Saturday, September 5, 2009
Guess What’s Illegal!
You’ll never guess what’s illegal in Dallas these days…
I went to see my friends Mary and Samuel at the home they call their ‘cardboard condo’ under a freeway overpass yesterday. When I pulled up at the bottom of the hill near their camp, driving a car that is not my own, Mary didn’t know who was there. Later she told me: “Samuel asked me who was in that car, and I said ‘I don’t know — some white woman,’ until I could see it was you.” Since Mary’s a ‘white woman’, too, we had a giggle about it, as we do about many things.
“You’re never going to believe what happened today!” she said as she climbed into the car’s passenger seat and began to soak up the solace of the air conditioning. “We got a ticket — they’d been leaving us alone for a couple of weeks, so this was the first time lately — and guess what they wrote on the citation.”
“Littering? Sleeping in Public? Obstructing the Place-Where-Nobody-Comes-Anyway?”
“No, get ready. The ticket reads ‘old furniture, blankets, clothing and cups’.”
For some reason, this cracked both of us up. Gallows humor? Might as well laugh so ya’ don’t cry? “Oh, man, seriously?” I asked, pulling out pad and pen, “I gotta’ write this down.”
“I know,” Mary said, “Can you believe it? And there was only one cup — the one in my hand that I was drinking out of.” We just sat there shaking our heads in amazement and looking at each other.
“Samuel said he’d just go ahead and serve a day in jail for it to get ‘time served,’ except then he’d have to miss work,” she said.
“Who issued the ticket?” I asked. “The Marshalls? The Dallas Police? Were they polite?”
“DPD — the same two guys who always come, usually twice a week. Yes, they’re polite. No conversation, but nice. I started to tell them, ‘Hey, you missed a couple of cans. Shouldn’t you put ‘cans’ on there, too? But I thought I’d better not say anything.”
“So ‘Old furniture, blankets, clothing and cup[s] are against the law now?” I asked her.
“I guess so. First thing I said to Samuel, ‘I gotta’ tell Karen. She’s never going to believe this one.’”