Gut Rumbles
 

March 16, 2007

I've got bail money

Originally published March 16, 2005

Sam and Stacey want to go go to River Street tomorrow and then attend the parade on Thursday. They've never seen a real, live Savannah St. Patrick's Day show. Hell, they need to do it at least once, so I told them to go ahead, but they'll be doing it without me.

I also told them that if they get arrested, don't call me to bail them out before 9:00 in the morning. As long as they want to extend their learning curves, a night in jail might do them both a world of good. That'll learn 'em, for sure.

I got maced during the parade once. I was standing on the south side of Bay Street, minding my own business, just watching the parade. I had one firm arm around a lamp post to keep from falling down and a green beer in my other hand. I was standing next to a grandmotherly-looking woman with two small children in tow. We were having a good time.

Some kind of ruckus erupted across the street. I couldn't see what was going on because of the parade, but I DID see the paddy wagon pull up and I saw people being tossed inside. Suddenly, beer bottles were flying and breaking everywhere around the cops. People were THROWING SHIT and hooting at the police. Some of that crap was coming from my side of the street.

I wasn't involved, so I wasn't upset at first. People go crazy on St. Paddy's Day in Savannah. Then, I heard somebody yell, "LOOK OUT!!!" I turned to see what I was supposed to look out for and I put my face right into a can of mace.

Some idiot cop ran for about a block spraying mace on everybody on MY side of the street. He got me. He got grandma. He got the two little kids. He got EVERYBODY he could spray. Looking back now, I'm just glad that the bastard didn't have a taser. That Barney Fife fuckhead might have killed somebody.

He hit ME square in my wide-open eyes. I've had some unpleasant experiences in my life, but that one still ranks near the top, well above having my four front teeth knocked out on the football field. In fact, it was worse than breaking my arm.

Have YOU ever been maced? If not, you want to keep it that way.

It blinded me, it stung like a swarm of wasps and it burned like a lit cigarette shoved into both of my eyes. It choked off my breath and made think I WAS GONNA DIE at the age of 22 just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Grandma hit the pavement gasping for breath. The kids were running in circles and screaming while clawing at their eyes. I held onto the lamp post because I didn't know what else to do.

Barney The Gasser kept right on going until his can was empty, that prick. If I've ever seen ANYBODY in this life who really needed to be dragged off and shot, it was him. Fucking Nazi asshole.

Luckily for me, I had a couple of friends nearby and they saw what happened. They dragged me right through the parade to the other side of the street to the fountain with the big, brass lion spitting water from his mouth. I stuck my head in the pond at the lion's feet.

I was okay as long as I kept my head under water and blinked my eyes rapidly. But as soon as I took my face out of the water, the mace kicked in and started burning just like that first blast. I musta spent 30 minutes baptizing myself until I could see again. My eyes weren't right for three days after that episode.

I don't know what happened to grandma and the kids. I don't know what happened to Barney The Gasser. But I know what happened to ME, and I didn't like it.

I have a healthy respect for mace or pepper spray to this day.

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