By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The other two occupants were a blue-eyed, cherubic 17-year-old shoplifter and a brassy older blond woman, also picked up for a speeding warrant. Blue Eyes sat huddled under her blanket, all cried out, while Brassy Blonde talked loudly about her yellow Corvette and called the officers names. She said she'd been here for two days already, despite having paid her $2,400 bond, and still had one more day to go because Euless, the town with the warrant, had a hold on her (which is much like a hold on a library book or DVD rental except, you know, for a person).
At this news my heart started thudding, and I went back to the phone to find out where my potential very-best-friend-in-the-world-because-he-got-me-out-of-the-human-pound was. Despite the fact many people don't have landlines anymore, you can only place expensive collect calls to those who do. Two days before a holiday in a college town I had to find someone who hadn't gone home yet, had a landline and could come up with a lot of cash.
Finally, at 5 a.m. the door swung open. The guard seemed insulted because I rushed from the cell. "It's not that bad," he said. While my friend paid the bond, counting out $838 cash exactly, I pursed my lips, keeping my mouth firmly closed, afraid the guard might put me back in.
Walking out of the jail in the early morning light I was certain of two things: I would always pay my tickets from now on; I would probably still drive too fast.