The following story is true. Names have been altered to protect the innocent/embarrased.
There was one evening during my Junior year at college (I don't know if I am permitted to say the name of the school, but it was featured in Shane's World: Campus Invasion 32 [see episode 4]) where I saw, firsthand, the depths of student idiocy and the heights of student dumb-luck.
At the time, I was living in the dorms in a 2-room suite with a friend I had met last year [episode 3] who we shall call "Luck." That night, I had decided to go to the union to catch a free screening of The Life Aquatic (If you look closely, you can see Wes Anderson jumping the shark at the end) and enjoy a night away from the dormroom. Luck informed me that some friends were coming over, so I shouldn't be surprised if we have company when I get back.
Before I made it three steps out the front door of my building, I spotted a campus police cruiser, lights on, parked outside one of the other two buildings of my dorm's main quad. Three steps after that, I had the skinny from an RA I was friends with [see episode 5]: someone had been busted for smoking pot in the dorms. Those of you in the know, are aware that this is possibly the dumbest thing to attempt inside a dorm besides filming a porn [again, episode 4]. I laugh at the stupidity of the saps in building 'B' and continue on my way.
About two hours later:
I am walking back to my dormroom; the movie was still funny second time around and there had only been one or two people who clapped at the end [opinions on this annoying phenomenon in episode 6], so a fun time had by me. As I get to my floor in buiding 'A', I spot three students sitting in the hall, hands behind their backs and one of them is on the verge of tears. Before I can ask anybody, Campus Police steps out of the room. Another RA I was on good terms with turns to me and simply says "Pot." Twice in one night, in the same dorm. Experts would call these students "f-ing retarded."
So, here I am, having a good chuckle, wondering what genius would think it a good idea to light up in their dormroom hours after someone else got busted for the same thing. The idea was unpathomable to me. It was a double-dumbass thing to do; I was laughing so hard, I almost missed the two other RAs standing in the stairwell near my door. When I stepped into my dormroom, it stopped being funny.
In the suite, the room not connected to the hallway has a door to provide some privacy to the occupant. This door, however does nothing to hold back the smell of pot smoking. A heady dilemma to find oneself in: roommate lighting up, Campus Police at one end of the hall, suspicious RAs at the other. What was I to do? What would you have done?
(I'm going to give you a second to mull over what you might have done. If you say "squeal," shame on you!)
I knew I didn't have much time, and I had limited options, so I went immediately into Mr. Wolfe mode.
First, I had to give my roommate a fighting chance to avoid detection. To do this, I knocked on the door, and without opening it, told them that the Campus Police were in the building, and that the RAs were sniffing around. I also informed them that in thirty seconds, I would be reading my book, facing away from the door, and I did not want to know who all was in there, but they had to leave now.
Second, I had to assist in dispersing the smell. That meant opening the windows in my room, and using a little bit of air freshener. Air freshener is a must have in a dormroom. It covers up smells like pot, spilt beer and vomit, and allows you to put off cleaning at least one more day.
Third, I had to "sanitize" my area. By which, I refer to making sure my computer wasn't currently downloading anything, nor was open to websites that might be embarrasing. I knew the RAs if not the Campus Police would be dropping by, and I wanted to give them no reason to look harder at the room.
Finally, I grabbed my book, plopped down on the bed, and kept my back to the door. I heard Luck's door open and close, feet shuffle and then the hall door open and close. I saw no faces, heard no names; essentially I was a mob witness. All I could do was sit and wait for the
KNOCK KNOCK. That was faster than I expected. When I opened the door, there were two Campus Police and one of the two RAs from the stairwell. The Campus Police politely asked if they could come in, and here is where I am going to pause People in your dorm are likely to tell you that Campus Police cannot search your room without a warrant, and in many circumstances that is correct. But these guys were being escorted by an RA, and could probably smell the pot from the hall trying to pull a Fourth Amendment defense would only make them suspicious, and entangle me further. So I let them in.
Here is when you really have to stick to your guns and play it cool. Because the Campus Police imagine themselves as the lovechild of Frank Pembleton and Columbo (if you don't know who either of these characters are, shame on you!), they're gonna dig for information. In my position, the best bet was to head them off, give them my full story, right off the bat, and make them play catch-up. "Yes, I returned from seeing Life Aquatic at 8 pm at the Student Union. I came in, smelt the smoke from the other room, knocked, told them to clear out and faced away from the door. I heard people leaving, I assume all of them left, I don't know."
The Campus Police looked at Luck's closed door, and then asked if they could look around my stuff. I don't know if knowing Luck's room was seperate meant they couldn't open the door and look around without his permission or not, but I wasn't taking any chances. In episdoe 7 I'll go into detail about the humorous things they asked me about in my room, because it just goes to show how anything of yours, out of context, can almost be incriminating. Skipping to the end, the Campus Police left without touching Luck's door and didn't come back.
I closed the door and breathed a sigh of relief. And as I walked past Luck's door, I felt as though this evening was not yet complete. In the back of my head, all I could hear was "There's no way " I opened the door, and there was Luck, sitting on the bed with two girls, watching the door, fearing the Campus Police were out there. The only words I could think to say were: "Next time, smoke anywhere but the dormroom." Their nods were all I needed to know that this story was a contender for Legendary status.
Lessons to take away:
1. DON'T SMOKE WEED IN THE DORMS!
2. DON'T SMOKE WEED IN THE DORMS AFTER SOMEONE ELSE GETS BUSTED!
3. Being on good terms with RAs can be beneficial [see episode 5]
4. Play it cool when the Campus Police are around. [see Reservoir Dogs]
5. Frank Pembleton and Columbo are the greatest detectives of the 20th Century [see Homicide: Life on the Streets and Columbo. Now!]