Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cemetery Renegade (A Mama Kat Writing Workshop Prompt)

Here's the thing about me. I am a rule-follower. As I shared with you in this post, my life is pretty devoid of "troublemaker" stories. Therefore, when served up Mama Kat prompt number two, "a rule I broke," I actually had recalculate a second option in case I couldn't think of anything.

But there is that one time at Arlington Cemetery ..... the one where I ticked off the Capitol Police (or whatever entity is in charge of security there) and possibly disrespected the memory of a revered former president.

I was visiting a friend in Washington, D.C. I happened to have a pretty sizable crush on this friend (the feeling wasn't mutual but I had not accepted that yet). The friend and I had worked together on a political campaign for a North Florida candidate (translation: we watched a lot of clogging and ate a lot of chicken pilau). The candidate won; my friend went to work for him in D.C. I did not get a position with the candidate's office and remained in Tallahassee.

When the friend and I visited Arlington National Cemetery, we were on a trajectory toward John F. Kennedy's gravesite. The problem is that my friend took a shortcut. Even though if I had decided independently, I would have taken the sidewalk, I deferred to my friend and followed him up the perfectly manicured grassy slope toward the site. The Capitol Police were. not. impressed. A whistle shrilled. Like a deer in headlights, I just kept going - there was no way to divert to the "official" path by now and plus I was following Mr. Crush.

And that's where the story ends. I don't think the Capitol Police even said anything to me - if I recall correctly they were at the bottom of the hill so I suppose they gave up once they saw I was not going to defile the site or anything.

But the incident has always bothered me. Had it happened in the Post 9/11 era, I would probably have been thrown in the slammer or forced to a TSA-style full body scan or something. Horrors.

I lost touch with the crush. The candidate changed parties (there was a lot of that going on among North Florida politicians in the late 80's). I still run into him once in a while since he lives in my town. I always chuckle inside because seeing him rekindles that little "rule breaking" flame of memory in my brain.

(Please don't tell the TSA about this incident .... they may flag my file as a potential renegade. That could have grave consequences for future travel plans.)



thepsychobabble said...

I promise not to tell on you;)

Kathleen@so much to say said...

Hilarious! You just reminded me of something I should have thought of before I posted today--I should have shared my TSA rule breaking story. Maybe I'll go add another link, it's too good to pass up.

Jessica said...

I won't tell TSA if you promise not to upset the Capitol Police every again.

Emily said...

You reminded me of all the times when I was young that I just HAD to touch the untouchables in museums and in historical places, and the secret thrill I got!

Velva said...

If this is the worst that you have done, you are doing pretty good. No worries about the TSA or Capitol Police. :-)

Susan Fields said...

Those darn crushes - always getting us good girls in trouble. :)