So, this is a story all about how I was an idiot and forgot all about my smoking pipe in the glove compartment of my car. Now, that may seem like an easy goof, until you realize that my car was getting searched by U.S. Army officials moments afterward. Anyhow, I'll just jump right in and explain my stupidity, plus how I got fined with drug paraphernalia charges.
It was the 29th of July and I was all dressed and ready to go training with my Army recruiter. I was wearing my mom's red basketball shorts, along with a camo baseball cap, I had brought online. Trying to give off the impression of a tomboy, rather than my girly ways, I hopped into my blue PT Cruiser and drove to the Army base. Luckily, the base wasn't too far away from my grandparent's house, considering I was running a bit late. Rushing into the parking lot, my only focus was being on time, which made me oblivious to the fact that they might check my vehicle.
I had been to the base before, so I knew where I was supposed to check in and who I was supposed to talk to. Although, every time before, my mom had picked me up and we drove her matching blue Pacifica to the site. This time, I was on my own and I went to the Visitor's Center to check in for Basic Training.
Once they called my number, the nice lady behind the counter said, "It doesn't look like your name is on the list." So I said, "That's weird, let me text my recruiter and ask what's up." I did as I spoke and my recruiter texted that he had forgotten I was coming to the site today (first red flag). He said that he would call one of his friends there to help me out, so I walked outside.
Once outside, his Army lad was on the phone with him and he tells me to get on this big red bus with all the other recruits going to training. Me, being nice and talkative, goes over to the bus and says "hi" to everyone before actually stepping on. Instead of saying "hi" back, everyone looks at me like Pennywise and give me the cold shoulder (second red flag). In my head, I think, "Alright, its early. I'm gonna let that slide because maybe they're just tired. And, I'm honesty too tired to care as well."
But none of that mattered to my recruiter's friend because he called me over AGAIN and says, "Oh no, you still have to go inside and get a visitor's pass." It took all of my strength to not say, "Why didn't we just do that when we were both standing outside?" But, instead, I follow orders and keep my mouth shut, as I run back inside to get my pass.
Once I think everything is all squared away, I get back on the bus and try to catch my breath from running back and forth all morning. Sadly, it wasn't over yet because someone's dad asked, "Whose car is the blue PT Cruiser?" And I responded saying "Mine." Then the other Army guy says, "They may put a boot on your car. You should just drive over to training and follow the bus in" (third red flag and I'm out).
At this point, I'm debating on leaving because I'm just tired of all the bullshit, but I get off the bus and remember the half-open bottle of Kimchatka I left in my backseat. I run over to the car, before anyone sees, and hide the bottle in a basket of clothes I have yet to donate in my trunk.
I remembered they inspected cars, I just didn't remember my pipe because I quit smoking months ago, in preparation for the Army. I also didn't want to throw it away because those things cost a lot of money and I didn't have anywhere to hide it at home. Anyways, I pull up to the inspection site and open all my doors and front hood. They check your whole vehicle, although they don't check the bag that you're carrying. I know, weird, but I sit in the waiting room, patiently looking around, not thinking anything's wrong.
It takes longer than usual and I start to get worried. Next, they tell me to come out and pull my car over to the side, out of the way of the bus. The red bus pulls off and I'm still confused like, "aren't I supposed to follow them?" That's when I look over and see the glove department open. I think, "Oh shit, I forgot my pipe and grinder were in there! Oh shit, shit, shit!"
I know that's the problem because they left it open and I begin thinking of ways to get out of this. "That's not mine, it's my friend's stuff." "I don't smoke weed, it's for tobacco." I start to panic and wonder if they'll arrest me on the spot.
When someone finally comes back, he says, "We found "shake" and paraphernalia in your glove department." I try and use the excuses before, but the pill bottle I used to carry the "sprinkles" had my name on it. I was devastated and could feel that lump in my throat, like I was about to cry.
He said, "We'll have to search your car again and your bag. Is there anything else your hiding?" My voice was shaky, "I've got some open vodka in my trunk." They found the bottle, but let it slide because apparently, alcoholism isn't as bad as being a stoner.
But I couldn't be mad at anyone, but myself for leaving it in there for so long. They gave me a ticket and banned me from the base for the day, so I couldn't even train if I wanted to. And believe me, I didn't even want to join after that. Looking back on it is kind of funny, but at the time I was pissed. Plus, I had to relay all this to my recruiter, who thought I never smoked before. I guess well see how everything turns out at the court date. To be continued....