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A Typical Night in the Tank

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Night after night of binge drinking, raucous debauchery, and reckless behavior define the majority of evenings well spent. We live this short period of our lives without a care in the world, doing literally whatever the fuck we want. But somewhere out in a county near you hosts a cell waiting as a terrible reminder that, contrary to popular belief, there actually are consequences to our actions. If you’ve never spent a night in jail, then count yourself lucky, and get ready – your turn is coming. The following list is a basic run through of a fraternity man’s typical drunken arrest, loosely based on my first arrest a few months ago.

The Action

After two hours of pounding $.25 wells and $.75 longnecks, I rode with some friends to go see a Josh Abbott concert. Apparently, and this is according to everyone else, I was ‘inebriated,’ and the bouncer noticed. Refusing me entry due to my state of drunkenness, I took out my dip and threw it at his face. Long story short, I got my ass kicked by three bouncers and a midget (there seriously was a midget involved).

This is a classic example of acting before you think, and since by this time my ability to think was shot to hell, it was basically just acting. When you reach this level of drunk, rationality becomes merely a suggestion. The infamous action that will no doubt be retold and grossly exaggerated for years to come is an epic, and hopefully hilarious tale. It will usually happen when you start having those ‘great idea’ moments during alcoholic-infused superhuman feelings of superiority to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. When you reach a point of intoxication where you literally hold the finger to the sky and tell the Laws of Nature to go fuck themselves, a pair of handcuffs isn’t far away.

The Arrest

After your heinous act of crime is committed, one of two things happens. You either get away scot free, or you eat a mouth full of concrete curb as your wrists are forced into a pair of cold steely cuffs. This is the most interesting part to witness as an observer. When the arrest is actually made, you turn into a goddamn lawyer. It doesn’t matter how much law you actually know, when Officer Scrotum Fucker is leading you away, you let him know that you all but wrote the Bar Exam. The drunken fraternity man will recite all kinds of bullshit laws, and after a long-winded rant on your God-given American rights blended with curses, slurs, and a butchering of the 10 Amendments that would make Casey Anthony proud, the fraternity man will most likely accept the fact that he is heading (unrightfully) to jail.

The Booking

Unfortunately, there are only so many ways that the Bill of Rights can be reanimated with a splash of your hammered intellect, which leads to the drunken fraternity man to his next best weapon: being a smartass. Where seconds ago the strategy was simply trying to legally maneuver yourself out of a piss drenched jail cell and a hefty fine, has now turned into a personal mind game. The goal now is to infuriate the officer through witty banter. There are several tactics in which this will be done.

Obnoxious and overtly obscene jokes will be told with added unfiltered gusto. The point is to nettle and prick the officer to draw out an episode through annoyance and shock. Examples:

“You want to hear a joke?”
“How many babies does it take to paint a wall?”
“Depends on how hard you throw them.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you?”

If you have a good-natured cop who plays along, you can always hit him with the classic, “I have an awesome knock-knock joke, but you have to start it.” Works like a charm.

Secondly, you will most likely proceed to ask inappropriately personal questions, possibly about his bangin’ wife, until you reach the station for booking. The smart ass mentality is maintained throughout the whole process – seeing how far you can wander off from your arresting officer, asking him, “You queer, boy?” when he frisks you down, etc. After you argue the details of your arrest report for a good five minutes, your mug shot will be taken as you sport the smuggest, outlandishly huge smile, your way of letting this flawed justice system know that it can go eat a dick.

The Tank

Joke time is over. Once in detox, there is literally nothing more you can do to get yourself out of the current situation, so things start to get serious. An all out assault on the male egos of your drunken cell mates commences as you assert dominance like a general on the battlefield. Your troops may not be up to snuff, and they may be passed out illegals in the corner, but dammit they’re all you have right now, and it’s time to whip their asses into shape. Arrest stories start to swap, and all of the sudden your PI has mysteriously become a heroic tale of you smashing in the heads of four cops who tried to rape you. Whatever the worst arrest story in the tank is, you will top it, and usually with such bravado that you’ll leave everyone in awe. Usually these bullshit stories wouldn’t work, but everyone else is as plastered as you are.

Unfortunately, this battlefield glory doesn’t last long. After a couple hours of ringing the emergency button to flirt with the female desk workers through the intercom, pissing anywhere but the Hep-C infested toilet, and staring down the cops outside with your new comrades, you start to come out of your booze driven shitshow. This is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced while drinking, because not only are you now conscious for a viscous hangover, but you’re in a disgusting cell with fucking lowlifes who are probably eyeing your ass like you’re a ten year old in the Penn State showers. As the night’s events unfold in a haze, you either groan in embarrassment or laugh to yourself about your debacles. All you can do now is wait for that God-send of a phone call, and pray one of your brothers is still conscious enough to bail you out.

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