Last week I heard the two most beautiful words that can be uttered in the English language: case dismissed. First, I’d like to thank the wonderful people at The Midtown Community Court for their expeditious handling of my case. I’d also like to thank the rookie MTA cop who completely overstepped his bounds, bungled the writing of my summons and generally wasted the taxpayer’s time and money. To him I say, “Way to go, Barney Fife, you’ll certainly make detective with all those using-restrooms-after-closing-time busts.”

While not being busted for criminal trespassing is wonderful–and doesn’t completely deny me a place on the Democratic ticket in 2008–I can’t help but feel for those in my same position–for those who may fall into the same trap I did. Why is it so hard to find a public restroom in NYC? Why is it hard enough that a lame About.com guide wastes her time listing the few clean toilets in Manhattan (including the one I got busted for using)? I would have been better off pissing in the street like a common FDNY cadet (there was one on the docket in front of me up for public urination.) Of course I wouldn’t have been stupid enough to get caught–oh wait, maybe I would have been.

grand central terminal

THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

My freedom has really taught me something: I really would have hated prison, or wearing one of those orange jumpsuits and cleaning up cigarette butts around the Port Authority, or even a $50 fine. It’s not like I was one of those copyright infringers, solicitors, panhandlers, or, God forbid, loiterers that were lining the benches of the courthouse. The guy next to me didn’t fool me with his fancy suit and briefcase; I know a turnstile jumper when I see one. The chick with the $150 haircut next to me had jaywalker written all over her. Damn, what a bunch of hooligans they were.

I was only the fourth person to be called to the bar, and the fourth in a row to have my case dismissed. Amazingly the guy called right before me had the exact same infraction I did. The summons was so similar that the prosecutor asked if we got busted at the same time. “Yeah,” I said, “It was a fuckin’ bathroom break sting in the food court.” Okay, I didn’t say that, but I certainly thought it. The prosecutor looked at the summons. The judge looked at the summons. Both of them looked at each other and shrugged. That was all it took. I was out of there.

My first act as a free man was to walk the five blocks to work, put down my bag in my office and settle my free ass on a toilet in the restroom for a good long dump. Thank you U.S. Constitution. Thank you unalienable rights. And thank you Mr. Kohler wherever you are.