Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spenardo & Chickenfight Girl Get Strip-Searched, Part 1

So far, I’ve been giving aliases to the locals I write about. That’s to protect the guilty as well as the innocent. The names may be fake but the people I write about are real. Aliases seem like a wise idea because who knows if Judge Hardass ever Googles himself?

I’ve only ever told one local that I keep a blog but she doesn’t have a computer so she’s not gonna read it. I will give her the alias Chickenfight Girl. She was arrested in the big cockfight bust this spring and we met at community service. In fact, on her first day, she and I were the only women there and I was the one to show her the ropes. She didn’t live far from me and, since my license was suspended, she ended up giving me a ride every week to the courthouse.

Even though our service is over (we both finished on the same day), we continue to hang out. She’s the only person I met through community service that I became friends with. Lots of the people I had to work with were nuts. Some were straight-up certifiably batshit insane. I hope I never see them again.

One such crazy person is Thief Girl. That’s not an alias I came up with for this blog. That’s what me and Chickenfight Girl call her. We have nicknames for many of the community service workers, simply because we don’t bother to remember their real names. Thief Girl, Fat Girl, Fat Black Girl, Really Fat Black Girl, Crazy Girl, Pregnant Girl Who Always Wears Really Low-Cut Shirts, Girl Who Looks Like She’s Thirteen, etc…

Thief Girl didn’t always used to be Thief Girl. She used to be The One Who’s Still In High School. I think she originally got community service for fighting. Back in March, on her very last day of CS, she stole a hundred dollar bill out of a purse in one of the courthouse offices. Now she’s doing community service for that.

Chickenfight Girl and I were both at the courthouse the day it happened. There were about 12 women working that day. When there’s that many women, it’s hard to stay busy all day. There’s barely enough work to keep three or four people busy, much less a dozen (though most of the women are lazy as shit and will spend half the day hiding out in the utility closet).

Chickenfight Girl and I would keep ourselves busy by spending hours in an office, supply closet or bathroom - giving it a really good (and slow) cleaning. Most CS women just empty the trash in an office but we would dust shelves, wipe off the tops of filing cabinets, clean windows, etc… Once I even unclogged a breakroom sink that maintenance couldn’t be bothered to fix (they had given the office some bullshit excuse about the plumbing being so old).

On the day Thief Girl stole the money, Chickenfight Girl & I were giving the public bathrooms a good going over - scrubbing walls & stalls that probably hadn’t seen a wet rag in years. I think the only soap that ever touched those walls was the industrial orange goo that dripped from the sinkside containers, leaving sticky skidmarks down the tile. You don’t even want to know what the underside of the mens’ urinals looked like.

After completing the upstairs bathrooms, we wandered off to individual projects. I was the midst of cleaning the jury room when I heard someone in the hall ask Chickenfight Girl where I was. I can’t remember anymore if it was Chickenfight Girl or that someone who appeared at the door, but I was told to drop what I was doing and come downstairs for an important meeting.

I saw the other CS women milling about near the bottom of the stairs, next to the investigators’ office. None of the workers knew what was going on - except Thief Girl - and nobody in a position of authority was talking - except to tell us to bring the folding chairs from the other end of the hallway, sit down and wait.

There we were: A dozen women in orange vests, sitting in a row of folding chairs against the wall – feeling like we’re in a line-up in full view of anyone and everyone who happened to be the courthouse right then. Word filtered down the line that money had been stolen. No one knew how much. One person said $11, another said $100. (I think the actual amount was $111 but I’m not sure because, even when it was all over, nobody bothered to fill us in on what really happened).

Most of the investigators and other law personnel were at one end of the line and I was second from the end at the other, Chickenfight Girl to my right and Really Fat Black Girl to my left. I assume the info we got came from women at the head of the line who overheard the investigators talking.

Apparently, they suspected a CS worker of stealing the money and Judge Hardass was bound and determined that the cash would be found before any of us left the building. We had to wait for a female officer from the jail to come over and search us.

A man stood before us and asked if there was anyone who wanted to confess now and save everybody else a lot of hassle. No one said a word.

Eventually, the female officer from the jail showed up. I will call her Officer Ratchet because she struck me as the kind of person who would root for Nurse Ratchet in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Just my luck, they chose to start at my end of the line. Really Fat Black Girl went in first while the rest of us waited in line. After about ten minutes, Officer Ratchet stepped out of the office back into the hallway. Next!

I started the long walk to Officer Ratchet, past the line of my fellow workers in folding chairs. Officer Ratchet grinned at me, playfully snapping the fingers of her freshly donned latex gloves. At least one of us was having a good time.

to be continued…