Thursday, February 10, 2005

go to the back of the line...

I hate the Hall of Justice. I hate it.
Yesterday, I arrived there at 7:15am, knowing full well that the doors open at 8. However, on the many occasions that I've had the displeasure of conducting business at the HOJ, I found a line at the front door by 7:45. Thus, at 7:15, I was the 3rd person there. And of the 3, I think it's safe to say I was the only one without a criminal record, the only one drinking a chai latte, and the only one reading about Marc Jacobs in Vanity Fair. My other 2 companions seemed to have all of their worldly possessions packed into ancient duffel bags, overflowing with such items as Nerf footballs, women's panties, and an obscene amount of condoms. I'm not kidding. I'm that nosey. I totally looked.
By 7:55, there were 40 people out there on the steps, with several assholes inching their way up to the front door. We weren't really formed into a line, which was pissing me off. We were just a big group of people. But, having made such an effort to get in there first, I was willing to fight these fucking cutters.
At 8am, a huge and filthy security guard opened the doors and had us all file into the foyer, where he stopped us. Still at the front, I eyed the metal detectors to my left, planning my sprint the second this guy was done with his stupid speech.
Mr. "I'm not a real cop so my daily speech is the only thing that makes me feel important" Security Guard went on for 15 minutes. He announced repeatedly that if he's forced to unzip any pocket in anyone's bags, they go to the back of the line. If anyone gives him any "backtalk", they go to the back of the line. Anyone who's carrying any weapons, well, they don't go to jail. They just go to the back of the line.
At this point I thought we were done. Nope.
He then asks who's going to traffic, to which most of us raise our hands. Room 101, then. Yeah, we know. Who's got probation? Room 105. Who's got Jury Duty? Room 307. He goes through 6 floors! Room after room, number after number, department after department. He'd mention the most obscure office, including a place where you can apparently choose to get your mugshot taken for 5 bucks. And the entire time he's going through the complete building directory, I can see from the corner of my eye that people are inching their way closer to those metal detectors, cutting me! As I'm trapped smack dab in front of this Security Nazi, I can't do a thing about it.
Finally, his daily self esteem exercise ends and the entire group makes a mad dash for the metal detectors. Filing into one line, I note that there are 2 metal detectors and dive into the second one, the only person before me being one of my duffel bag compatriots from 7:15am. I was thrilled with my luck until I realize that the Security Guard has to go through the entire duffel bag, removing the Nerf ball, the panties, and about a thousand condoms. The hobo moves on, having opened all of his bag's zippers, giving no backtalk, and possessing no weapons.
It was finally my turn. He didn't even look in my bag. He didn't even care that I had carefully unzipped everything, was respectfully silent, and have never even owned a weapon. He waved me on, and I was free. I kicked a Filipino line cutter out of my way and was second in the traffic room line. How ya like me now? I was out of there by 8:20, unheard of in HOJ circles.
I did get one thing out of my experience, though. The next time Andy and I are looking for a wacky adventure, we'll be dressing up, spending 5 bucks and getting our mugshots taken...