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No. 14, Dec. 8, 1967, p. 4

What a drag it is getting busted

My available cash was nearing rock-bottom as I set out to sell AVATARS that day. I was to forget all about that before it was over.

The cops were quite sure of themselves as they flashed their badges with a finesse they acquire by years of practice and hard work. This failed to impress me very much, so they tried another tack.

"Did you know this was in here?" the first cop said. holding the center spread in front of me with quivering hands. "I've read it, Yes!"

He then told me I was under arrest for selling, and distributing obscene literature. "I didn't think it was obscene," I said without emotion.

WHAM! Vise-grip on my arm jerking me down the street towards the car, careful to give everyone the impression that one of the notorious Offenders of Justice had been apprehended.

I got into the car.

First cop to second cop: "You're not going to let him sit in the back alone, are you?"

Second cop to first cop: "But we can't have it look like he's being chauffered, either."

I offered to sit in front and solve the problem. Blank stares. I ended up sitting in back with the second cop while the first cop drove. He kinda liked being a chauffeur after all. Beats being a traffic cop, kids.

They made quite a show of telling me my rights. I knew then all beforehand, but they were having so much fun. I let them continue.

When we got to the station, a sergeant immediately started going through my pockets. I heard some comments from the other cops to the effect that they would like to strap me on. I declined. Numerous comments about my beautiful hair. I offered each of them a lock of my pubic hair. They declined. I was then taken downstairs to await arraignment. I met a guy who'd also been busted for selling AVATARS. He'd made an effort beforehand to find out if it was legal to do so. Unable to get an answer, he started selling and was arrested.

Those cells are fantastic for improvising sound effects. By carefully regulating my whistling I could produce an effect similar to a bombing raid. This annoyed one of them to the point of coming over and engaging me in conversation. I succeeded in jerking him around until it was time for me to go in front of the judge to have my court date set. Amid Oh's and Ah's as the various court officials looked through the latest issue of AVATAR, I was informed that my court date was December 5.

Back to the cell to await bond. The court clerk I had rattled so convincingly before took it upon himself to call everyone I knew to get me out. When I finally got out I went to see Mr. Oteri, and had my spirits lifted considerably. It was a real drag, except for one cop I talked to who gave me the impression he wouldn't be doing what he was doing, but he had to follow orders. It seems to me I've heard that before.

John Rogers