I live in Los Angeles. This is a town where you can be a drag queen with a pet rhinoceros and not get looked at strangely. Skateboarding was invented here, skateboarding is respected here; by everyone except the infamous LAPD. When I was a kid skateboarding in Texas, getting weird looks from middle-classmen and harassment from police was just part of the territory. When I moved to California, I realized skateboarding was viewed in a different light here. I actually got laid for being a skateboarder. Though for some reason having a skateboard under your feet, to the police, signifies a strong drug addiction and a general "must be doing something wrong" appearance. I accepted this when I was younger, I took the harassment (kind of), paid their stupid tickets (probably a grand total of a couple of thousand dollars) and went on my merry way home to eat a vegetarian meal. In their eyes I was probably going back to my meth lab to cook drugs and throw crack at my hostages. The fact that I was making money by skateboarding and paying taxes is interesting. My tax dollars went straight to the state government, which pays the police officers salary. So, essentially, I was working to pay him, while he was harassing me. We were on my dollar while he accused me of selling box cutters on the black market, or whatever. So, now that we are caught up...
Today I was working in my office one block west of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Around two o'clock I got hungry and decided I would skate to a cafe to get a sandwich. Granted, there are signs posted on third street that read: NO SKATEBOARDS. But, come on, it is late afternoon on a weekday when the foot-traffic is low. So on my way to get a low fat lunch, Tuna Sandwich on wheat bread and a salad, I was stopped and heavily condescended by a cop. If he would have just said, "You can't skate here", I would have happily obliged his request. Instead he comes at me with his bitter attitude and assumes I am some high school kid on a skateboard who he can frighten and talk shit to. Then he asks me if I have any drugs; this is what set it off. My reply (paraphrased and embellished for entertainments sake):
I am 30-year-old architect with an office right around the corner. I study art history and eat lowfat lunches to reduce my cholesterol for fucks sake. I read Russian Existentialist Literature. I speak three fucking languages. So, no, thank you, I don't have any fucking drugs.
Then I said:
-Tu Parli Italiano? -(No response) -Va bene. Dovete essere molto infelici che dovete harass la gente che e giusta avendo divertimento. Voi poliziotto stupid di scopata. Sono migliore di voi ed io sarete sempre. E molto molto triste la vita che avete.
Translated Roughly: -Do You Speak Italian? -(Nessuna risposta) -Good then. You are an idiot.
I end with these words of wisdom: Fuck tha police comin' straight from the underground. A young cracker got it bad cause i'm brown.