September 28, 2008

Hanky-panky under the boardwalk

  "Mother, they're holding me in jail on some kind of a trumped-up, redneck charge," the young girl says in a collect call from the beach. "I need your help."

  "Dad and I will be there as soon as we can, but it'll take a while," the mother says. "It's at least a 14-hour drive."

  The girl's father is an executive with one of the big three auto makers and they are well-to-do in Detroit. Dad is a first-rate problem solver, but this problem has a different twist — a teenaged daughter in the slams at the beach.

  A half day later at police headquarters the mother demands her daughter's release "this instant," she says to the front desk officer.

  "Ma'am, there's the little matter of bond," the corporal says pleasantly.

  The woman is livid. "What kind of a manufactured charge are you holding my daughter under?" The woman is confident, demanding, and loud. She is used to getting her own way.

  The corporal continues to be pleasant. "Ma'am, she's charged with lewd conduct under the boardwalk."

  The mother is thunderstruck. "Lewd conduct, indeed," she says. "We both know that's just not possible. I can produce a dozen well-known civic leaders who will tell you, under oath, that my daughter is incapable of lewd conduct."

  "Maybe so, ma'am, but our undercover officers found her under the boardwalk, in broad daylight, with three college boys — all four of them buck naked. Here are some snapshots our officers took," he says, sliding six color photos across the countertop.

  The woman barely glances at the photos. She shudders. Then, in a voice so soft he can hardly hear, she asks the corporal, "How much will the bond be, Lieutenant?"

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