Someone taps me on the shoulder.
‘Yep. What’s up, man?’
‘The dog says, you got drugs.’
We’ve been here for about 20 minutes. Long enough to be trick-hugged by the girls next to us who came to order Martinis and go to the bathroom.
‘This dog right here?’ I ask a guy in a train conductor uniform. He has a silver whistle pinned to his chest.
‘Ok?’ he says.
‘We go outside?’
‘We go outside.’
The three of us get moving. His colleague is wearing a cordura harness and a yellow poncho. It all still looks sort of offical.
The K9 operator points to the dog and says, ‘This is constable Grabowski and he wants to have a look in your pockets and possibly your asshole for hidden drugs on or inside your body. You understand? But of course, we’ll give you some privacy.’
This is where the tactical poncho must come into play.
‘Jesus Christ… But I need to see your badges first.’
The conductor points to a shiny object on his utility belt next to an oversized pouch for… ski goggles or a foldable helmet? A real cop. The dog flashes a brown leather flip wallet. His badge looks a little fishy to me. It shows a dog, sitting on a bunch of arrows and a fruit or something? ‘Is this a genuine Australian police dog?’, I wonder. Maybe it’s an avocado and this is real.
‘Absolutely’ the human constable says, ‘can you please lift your shirt and turn around.’
After a few exposed twirls and some act of sniffing and touching by the police, one thing is sure, ‘I’m a mammal.’
‘I suggest you start taking this serious. Are you drunk?’
‘Drunk? Aren’t you looking for drugs?’
‘We’re looking for any prohibited substances.’
‘And you think I drank ‘em?’
My friends have come outside to rescue me or at least diffuse the situation.
‘Guys really!? There’s no drugs on him. He’s a super healthy guy, only eats greens and is like a double black label martial artist!’
The dog immediately assumes a karate stance.
I raise one hand, but don’t manage to seperate middle from ring finger. A universal gesture of peace.
‘Wooh-wooh! Easy! Nobody knows what exactly I eat.‘
‘But she also said you could kick us in the leg or something. Take off your shoes!’
Before I bend over to take my chucks off, I tug my button down shirt deep into my pants. My plan is to demonstrate shrewd business acumen. This personality type would not allow for drunkenness in public and help me gain the policemen’s trust.
‘Here are my shoes. They have a secret zipper around the top – in which you could hide drugs. Hence I’m pointing this out.’
‘I never even use it. If you open the zip, the shoe makes a weird squeaky noise that would be distracting in a client meeting.’
The constable and I are now shaking our heads at the exact same, slow cadence.
In the end, I hand him my shoes, not making eye contact. A client meeting? So specific.
‘We’ll have a look at these now.’
This must be the dogs favourite part…
‘Nothing. You can go.’
Go? What if I don’t want to go and just stand here?
I just do it.
I’m doing it.
They don’t have the right to tell me to leave. I was found not guilty. The dog was wrong!
A minute in, I feel a little sheepish and start looking at my hand like it’s something I’m trying to sell.
Anyway, the same dog(!) calls me a week later, ‘We found your wallet.’