Tom, Brian, and I are on the road. Well, technically we’re not on the road at the moment. Brian is out with some of his buddies, and Tom and I are in a hotel…in Fargo, North Dakota. Why we’re here is irrelevant to this particular posting, so I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, Fargo is really a lovely city–really, it is–and we’re having a great time.

We rolled into town around 3:00 this afternoon. Brian wasn’t meeting up with his friends until 4:00, so we decided to use the time to run a couple of errands: fill the car with gas, fill Brian with food and drink, etc. Errands which required getting out of the car and walking around in public places. Places where lots of other people were also out walking around. Places where other people were possibly watching me out walking around.

After we finished our errands, we returned to the hotel so Brian could change his clothes. As I got out of the car, I noticed a raisin smashed on the seat of the car where I had been sitting. A raisin from the trail mix we’d been noshing on off and on since early that morning. Hmmm. This was bad. This was very bad. All day long, I’d been prancing around in my white capris, sequined turquoise sandals with matching purse, and kicky turquoise T-shirt, pleased with myself that for once I wasn’t dressed like a bag lady for our long car ride. But a raisin! A smashed raisin and white capris! It doesn’t take much imagination or many brain cells to picture the outcome of those two objects meeting under pressure.

My mind raced as I spun in circles in the parking lot trying to see my rear end: When did I drop the raisin? Was any of it still stuck to my keister? Did anyone see? Was it situated on the car seat so it was right under a butt cheek or –please, dear god– could it have possibly been between my legs? Maybe it didn’t leave a stain at all! Oh, please! Please, don’t let there be a stain!

Dizzy from chasing my tail, I finally bent over with my ass pointing directly at Brian and moaned, “Do I have raisin smashed on my butt?” The poor kid. That’s an image I’m sure he wasn’t anxious to have burned onto his retinas. Nor, I’m sure, was he anxious to tell me that, yes, in fact, I did have a rather ugly-looking splotch in the most inconvenient of places. ARGHHHHH!

That’s what I get for getting tarted up and being smug about it. Hubris. Gets you every time.

An hour or so later, after Brian was off on his adventure, Tom went down to the lobby to get us a copy of the local newspaper. Any embarrassment I was still feeling over the afternoon’s humbling was immediately vanquished (or at least overshadowed) when I scanned the front page of The Fargo-Morehead Forum he brought back upstairs with him.

Under the headline: “ARREST ENDS 9-HOUR S. FARGO STANDOFF” were two pictures. One showed a man, Leonard Ritter, waving a cigarette around in the air while pointing his finger at and defiantly back-talking members of the local SWAT team (after shooting at and flattening one of the tires on their law enforcement robot, I might add). I share the picture here:

Before Tazer

The second picture shows poor ol’ doodie-for-brains Leonard being tased into premature–albeit temporary–rigor mortis by the same SWAT team, a SWAT team that had clearly had enough of Leonard’s shit:

Tazed

I doubt Leonard was having many coherent thoughts at the moment of his tasing, but one would hope that at some point after he gets over the shock of the whole affair (yuck, yuck) he thinks something along the lines of, “Holy crap. That didn’t turn out so well. Maybe I should reconsider my current policy of copping an attitude with police officers wearing military camoflauge and carrying automatic rifles.”

Okay, okay. He probably won’t, but…

My first thought after looking at the pictures was this: Leonard’s lucky he lives in Fargo, North Dakota, instead of a bigger city. Police officers in a larger, meaner metropolitan area probably would have shot Leonard and his cocky attitude with real bullets as soon as he fired at the robot. Like I said, Fargo’s a lovely city. You really should visit sometime.

In any case, I’ve learned my lesson. We can only hope Leonard has learned his.

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