So the last time I drank Four Loko in New York it resulted in a drunken lurch through the Lower East side, culminating in an emotional breakdown in Katz Deli. This time, the cops got involved.
It’s only fair to Four Loko in all its wondrous, innocent trashiness that we lay the blame elsewhere. Four Loko does not suffer fools, but it makes them. In deference to the malty beverage, while it was illegal for us to drink a can in a Chinatown parkette, this was not the cause of our dalliance with The Law. Yet again, I’m not gonna say that Four Loko made us do it, but The Butterfly Effect being what it is, things may have transpired differently if that sweet malty mistress with the brutal aftertaste didn’t line our bellies.
In all honesty, it wasn’t a big deal. We got caught brown bagging singles we bought from a bodega on our way home. The Mrs had a blood orange flavoured beer, while I opted for a scrumptious trappist style belgian dark ale. We were strolling along, having taken a sip or two when my lady turned to me. “Kiss me, now.” She commanded. Not one to be irked by forward women, I complied. “We’re being followed by a cop car.” She whispered. “Hide your drink.” She’d done it. Unbeknownst to her, the turn and kiss me to avoid police trope was one more thing to tick off my bucket list. She’s one dynamite gal.
Unfortunately these cops had seen that movie too. We tried turning down a side street, but they followed. One of the officers called out. “Hey, would you mind stepping over to the car please?” I complied and they asked me about what I had in the bag. “You know it’s illegal to drink alcohol in public, right?” I sighed and did the line “oh, we’re just visiting from out of town. We were on our way back to the house and thought it’d be nice to sip a beer on the walk.” He sighed back and asked us to step back to the wall while he and his partner chatted. They asked for our IDs and tried to decipher our foreign IDs. Knowing I was guilty and that there were rules about these kind of things, I just took it on the chin and politely cooperated. Unbeknownst to me, my girlfriend was seeing if she could summon tears to try and get them to look the other way. Clever girl.
They gave us back our bottles. “Look, it kind of sucks that you got caught, but the least we can do is let you finish your beers.” They started chatting, asking about Toronto and why I’d leave New Zealand to land in a frozen wilderness. They finished writing the tickets and gave us the spiel. “Okay, so it’s a $25 fine to be caught drinking in public. If you’re not planning on coming back to New York any time soon, to be honest I don’t know if you need to worry about it. Your court date will come up and you’ll be deemed as out of the jurisdiction. You’ll get a strike against you for missing court, which means that if you’re caught doing criminal activity again, you might spend a night in jail. It’s your call. They wished us well for the rest of our vacation and went on their way.
The guy was right, it kind of sucks that we were unlucky enough to have been caught. Really though, it’s rare that we hear about cops being reasonable and friendly. It never felt like we were being talked down to, there was no show of force or throwing their weight around. No unnecessary intimidation, it was just two guys doing their job. I understand why the laws are there and even though we probably weren’t gonna be causing any problems, it’s not the worst thing that could’ve happened on our trip.
Especially because they never caught us the other two times.