This story is true. Names have been changed to protect the terminally stupid.
So I'm working swings one fine evening, perusing the streets for drunks at just south of 2 AM. I espied an intrepid motorist turn west and head up an eastbound only street. Being a fine example of police officerhood and having extraordinary powers of observation I recognized that this was unusual behavior and that it possibly required further investigation. Cutting down a parallel street I came out behind our antagonist and hit the overhead lights.
Yep, he ran. Shocking I know.
Now this street is arrow straight but ends in a T intersection. Beyond the T is a small parking lot and the shores of Lake El Estero (Literally 'Lake of Questionable Decision Making'). Mister Brilliant Motorist (aka Driver De Intoxicanto or DDI in Six parlance) speeds up and tries to flee my awesomely powerful police cruiser (complete with a speed of light Motorola) in his somewhat ratty Toyota 'Youhavegottobekiddingme' mini pickup powered by what I later learned was an elderly squirrel with a bad cough. Well, not exactly his pickup but more on that later.
Over the course of several blocks DDI manages to coax the plywood, chewing gum and blind faith constructed alleged pickup to as fast as 12 and a half miles per hour in his Bergermeister Beer (Official Motto: Horse Piss Free Since Last Week. We Swear) fueled attempt at vehicular freedom. Problem is traveling at the speed of ooze seemed to have been way too high for him to convince the rubber bands serving as the steering system on the conveyance to turn either left or right. At one point I saw him put his feet on the ground through the floorboard, looking for all the world like a drunken Fred Flintstone, in an attempt at some sort of braking maneuver but, alas, it was to no avail. Across the parking lot he went, leaving a trail of smoking tennis shoe rubber and desperation behind him before going off the bank and into the aforementioned lake.
Have I mentioned that it was a somewhat cool night? Well, it was. Not Global Warming cold but definitely on the chilly side. Plus, the water in that lake has never seen the sunny side of 50 degrees in it's entire existence being taken as it is directly from the frigid waters of the adjacent Monterey Bay (Official Motto: Happily Disappearing Swimmers Testicles Since 1764).
I pulled in behind DDIs launch point, got out and sauntered over (I stopped moseying after the Great Motorcycle Squid Slime Debacle of 1997). I managed to fish out the squirrel with a stick. I didn't detain him as I heard him muttering under his breath something about jamming 'the whole bag of peanuts' up someone's ass. I tended to infer that meant that he was unaware of the actions of his pilot and was just an innocent bystander in the whole sordid affair. Plus it sounded quite painful and I was hoping I'd get to watch.
So. You'd think that by this point our miscreant would have had the time to orient himself and doggie paddle back to shore. Or wade. I mean the depth of that lake is measured in inches, not feet. But no. He was doing his best impression of an Olympic swimmer who has never actually seen water before and has an IQ of 20 and a BA of 2.0.
Me: "So. You gonna come out?"
Me: "You're gonna freeze to death in there and the chances of me going in after you are about that same as you enjoying what that squirrel is going to do to you later."
Me: "Ok then."
DDI then attempted to swim away, toward the far side of the lake. And by swim I mean a kind of drunken, retarded flailing about that involved much splashing if not any actual movement through the water. Think angry 3 legged cat in a muddy bathtub full of really cold water. At some point, through his Mad Dog 20/20 obscured vision, he must have noticed the other officers positioned strategically about the periphery of the lake. Finally, after about 5 minutes of denial and synchronized hypothermia, he gave up. He stood, stumbled to the bank and flopped out gasping and shivering. He was, of course, naked. To this day I have no earthly idea where his clothes went. If my experience is any indicator there's some kind of alien clothing transporter powered by cheap booze and activated by the screaming death of brain cells. If I live to be a thousand I will never understand the public nudity proclivities of the severely inebriated. I cuffed him, cast a wary eye out for a squirrel with a paper bag and wrapped him in the yellow emergency blanket from my trunk. The one that oilynakedguyrunningdownthestreet gave me back after I dropped him off at home a few nights previously. Yeah, that blanket. Seemed only fitting somehow. Passing it on to the next drunken nudist in line as it were.
The pickup was removed by a tow truck and as the cardboard that made up the bulk of the thing seemed to have melted off in the frigid waters it was pretty much a total write off.
As I was introducing DDI to the rear seat of my car, and explaining how his troubles were in fact just beginning, I couldn't help myself. I had to ask him why. He wouldn't respond but he did drop me one nugget of interesting information. It seems DDI was a soldier stationed at the Defense Language Institute and he had 'borrowed' his roommates car for a night of merry making, revelry and unscheduled skinny dipping. His roommate who was also a soldier. A soldier who had just completed his language training in Urdu and was currently at the Army's Marksmanship Training Unit undergoing....wait for it....
"He's gonna kill me" seemed to be the predominant sentiment. I could only agree.
I advised him to plead immediately, go AWOL, change his name and appearance and take up regular and heavy prayer. I never got subpoenaed for a trial so I gotta assume he took my advice. Either that or his roommate caught up to him. Or the squirrel.
I'd have chosen the roommate. That squirrel was pissed!