My closest encounter with police occurred when I was 15 years old. My best friend and I were spending the night at my older, married sister's house because my dad and stepmom wouldn't let me have overnight company at our home.
Being the generous, with-it sister she was, Karen gave Janet and me each one cigarette and one beer to share. "Just don't leave the house," she said, before she went to bed. Of course, we consumed the beer and choked on the cigarettes, then sometime after midnight sneaked out of the house. We walked two or three miles across town to an all-night convenience store near my house to purchase toilet paper.
A boy from school that I had a crush on lived a couple of blocks from the store. I was irritated with him for some reason now lost to me, and wanted to get his attention--anonymously. We created a spectacular display of TP art in his front yard, before we started the trek back to Karen's house. About halfway there, a police car turned the corner onto the block we were walking on. At first we froze, unsure what to do. Then they flashed their lights and Janet took off, running across an open field nearby. I tried to follow suit, but I was too stunned to move very quickly, and I didn't get far. Janet soon tripped and fell in the dark, scratched up and wet from the dewy grass.
We were whisked into the squad car and questioned by the two officers until we admitted we'd been out to "roll" someone's house. The officers said they'd been on the way to investigate a report of a robbery in the area and wanted us to direct them to the house we'd just decorated to confirm our story. It was at least a mile or more away. "You girls came a long way," one of them remarked with a whistle. When we got there, one of the officers said, "Wow! That's a great job. But you'll have to call the boy in the morning and tell him how his house got rolled. Then you need to clean it up."
When we pulled back up in Karen's driveway around 3:00 am and Karen had been roused from bed to let us in the house, she pursed her lips, thanked the officers, and ordered us to bed. She never mentioned this incident again.
When I called A.J. the next day to take credit for our artistry, I offered to clean up the mess. "Oh, my dad made me clean it up already," he said. I don't remember if our late-night escapade had the intended effect on A.J., but I'll never forget my brush with the law.