Yes, I have been absent for awhile. Venus has not aligned with Mars this week and unfortunately, I am reaping the fruits of the destruction. I don't even know what that sentence was supposed to mean. It sounded a lot better in my head.
Anyone care to guess where I was? Anyone? Someone? Bueller?
Take this little quiz:
If I had to think of where CP was on Thursday, May 11th, 2006 that would keep her away from her beloved blog and blog buddies it would have to be that she was:
A) Making a porn movie.
B) Winning NASCAR.
C) Writing the great American novel.
D) In jail.
If you said "A", you are incorrect. If I was making a porn movie, you all would have received copies of it by now. If you said "B", you are wrong again. No NYC-raised Jewish Princess would have a thing to do with NASCAR, 'cept maybe to be gold-diggin' on one of the drivers. If you said "C", well, you are still wrong. Not entirely though. I am still working on that novel, but alas, that is totally NOT what I was doing on Thursday that stole me away from blogging.
The answer, my friends, is "D". Yes, you heard me. CP was in the pokey, the slammer, the big house. More specifically, I was in Land O' Lakes jail in beautiful downtown Pasco County, Florida. Now, what was a nice girl like me doing in jail for a whopping seven hours? Easy. I was playing the role of a felon, only, someone forgot to get me an agent, a script or a paycheck for that matter.
It all began as I was walking out the door for my job at 8:30 am on Thursday morning. I was just kissing the hotband goodbye when I heard "BANG BANG BANG" on my front door. I glance outside my window and see a police officer standing there.
"Hm," I said to the hotband. "Must be fundraising. Get the door, babe. I'll get my checkbook."
Hotband opens the door.
"Is C (insert my real name here) P here, Sir?"
Uh oh. Generally, people who are fundraising don't know my first and last name. This can't be good. Quick assessment. Son in bedroom, sleeping. Daughter at work, safe. Hotband standing right next to me. Okay, so no one died. What the hell is...
"I'm CP, Sir," I said, moving toward the front door. "How can I help you?"
"Ma'am, I am sorry to do this to you this morning, but apparently there is a warrant out for your arrest. You're going to have to come with me."
"Um, 'scuse me?"
"What's the charge?" (Trying to sound all CSI/Law and Order professional)
"States the charge is...unemployment fraud."
Then, I look over at the hotband. I catch a glimpse of him just in time to catch him swallowing hard. Oh no. Oh no no no. NO he di'in't.
FLASHBACK: 3 years ago, I was working for a doctor who let me go from my job without any reason whatsoever. I was never told why I was dismissed, only that I was. Naturally, I applied for unemployment. I received it. Three thousand dollars worth, before I went back to work. Yes, I milked it. So what? I needed the vacation. Heh. Besides, we PAY into unemployment so it is there when you need it. I needed it. End of story.
Or so I thought.
The doctor, being the douchebucket that he was, opted to contest it. He made up a bunch of documents stating that I was reprimanded for all sorts of things that never took place. He had the office manager (who hated me) write an affidavit stating that I was always making long distance phone calls (what?!), that I was always late (HUH?) and then the kicker, that I was stealing office supplies. THAT was the biggest crock of horse puckey of all of the allegations. However, I had no way to prove my innocence, so he won the appeal for the unemployment. Therefore, I was now responsible for paying back the $3,200.00 that I collected while on unemployment.
(This is called karma backfiring in your face. It smells bad. Don't let it happen to you. Never milk the system. Bad judgment call on my part.)
Anyway, hotband called up the Florida Dept of Unemployment and we made payment arrangements for the money to be paid back. $200 per month for however long it took to pay it off at that rate.
Two years later, I lost another job, this time due to illness. I was in the hospital with pneumonia and the new place I had just started at had to let me go. I completely understood. They have a business to run. I can't be hocking a lung and green goo all over their patients. So, I was back on unemployment once more. However, since I had an outstanding balance with them, I was not collecting the money, but rather, they kept the money I should have been getting and applied it towards the debt. Sweet! Completely fine with that. After six weeks, I started working again. We called and requested an invoice to be sent to us with the NEW amount owed, as we weren't sure how much our balance was, since they were applying my unemployment toward the debt.
"Will you take care of that for me, babe," I asked the hotband.
"Absolutely, honey. Don't worry. I'll take care of everything."
Those words will now haunt him forever more.
"Unemployment fraud," I said to the officer at my door. "That's not possible! We have been making payments! Everything was taken care of. My husband told me that he took care of everything!"
I turn to the hotband. He appears to have gotten shorter. Could be because he is trying to slip his head inside of his own body, like a turtle. He looked like he was praying for the ground to open up and swallow him.
"You DID take care of this, right, Babe?"
"Well, yeah honey. I thought I did," he replied.
"What do you mean you THOUGHT you did, Sweet-HEART?"
"I called the woman back in December and told her to send the new invoice."
"And, she never called me back."
"So I called her again after we came home from the Bahamas."
"She never called me back."
"Well. Um. That's it. She never called me back."
"Honey," I said, trying desperately to be patient and not commit a homocide with a police officer standing at my door. "You told me you took care of it. What precisely did that mean?"
"I called her. I asked for the invoice. I never got it. I called her back. I just got it two weeks ago, finally!"
"And did you PAY it, Darling?"
"No. We just got it!"
Out of the corner of my eye, I see the police officer wince. He must be a married man. He knows where this is going. He knows my husband is sinking...fast. Policeman is grateful he is only there doing his job...and that he is armed with a stungun and handgun.
"Sooooooooo, when you said you 'took care of it', you meant...what?"
"That I made the phonecalls and um, I um, got the new invoice and..."
"You forgot to pay it."
"Alrighty then," I say to the officer. "I guess you have to take me to jail then, huh?"
"Yes Ma'am. But, if it makes you feel better, I see this happen all the time. It's usually due to a clerical error. Someone just didn't post a payment or something, or realize that you have been making payments all along."
The three of us just stand there looking at one another. I contemplate pulling a move out of "Alias" or "The Fugitive" and dashing across the backyard, hopping a few fences then, boarding a plane to freedom. Reality kicks in. I just got done with knee surgery. I'm not "dashing" anywhere. I'm too old and fat to hop fences and apparently, any money I was going to use to board the plane to freedom was now going to become BAIL.
"Okay, then...er, Officer Henderson," I say, looking at his badge, "let's go to jail then!"
Stay tuned for Part 2: What's a Nice Jewish Princess Like Me Doing In a Jail Like This?