Thursday, March 04, 2010
All My Friends are Miscreants
*Note* The following blog post has been written by a special guest of the SHC. Nothing has been edited or changed from his submittal. A forthcoming post entitled "I am a miscreant" will be posted soon.
All of my friends are miscreants. I realized this when I received the following text message: "hes awake now. off to get lunch. i had to blow in his car as his ignition device thinks hes still drunk. my liver rocks." The setup for this text was my friend Romius (all names have been changed to protect, in this case, the guilty) had gone to Happy's house, apparently after a night at the bars. He had texted me that he was trapped there, as Happy was asleep in his room. I told Romius he was a fool to trust Happy, as Happy was notorious for this type of behavior. It was not until I received the text, however, that I realized Happy had been to jail.
I shouldn't actually say all of my friends are miscreants. Like most people, I have different sets of friends. Work friends, friends that are really my wife's friends, Facebook friends, etc. (If you don't have more than one set of friends, and you are reading this on RomiusTexis [The Self Help Center], you are probably two thirds of the way through your Manifesto.) The people I consider my main friends, the ones I can go to Vegas with, or trust with my real feelings, are the people I grew up with. The ones who I hung out with on Friday and Saturday nights because none of us could fathom how to get a girlfriend. It is these real friends that are all miscreants.
I don't use that word lightly, but I don't mean it in a horrible way. I like the way it sounds, and I looked it up to make sure I wasn't using it incorrectly. The definition of miscreant, or one of the definitions, is a criminal. That is according to Webster's New World Dictionary. All of my friends are criminals, at least in the literal sense, but I like miscreant better.
I wish I could say some of them were innocent. I wish I could say they were victims of an unfair, racially biased, classist justice system. Unfortunately, they committed the same crime millions of others in this country have. Call it DUI, call it DWI, it boils down to the same thing. They drank, they drove when they shouldn't have, they got caught. Call it a DUI cluster. I'm not trying to sound high and mighty. I know I have driven drunk more than most of these guys, just never caught. (One for sure. He was the guy who never had a car, so he was always a passenger in our vehicles.) I guess I have good karma, or at least I like that rationalization.
One of my friends, I'll call him Raymond, lost a lucrative job in a casino as a result of his offenses. He spent months in jail, and has been so depressed since his release he rarely leaves the house and hasn't found a new job. Another friend is a lawyer who's conviction cost him thousands of dollars and several days of his life. Romius had to spend months of Saturday mornings in classes, lost his driver's license, and spent five days in jail. Happy has an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle. He has to blow into it every time he wants to start his car, and at random intervals if he is making more than short trips. Apparently the device will pick up traces of alcohol hours later, depending on how much you drink, I would assume.
None of these people defrauded anyone. None of them assaulted anyone. No one was hurt or injured by any of their offenses. I suppose you could say they are lucky for that. Everyone knows people can die in traffic accidents, and that accidents can be caused by impaired drivers. Everyone also knows someone who has been charged with DUI. There are industries devoted to prosecuting and defending DUI cases, yet studies have shown that texting while driving is just as impairing as a blood level of .08, but no one has gone to jail for texting on the freeway.
I thought about making this a diatribe against DUI laws in America, which have become increasingly severe since Mothers Against Drunk Drivers was formed. It seems like every year, at least in Arizona, DUI laws get tougher, with no scientific or rational basis. Politicians tend not to get reelected with a "Soft on Crime" platform, and DUI's are politically expedient targets. Then I think, if people are stupid enough to drink and drive, knowing the consequences, fuck 'em. They're all miscreants.