There is an oft repeated old story about President Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI. It seems that Hoover liked to keep files of private and scintillating gossip about celebrities: which politician was sleeping with movie stars, who was gay, and which senators had drinking problems. These secret files were occasionally sent over to the White House for the amusement of the president-a little private bedside reading about private bedsides.
Suddenly, I discover that pretty much the same activity occurs here at Enema U. The campus chief of police evidently sends copies of police reports over to one of the administrators in the Office Of Moose and Squirrel. Unfortunately, the police reports are not written in simple words with a large red crayon, so they must be a little tough to read-pictures would probably help.
So, it was a little surprising Thursday, when I arrived at work, and was immediately questioned about my recent arrest for the possession of an illicit substance so rare that it can only be found on the grounds of every school yard in America (and damn near everywhere else). This was especially surprising since I hadn’t been arrested. At the time of my supposed arrest, I think I was actually in class.
Hell, it’s embarrassing to admit this, but I’m so square that my wife, the Doc, laughs at me. Other than an occasional dose of medicinal grain alcohol, I don’t even take things as mild as aspirin. The last time I tried a funny cigarette, I still carried a draft card and Nixon was president. As soon as I figured out that Scotch was both cheaper and legal, I never looked back.
It seems that the Assistant Chief Rodent at the Office of Moose and Squirrel had trouble with the big words while reading her copy of the police report and missed several small details. She had the wrong name, the wrong department, the wrong building, and somehow inflated a citation for a petty misdemeanor into an arrest for possession. Maybe I should be grateful that the story didn’t circulate that I had resisted arrest with an Uzi. Someone should see what is the drug of choice inside the administration building.
Armed with this interesting (though completely inaccurate) information the Assistant Chief Rodent apparently made several phone calls. First, she called my dean, informing her of my supposed incarceration. Then, the High Holy Inquisitor in the Office of Inhuman Resources was notified and a highly confidential meeting was scheduled. Evidently, I was about to be put on double secret probation and have dog poop thrown on my shoes. Or something equivalent-I’m not sure, since I was not invited to the meeting and its very existence was kept so secret that, within an hour of its scheduling, only two people called and told me about it. Within 24 hours, students were asking me about this secret and private affair.
Luckily, my dean is not one of the administration’s flying squirrels and simply didn’t believe any of this nonsense. Nor did she believe that the university should begin a trial only after the hangman’s rope was being taken down from the scaffold. And, most likely, she didn’t think that a meeting about me could last a whole hour unless I was invited to come and talk about myself. I am forced to admit that the dean is a class act.
It is an interesting dichotomy that this university is both a bastion of liberal thought, diversity and individual expression, and yet still capable of holding a kangaroo court over the possession of a trivial amount of marijuana. Maybe I should check my wallet for my old draft card. Is Nixon still president?
The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. People who had done nothing wrong came to my office and apologized profusely for the idiocies committed by the people who did commit them, but would not apologize. Another, and somewhat smaller group, stopped by and wanted to know if I would sell them a dime bag. I’m going to start selling small bags of oregano as soon as I can figure out the going rate.