Falls, 1969
My Brother the Trespasser
(proof that he’s a nose-picker – been trying to prove that since the 70’s)

Photo © Matt Falls, 1969

Apparently, for my family, “close” counts, not only in horseshoes and hand grenades, but also in trespassing.

For as long as I can remember, my family has had an odd fascination with the idea of being arrested, to the point that certain family members will actually make serious attempts to go to jail, just so they can lord it over those of us who have not yet succeeded. So far, none of us have managed. I think there must be a prize for the one who goes to jail first.

At family get-togethers, conversations generally center around past “close calls”.

“Remember when Kenny nearly got arrested for hanging over Davies’ roof and spitting on people? He was four, I think.”

“Yeah, and remember when Mom nearly got arrested for driving around in the middle of the night in her bathrobe…?”

“…and that time we tried to kidnap the photographer who threatened to call Children’s Aid?”

“No, that never really happened. No one felt like chasing him.”

“We scared him good, though.”

“Yes, we did.”

So far, no one’s actually been arrested, but it’s not been for lack of trying. I think my mother has given up hope, though, as she has begun to make up imaginary prison records for us. She has been known to introduce my brother’s wife to friends with the statement, “This is my daughter-in-law, Sue. They met in jail.” Sue goes along with it, because she wants a record as much as the rest of us, so she says, but it was Sue that spoiled the last attempt, so I think she’s not really up to the calibre of this family.

When Un-Brother Ken and The Bride came to visit the other week, they hatched a plan to get arrested for trespassing. On the day before they were to leave town, they decided they wanted to go see the new windmill farm. This is a cool place. Huuuuuuge windmills were trucked into these parts in pieces for months while it was being built, and for awhile there, everybody (and my brother) wanted up close and personal pictures of them to prove they had been out at the site. Which is Not Allowed. It is Against The Law. Which is why they went. I’m sure they waited ’til the last day only so Ken could add “renegade” to his record when he crossed the provincial border. I can’t say I blame him. That would have really impressed Mom.

Anyhoo. Un-Brother and The Bride, and Aub and Sue (who met in jail), piled into somebody’s vehicle (probably stolen) and drove out to the wind farm. They drove past many “No Trespassing” signs. Large signs. Impossible-to-miss signs.

They stood underneath mammoth windmills and took photo after photo while they waited for the heat. And it came. Off in the distance they heard sirens. Then they saw flashing lights. Then they watched while two ATVs “eluded” a lone officer of the law over and over again, zigzagging back and forth. By the time the cop noticed my siblings and their (probably stolen) vehicle, he was jumping mad. He gave up on the ATVs, and screeched to a halt (as well as an unmarked police vehicle can screech on a dirt road) like Roscoe P. Coltrane and stormed up to them, bellowing, “What are you doing here?! This is private property! Didn’t you see the signs?!”

I guess he’s not accustomed to people trying to get arrested, because when the trespassers admitted that yes, they had seen the signs, but ignored them completely, he went from angry, to confused, to downright friendly. When he asked for I.D., Sue (who may or may not have met my brother in jail) saw her chance. She had no I.D. with her, and so gave a fake name.

Sue refuses to use our family name, even after nearly two decades of marriage (no doubt out of embarrassment), but this time she used it. And Aub (who may or may not be retarded), promptly told the cop her real name.

Now, Sue could have used the opportunity to start an argument, and add “resisting arrest” to her so-far embarrassingly clean record, but she was so surprised that her husband ratted her out, that she lost her head and stormed off to the (probably stolen) car to cool off. And missed her chance.

Meantime, Un-Brother Ken decided that asking stupid questions might help, and requested of the officer to please turn his cool flashing lights back on so that they could take pictures to show back home.

Arrested Development 1
…and the officer kindly did so.

So Aub decided to redeem himself by blatantly and blithely continuing to photograph the windmills while the cop wrote his report.

Arrested Development 2
Look at him goading the nice policeman! For shame!

Not to be outdone, Un-Brother one-upped Aub by asking the cop if he could take a picture of him.

Arrested Development 3
And he did.

And then (now this really sucks), the nice policeman let them off with a warning. They were told that they’d all get a letter from the company that owns the windfarm, scolding them and telling them not to be so bad in future.

Arrested Development Documentation
And they did.

No arrests. No court. No jail time. Not even a fine, for God’s sake. I’m embarrassed by the whole attempt. If I had been there, I would have got us arrested. I would have won the coveted Family Cup.

They never take me anywhere, dammit.

P.S. Special thanks to My Brother the Trespasser for letting me blog this. See, Aub? I was nice… well… except for that “nose-picker” part.

Random Song for the Day: “Nothing As It Seems” – Pearl Jam

10 Replies to “Really? The Law Applies to Us, Too?”

  1. We don’t compete, but we have discussed what we would do our first day in prison, a justified killing just to establish our bad-assed selves!

    We also have windmills near here and they belong to TVA…I could go up there back when I carried a DOE badge, but now I’d probably get a warning!

    Les Says: I’m absolutely ashamed of them for trying so hard and still not getting arrested. I’m also surprised that Un-brother didn’t invite the officer back for supper with my mom and dad, so he could proudly tell the story.

  2. What a great story! It’s sad that they didn’t get arrested, but practice makes perfect. Who gets to display the framed warning letter in their home?

    Les Says: That’s exactly what Aub did with his! No kidding – “this is now framed and hanging in our house…” is the body of his email, along with the letter as an attachment. I assume all of the guilty got one, but so far no one else is proud enough to announce it, apparently…

  3. Wow, every family has their goals. In mine we were just about trying, so in our eyes you guys are god’s walking the earth gracing us all with things to strive for.

    Les Says: Good to know we’re setting an example. Thanks for coming by, Matt.

  4. I spit coffee out of my mouth laughing at this story. I will send you my bathrobe for cleaning.

    Les Says: Well, okay. It’ll be something to wear while I wander the streets at night.

  5. Les
    If you really wanna get arrested come to Ottawa and try trespassing on an embassy. Heck, you can even make a little vacation out of it.

    Les Says: Ooooh! FREE vacation, to boot!

  6. BTW, the embassies are guarded by Mounties, not dumb-ass OPP cops.

    Les Says: Yeah, but I may be able to outrun a horse.

  7. Oh, the guys on horses just ride around Parliament Hill for the tourists. The working cops drive cars.

    Les Says: Guess it’s hard to mount a cup-holder on a saddle – where would they put their Tim’s? Still… I’m disappointed.

  8. This story convinces me that Canadian authorities are waaaaayyy more lenient than American. You have to take this comment with a grain of salt. After all I’m writing from NYC. (Plus, I’m also a stand-up comedienne, so I’m allowed a little leeway.)

    Les Says: I think if they’d RUN, they would still be in jail. It’s only because they TRIED to get arrested that the guy let them off – I’m sure of it.

    (I’m over 40 – no salt allowed. Except with tequila. Ahhhh, tequila! Tequila is the reason I sometimes think *I’M* a stand-up comedienne.)

  9. You can get arrested for driving around at night in your bathrobe? I drove around in my bathrobe when I dressed like the Crazy Cat Lady for Halloween…. hmm… You mean I could have been jailed, fined, or thrown to the dogs?!?

    PS: There was a Wind Mill farm on one of the last episodes of “Pushing Daisies.” If you haven’t seen that show, you should!

    Les Says: Nope. Apparently you can’t get arrested if you really want to be. You can get a little closer if you drive around in your bathrobe and then act offended for being stopped, though, according to my mom.

    PS – thanks for the heads-up, I’ll see if I can find the episode.

    PSS – thanks for the visit, Stephanie; hope to see you around again!

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