What's Spanish for "get out of jail free?"

I’ve always had a bit of a rebel/subversive streak to me. Often when I hear about a law or policy that I find especially stupid or annoying, ways to highlight the idiocy spring to mind.

For example, a few years ago Manchester, NH was considering mandatory drug tests for all high school athletes. I thought that violated the principle of search and seizure without probable cause, so I called into a local talk show and asked what might happen were I to collect a list of substances known to give false positive results to such drug tests and give that list to as many athletes as I could.

That happened again recently, when I heard about the government’s “OTM” policy regarding illegal aliens. In short, those from Mexico were immediately deported. Those from countries Other Than Mexico would require more efforts to deport than a bus ticket, so they were being released with a citation for most minor violations.

That got me to thinking, and I think I have a plan for the next time I feel like doing something of questionable legality. I think it might play out something like this:

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“Excuse me, sir. Would you mind putting down that pigeon and coming over here?”

“What seems to be the problem, Officer?”

“We have laws against doing that sort of thing to birds around here. Could I see some identification?”

“I don’t have any on me.”

“So, what’s your name?”

“Juan Valdez.”

“‘Juan Valdez,’ huh? And where are you from?”

“Bogota, Columbia. And I don’t have any identification — I’m in this country illegally.”

“So, you’re from Columbia? Habla Espanol?”

“No, I’m from a very exclusive neighborhood in Bogota — we only spoke English.”

(Looking at my incredibly Anglo appearance) “You don’t speak Spanish, and you certainly don’t look Spanish…”

“Officer, I sincerely hope you aren’t engaging in racial profiling.”

“I get the feeling I ought to run you in.”

“Why bother? My fingerprints aren’t on file anywhere.” (And they’re not — I’ve lived a clean life, at least as far as law enforcement is concerned.) “And you know that if you call Immigration, they’ll just tell you to kick me loose with a ticket.”

At that point, the officer will either issue a ticket to “Juan Valdez” and send me on my way, or not even bother with the ticket.

I think it oughta work. It certainly is a lot cheaper than trying to hire Johnnie Cochran — especially since he’s now facing the Final Court Of Appeals.

Corporal pun-ishment
Funny numbers


  1. bullwinkle May 5, 2005
  2. bullwinkle May 5, 2005
  3. Paul May 5, 2005
  4. Darleen May 5, 2005
  5. Andrew May 5, 2005
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  7. John Burgess May 5, 2005
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  12. Tom Hanna May 5, 2005
  13. Henry May 5, 2005
  14. McGehee May 6, 2005