So there we were: Roman, Mark, Littleguy and I, along with Melanie and CFJ. It was one of those endless spring/summer nights where those of us who were underage (all of us but Mark and Roman) crawled out our windows to engage in some very important group activities. Our venue of choice on this particular evening was the playground outside Town Creek elementary school. There really wasn't anything especially immoral or unlawful about our actions -- we were just doing what one is supposed to do at a playground: play.

I guess we were making too much noise for the surrounding neighborhood, though (I do seem to recall a bit of pseudo-swordplay involving large metal pipes we had found lying about), so we ended up being confronted by a cop. This in itself wouldn't have been so bad, but right behind the cop was a photographer/reporter for St. Mary's County's most infamous tabloid rag, St. Mary's Today. The cop went through the motions of scaring us: threatening to call our parents, haul us off to jail and so forth... then he let us go once he was convinced we'd been sufficiently intimidated. (Apparently Jenn resembled someone's daughter, which was reason enough to cut us a break.)

As we gratefully piled into Loulio to get our underage asses back home, I noticed the St. Mary's Today reporter snapping our pictures. Being, as I was, filled with the piss and vinegar of youth (not to mention a desire to impress my friends -- especially Roman, whom I had only previously known by reputation), I spoke up. "He can't take our pictures," I said to the cop. "We're minors! That's illegal!" The officer indicated to me that this was not, in fact, illegal, and who did I think I was to challenge that? I vaguely recall my companions saying something like "shut the hell up" or "quit arguing law with a cop!", but I was too wrapped up in my adrenaline-fueled arguments to notice.

I can't remember how we finally got out of the situation, but I distinctly remember no one being impressed by what I thought was a ballsy move on my part. Upon reflection, I can't say that I blame them for being annoyed, but in my defense, it's not like I knew any better. I was young, dumb and full of mufungo.


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