Friday, February 04, 2005


Nothing can conjure up an image of the woman who brought me into the world, nurtured me, and gave me unconditional love than the memory of when she was arrested for walking our two dogs.

Ha! You thought this was going to be a sweet & sappy post about my mom, didn't you? The problem with that is the fact she's not sweet and sappy, but real and vibrant and always keeping me on my toes with her antics.

The incident happened when I was fifteen. My mom, who works for a large dairy company, got ready to take Taco and Chip for a walk around the neighborhood as I got ready for work at the Chinese restaurant.

Two hours later, while I was seating customers and bussing tables, the phone rings. I answer it, ready to take someone's order for pick-up. "Chinese restaurant, this is Beth. How can I help you?"


I stood there, holding the phone, stunned. People do not normally call up restaurants and just start crying. I am also fifteen and have no idea what to do. Then I realize the crying voice, the voice that is mumbling and cursing, is vaguely familiar.


"Beth, hic, they were so, sob, mean to me!"

"What happened?"

"I'm, bawl, I'm coming over there. I want, whimper, a beer."

"Okay, I'll see you in five minutes then."

Four and a half minutes later, I can see my mom walking up to the door (we lived down the block from the restaurant). She comes in and I sat her down at a table. She was still a smoker at this time and I sat her in the smoking room, where she proceeded to light up, one after another. The waitress brought her a beer and we listened to her story.

Mom had taken Taco and Chip out for their nightly walk. This walk covered about two miles, but it was confined within the neighborhood. She would walk them up and down the residential streets near our house. It was a routine. The ropes were always attached to her, but Taco and Chip each got about 12 feet of freedom.

My mom always prepared herself for waste removal. She had a baggie and paper towels with her, always making sure that Taco and Chip did not leave a mark on anyone's yard.

The trio had just turned the corner to walk up by the baseball fields near the high school when the Fridley patrol car pulled over and insisted my mom, Taco, and Chip all get into the back seat of his squad car.

My mom had not been trespassing and she was not doing anything illegal. She was just walking the dogs on a beautiful summer evening.

Prior to this incident, my mom had her own personal war against the Fridley police. It is common for me to hear her refer to them as ex-Marine wannabes. Some day I'll tell the story of her standing in the front yard, screaming at the top of her lungs about killing people, right in front of the Fridley cop.

Knowing that Mom does not like the Fridley police force, the thought of one of them forcing her into a squad car with our dogs does not create a pretty scene.

Since she had been walking from our house and then back to our house with no stops (other than to pick up after Taco and Chip), she did not bring any identification or money. The policeman had her get into the back where Chip managed to get between the back of the cop's seat and my mom's legs. There is no such thing as leg room in the back of a cop car. (On a side note, my car broke down one night and a cop gave me a lift to the nearest gas station. I had that one and only opportunity to see what my mom was talking about and she's right, there is NO leg room.)

Chip was crying because of the trauma. Taco was running back and forth, pretending he was a German Shepard. The three of them were brought to a gas station a block from our house.

As it turns out, the local gas station had been defrauded by a woman about an hour before. The clerk could not remember what the woman looked like, so he looked out the window and gave the police my mother's description.

He actually told the police that a woman in a cow-print shirt with two small dogs had robbed his store. (Much later, while reviewing the video tape, a woman (with long, dark hair) was scene in the store. She was wearing a solid print shirt and did not have two dogs with her.)

The dollar amount of fraud causing this trauma? $14. The woman who had scammed the store had returned a camera (disposable) that they didn't sell and the clerk gave her $14. Then she got into her CAR and drove away.

When the cop had my mom and the clerk together, he said, "Is this the heavy-set middle-aged woman you were talking about?"

The clerk actually had the gaul to say, "You know, I'm not sure. She could be."

My mom about clawed the cop's eyes out for calling her middle-aged and if she had had a knife, she may have cut him up for the heavy-set comment.

No one in my family has set foot in that establishment since the incident. We actually used to fuel up three cars there once a week and my mom bought cigarettes there all the time. When we needed a gallon of milk and didn't want to run to the grocery store, that was the convenience shop we frequented. That was over.

What also transpired from that night was the fact my mom now flips off every single Fridley cop she sees. She calls them stupid and I do have to admit, they did not do a good job of getting to the bottom of the story. What happened was harassment and the clerk was never even scolded for it.

This is a story of my mother. It's just one of many.


At 7:15 AM, Weary Hag thought...


You're story brought back so many memories to me! It sounds like your mother and I would get along quite fine... I had a rather similar incident happen to me long, long ago, and to a more serious degree. Mistaken identity at its finest. I read your story today and thought to myself (in my best New York accent) "Tch... nasty coppiz" Thanks for sharing this one... it's a goodie! I'd love to read more about your mom... she sounds like a riot!


At 12:15 PM, CarpeDM thought...

Oh, my God. I don't blame you for never going back to that store. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

"Hey, I wasn't paying attention to what was going on so I thought I would get some random person arrested. But that's okay, right?"


Now I know your mom hates the police but, if the clerk gave him the description of your mom, he really has no other option than to follow through with it. Even the description of her as a middle-aged, heavy-set woman sounds like it came from the clerk. But I would say the cop should have been a lot more tactful and maybe asked her a few questions before just shoving her into the cop car. So he gets to be called a jackass as well. Jackass.

At 6:04 PM, Matt thought...

As I mostly do, and it scares me to admit this, I agree with Dana. (Please read the sarcasm in that last writte, or actually typed line, because Dana-you are wonderful) The cop and the clerk are collectively jackasses. It is amazing when you look back on your life how many family memebers actually make up the Jackasses, because I have met quite a lot of them. I feel so bad for your mother, and I also do not blame your family for boycotting the store, it must be run by the Father of the Jackasses. I remeber some stories of working in a store and the moments of stupidity that are called The Local Authorities, I should share some of them. I liked this post, especially the fact that "the voice that was mumbling and cursing" made you realize that it was your mother, that was classic. I will talk to you soon

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