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The Smuggled Body

College Adventures Part 1

This story recounts events that occurred in the early 2000s, during my time attending a small university in the eastern United States. The names and locations have been changed to protect identities, but the story is 100% true.

I was a part of a small group of friends when I attended college. We were all misfits with different backgrounds but always enjoyed hanging out and smoking weed. We would go on adventures and party whenever possible. Because of our varied backgrounds some had vehicles, while others were only able to tag along. I came from a lot of turmoil without much to my name. I was one of those tag-alongs, always looking to escape my reality and experience something new.

My circle of friends consisted of T-Dogg, a Texas born racer who taught me about stealing cars and practicing extreme sports; Marco, a free spirit who lived overseas and attended boarding schools most of his life; Brian, a graffiti artist from the Eastern Coast of the United States; Mr. Coulkin who had an uncanny resemblance to a young Home Alone and had an unhealthy habit to 'Robotrip' (drink Robitussin recreationally) during his down time; and Maui the Adventurous Islander, who also enjoyed extreme sports and water sports. Rounding things out was QBJ, the Jersey Quarterback who was destined to end up on a dating show after skipping town from the small town university only to get eliminated in the first round. We always shared stories from our high school days and looked forward to any and all adventures we could get ourselves into, given resources and time.

On this particular evening five of us had decided to attend an off-campus house party near the beach where we would be meeting up with one of our friends. T-Dogg was driving us to the party in his modified Honda Civic Si. Brian, Mr. Coulkin, Marco and I were happy to have a ride out. When we got to the party, T-Dogg and I decided to stick to smoking some mid-grade marijuana that had been sourced on campus and had a couple of joints in rotation while the rest of the crew drank and got plastered. A variety of shots were given out and a couple of guitar sessions had broken out during the party, but as we soon realized the party would be short lived. The party died down early and by 9:30pm we were getting ready to head back to our dorms with the additional friend we met up with. 

As we started our walk back to T-Dogg's Si, we had started to discuss the bigger problem at hand. The math isn't adding up. There were now 6 of us to 1 Honda Civic Si Coupe. T-Dogg knowing what was ahead watched us as we started calling out chair names to claim our seats. Being that I was the tallest, not drunk and only smoking, quickly called out shotgun and secure the front passenger seat. Quickly followed by Sniper (Rear Left), Magnum (Rear Right) and Not Trunk (Rear Center). After 15 seconds the seat assignments were settled. In no time, we were loaded up into the Si and on our journey back to campus.

We occasionally liked to joke around and had a few things in the car that would eventually lead us to get into trouble later on in the evening. T-Dogg always kept an air-soft gun in the car that looked like a real pistol to give himself a false sense of security in case anyone tried to carjack him. He also owned a megaphone with a siren which we would use at parties and events.

We started our drive back blasting, our favorite go-to soundtrack that consisted heavily of Sublime. We kept an eye out for cops and payed attention to the radar detector. T-Dogg was a racer who had put a lot of time, money, and effort into modifying his Si. His Si was fast and on this particular evening while going up an overpass on the highway heard the radar detector start blaring and lighting up his rear view mirror. He immediately hit the e-brake but unfortunately there was a police car waiting on the other side of the overpass ready to pull us over. 

The officer had clocked us doing 80 mph in a 65 mph area.

After the police officer stated T-Dogg would be getting a ticket, the mood had changed and we were doing our best to stay quiet, complete the traffic stop and get back on campus. We were all under 21, had at least one marijuana pipe in the car and everyone in the rear of the car was plastered, so the stress was starting to build up.

As the police officer was walking to the driver's side window to give T-Dogg the speeding ticket, a second officer who was watching over the passenger side draws a gun on me and starts demanding that I step out of the car. Confused as to what's going on, I tell the officer that we are just waiting for the ticket and we would like to be on our way. The support officer with the gun starts getting closer to my face through the open passenger side window and yells to get out of the car and hit the floor. Keeping my hands up and in view, I open the door and step to the side of the highway and lie on my stomach with my hands behind my head. Brian who was sitting immediately behind me steps out and drops a pouch with the smoking pipe near my head. The pouch landed in plain view of the police officer who was holding a flashlight.

After everyone gets out of the rear seat, we are all sitting watching as the police search the interior of the car and pull out the air-soft gun and the megaphone. The police officer started questioning us about it and T-Dogg clarifies that it's just a toy. The officer began to reprimand us about the air-soft gun saying that he saw Brian move the gun in the rear pocket of the front seat and it could've been deadly. Thankfully he only drew the gun on us. He proceeded to search the pouch that Brian had dropped, found the pipe, put him in handcuffs placed him under arrest.

Up to this moment, the officers had only searched the interior of the car and they ask a crucial question.

"Is there anything I should know about the trunk before I start searching it...?"

The face the police officers made... I will never forget.

"Yes, officer, our friend is in the trunk..."

The officers, shocked with the answer, shouted; "If we find out that you kidnapped this guy, ya'll are going to jail! You had a megaphone with an alarm and a toy gun!"

With their guns drawn and flashlights out, they pop the trunk and see our friend inside. They proceed to lift him up with one arm's swoop and sit him on the the curb where they start to interrogate him to make sure that we didn't kidnap him.  After confirming with Marco that he was, in fact, not kidnapped, they let us go but not without telling us that Marco deserves to sit in shotgun for what we had put him through. Unfortunately Brian would be heading to the police station where he would be spending the majority of the following day waiting to see a judge.

The rest of the night was just a blur and we felt horrible that Brian had been arrested. The following evening when Brian was released, we were sitting recalling the events of the previous evening and things went from memorably funny to hilarious when Marco started giving us his point of view.

After the party we had claimed our seats and were sitting, Marco had jumped into the trunk of the Si and was quite comfortable and being that he was drunk immediately passed out. It wasn't until he heard the police screaming and opening the trunk that he woke up, so for the most part he was clueless about what was going on. He then concluded his recount with "Damn never thought I'd have that happen to me again..."

This comment had us perplexed.

"Wait Marco, what are you talking about, this has happened before?"

Marco's response was incredible.

"Yea, I used to go to boarding school in Europe. On one occasion while hanging out with some friends we went on a road trip and they had to put me in the trunk of their vehicle because there weren't enough seats for everyone. Because the vehicle was a smart car and I was the smallest one of the 3, I ended up in the same situation. We had gotten pulled over at a border crossing because the driver was smoking and got too high. He forgot that he was doing something illegal and drove all the way to the checkpoint smoking weed!

When the police were interrogating my friends at the border crossing they didn't believe what my friends had told them, that there was actually someone in the trunk of a smart car. They got me out, but not without a few laughs and I had to spend nearly 6 hours in holding between 2 interrogation rooms where my friends were. I felt helpless waiting to be released. I didn't speak the language and thought I was going to get expelled from my boarding school but in the end I got released with just a slap on the wrist. My friend who was in the passenger seat and I were released but the driver ended up having to serve community service. I never thought it would happen again."

Eventually the charges to Brian were dropped and we were able to continue our adventures like normal, but we would never forget the night we got pulled over and nearly arrested for smuggling a body in the trunk of T-Dogg's Si.