Behind the bars of Aspen
I got arrested the other day.I always knew the day would eventually come. I’ve been anticipating it for years. I could always picture it: me on the side of the road somewhere getting handcuffed, the lights flashing, the gun belt of some bulky cop with aviator shades and attitude. The Tough Cop is definitely in the top 10 on my fantasy list – ranked somewhere between Hot Sweaty Construction Guy and More Than Massage Therapist. But I have to say the whole criminal thing has always riled me up a little bit. There is just nothing a sheltered girl from Connecticut loves more than the idea of dipping her little toe in darker waters.God knows I’ve come close on more than a few occasions. Like the time that judge in Denver got super mad at me for missing my court date and showing up two months later. Just don’t ever start an explanation with the words “I live in Aspen” and expect to get any sympathy whatsoever. All of a sudden Grumpy Judge Man grew to be like 40 feet tall, staring down at me with that giant hammer thing. He started yelling and screaming and threatening to throw me in jail that very second to teach me a thing or two about taking my court date more seriously the next time. Ooops, I did it again. But it was so not my fault, and honestly I feel like everyone made a big deal out of nothing. It’s not like I threw rocks at someone’s head or robbed a bank. I got busted speeding, not doing speed.The cop was the dishonest one, hiding right where the speed limit drops from 55 to 45. I’d been cruising for about 100 miles, totally in the zone, and they expect me to be paying attention to every little sign I see? I told the guy I’d be happy to take care of it right there on the side of the road, but he wasn’t having it (definitely gay). I guess when you go more than 30 miles over the speed limit or whatever, you have to go to court.Anyhoo, I forgot all about the court date. So I called the court and they acted like I was a criminal or something. “There is a warrant out for your arrest. You need to turn yourself in to the local authorities and pay a bond.”Hello, don’t you know who I am? I guess now that Martha Stewart got cuffed and stuffed, any old blond girl from Connecticut is now fair game. Next thing you know everyone in the Hamptons is going to be wearing one of those house arrest bracelet things.So I’m going through this phase where I’m trying to be all good and clean up all these little messes in my life and do stuff like pay taxes and remember to feed the dog and come to a full stop at stop signs instead of doing a “rolling stop in second gear” the way my dad taught me. So yesterday, I went down to the police station and turned myself in. I thought I’d be able to just go up to the front counter and pay them or whatever, but they sent me two doors down to the jail.”Jail?” I gulped.I had to talk to the lady behind the bulletproof glass thing with one of those phones, just like they have in the movies. She buzzed me in through two doors, and that’s when the ol’ heart rate started to go up. Let’s just say the color orange is not at all flattering on me and manual labor has never been my thing. I also get claustrophobic very easily and might panic Psycho Paws style if they put me in a cage. Now that I think about it that way, I can sort of understand where PP is coming from. I always said what he lacks in sanity he more than makes up for in intelligence. It’s true that crazy people usually have high IQs, so maybe it’s the same way for dogs. You should see the way he looks at me sometimes – like I’m the crazy one.They did mug shots and fingerprints of every single finger on both hands and asked me a million questions, like did I do drugs or see a shrink. It was all very “Sopranos.” For a second I felt Italian instead of Jewish – tough and cool instead of neurotic and wimpy.I have to say the Aspen jail is a lot nicer than my condo in the ABC. It’s got these big windows and awesome views of Red Mountain. All the inmates were sitting around playing cards and smiling like they were at a tea party. There’s a clock on the wall without minute or second hands that says “Doing Time” on it.”Do they sit around and play cards all day?” I asked Jail Lady One.”No, sometimes they watch TV or read. It’s great, though, because they really get to know each other and become friends.”For just a second I thought maybe jail wouldn’t be so bad – it sort of sounds like camp. Anyhoo, I paid them the money for the bond and that was it. There were no handcuffs involved, no frisking or cavity searches. The Jail Ladies were so nice and upbeat, cracking jokes and giggling and being super friendly. They told me I’d need permission to leave the state and that I’d better not miss the court date again. I even got an Aspen Police refrigerator magnet – it’s a police car and very cute. I love it.They buzzed me back out through the big heavy doors and I was back out on the streets, just like that. I vowed to be a good girl so I would never have to see the inside of that jail again – lest it be in one of my fantasies.The Princess and her dog both have a criminal record. E-mail any free legal advice to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Aspen City Council’s recent actions are proof that you get what you pay for, argues Elizabeth Milias in her Red Ant column this week.