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Strange case at Frederick County Courthouse

April 17, 2003|by TIM ROWLAND

Oh dear, it looks as if I may be running afoul of The Herald-Mail standards and practices goons once again, but I am in possession of important information that I think you need to know.

I will quote from a Frederick newspaper, which ran the following story on Friday:

"Deputies conducting a strip search of a man arrested at the Frederick County Courthouse for marijuana possession said they found more than they expected - a fake ..."

I can't really say in a family newspaper what it was that was fake. I doubt I can even get away with any of the happy euphemisms of which there are so many to choose, for a "fake ..."

I think I will be reduced to saying that the deputies found a fake protoplasmic-based instrument through which urine is expectorated from the kidneys.

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Now, you may rightfully ask what a man was doing with a fake protoplasmic-based instrument through which urine is expectorated from the kidneys.

Apparently, the gentleman was on probation and he showed up for a court-ordered urine test with the intention of skewing the results in his favor.

The contraption was complete with "pouches that contained reconstituted urine crystals and water" and "a thermometer was attached to the belt, presumably to indicate when the liquid was at body temperature," the newspaper reported.

I'm curious where a person would go to buy reconstituted urine crystals. I have a hunch it's not the kind of thing you can pick up at a Safeway.

I at least hope he thought to get the right gender. I'm reminded of the guy who submitted to a drug test and was told "Well, the good news is that you're clean; the bad news is that you're pregnant."

This is sure going to negatively change the job description for Court Urine Sample Monitors. Used to be they would just cast a quick, sideways glance to ensure the process was going, so to speak, as required.

Now, with the introduction of fake protoplasmic-based instruments through which urine is expectorated from the kidneys, the job is going to require a magnifying glass and a few pokes with an ink pen to verify a natural state. I can't think too many people will want a career in that.

What I'm more concerned about though, is the intelligence of the criminals who are being pumped out by our public school system. Because hard as it is to believe, the story gets better.

It seems deputies initiated the search because, when the gentleman stepped up for his test, a bag of marijuana fell out of his pants. In my mind, there is a very short list of things that you just shouldn't do under any circumstances. One is taking your dog to a funeral. The other is taking a bag of weed to a drug test.

The fellow told District Court Judge Ralph France that it was all a big mistake. "I made a mistake," he said. "It was just trash, all stems and seeds."

In my mind, there is also a short list of things you should never say in court. One is "Can you hurry it up judge, my beer's getting warm" and another is "It was all stems and seeds."

As defenses go, a judge is probably not going to look at this one favorably. The guy also had $1,839 on him, even though he is unemployed.

That's not good. Bringing a bag of drugs and a large amount of cash (not to mention a fake you-know-what) to your court date is like bringing a date to your wedding. You're probably not going to get a whole lot of love from the judicial system after that.

And what explanation would have been better? Any explanation would have been better. Say you were just rehearsing for a part in a play. Say you were just trying to be funny. Anything but "You see judge, you shouldn't send me to jail because the quality of these drugs is really sub-par."

Stems and seeds, please. Although son of a gun, if that isn't the answer to my initial conundrum. Can I start this column over?

"Deputies conducting a strip search of a man arrested at the Frederick County Courthouse for marijuana possession said they found more that they expected - a fake stem and seeds."

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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