So, several friends of a friend of mine, Star Wars fans and stoners all, got invited to a New Year's Eve party in North Carolina, the state in which two of them attended college. Their homes were in Maryland and Delaware at the time, and the invitation was tendered by phone on the morning of December 31, when the rather substantial party had already begun. Since these friends of mine had settled in and already begun to pre-party with a large amount of alcohol, and, I suspect, a little marijuana, they were in no condition to attempt a drive of several hours.

Luckily, they were at (we'll call him) Dave's house. Dave's little brother had just turned 16, and had his learner's permit, which is almost as good as a driver's license in Maryland. One of the biggest problems with it is that you're required to have a parent or guardian in the car with you until it turns into a license. This was better than driving drunk, and as a bonus, Dave's little brother would get to see a real college party two years before his due! How could he refuse? Dave's parents were out of town (hence the pre-partying), and wouldn't be back until late on January 2nd!

The road trip commenced after a brief bout of thinking, which was deemed ineffective, and some more drinking, which was highly effective. The car was packed thusly: all the alcohol for the party was rolled up in sleeping bags and placed in the trunk, where sleeping bags go. One bottle was retained for the passengers. Right before they pulled out of the driveway, one of them (we'll call him Matt) remembered the stash. Retrieving it from the house, he handed it to Dave, who tucked it in the glove compartment on top of the registration.

With Dave's little brother at the wheel and Dave at shotgun navigating more or less accurately, they were underway. Dave's little brother began to worry out loud about the drugs and his less-than-kosher license when they crossed the state line into Virginia. The others, happily blurred around the edges, assured him that there would be no problems.

Of course, there are always problems. Because of a wrong turn, they lost almost an hour, and convinced Dave's little brother to edge his speed up around ten miles per hour over the limit. This wouldn't be a problem on main roads in Virginia, or even on the biggest roads in North Carolina, as the fuzz generally prefer to nail you on the little back roads as you get farther south.... usually. But this was New Year's Eve, and the cops were out in force. No sooner had they crossed into North Carolina than bubble lights appeared on their six o' clock. They were, in a word, busted.

The open container was tucked away under a seat, and a quick plan was hatched: Dave's little brother would show his learner's permit, but claim that he had just bought the car used, and didn't have all the paperwork done. The other three would sit, silently, appearing not to be drunk or stoned, which they definitely were, and under no circumstances would Dave open the glove compartment. They would take the speeding ticket, pay it, and get on with their lives. The cop approached.

"License and registration, please."

Dave's little brother, more terrified than he had ever been in his life, choked. "I, uhhh, don't have my license on me. All we've got is the registration."

"Well, get it out."

"I can't, it's in the glove compartment."

"So, take it out."

Dave's little brother looks to Dave for some sort fo rescue, realizing that he has screwed the pooch. Dave gives his brother one of those looks, and decides to roll with it. It was dusk, so he might be able to pull it off... he opened the glove box, reached under the Ziploc full of weed, took out the registration, and slid it calmly out from beneath the evidence. As he pulled it out, the baggie shifted and tumbled out onto the open hatch of the door. Dave knocked it quickly to the floor and handed the officer the registration. The officer met Dave's eyes and said, "What's in the bag son?"

Dave withdrew from space and time into a moment of pure Nirvana, and weighed his options. He looked directly at the officer with wide, serious eyes, held up one hand, palm outward with the first two fingers extended, made a mysterious gesture, and said, as soberly as he could, in what I'm told was a perfect impression of Sir Alec Guinness,

"These aren't the drugs you're looking for."

The officer took a long, hard look at Dave, shook his head as if to say "no, that won't do at all," told them to stay where they were, and walked back to his car for about ten minutes. When he returned, he gave them a speeding ticket, a citation for driving without carrying a license, and a great story to tell at the party.

As with the Infamous Bell Tower Prank of 1996, names have been changed to protect the oh-so-guilty. It is worth noting that I have heard this story retold by someone other than my friends who appear in it, and I myself heard it told by one of them but never confirmed it -- this story is, in all likelihood, a friend of a friend story that never actually happened.

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