It’s Okay, I’m Catholic

I’m not, actually. But the hero of yesterday’s story is, and I think he’d agree that perhaps he dipped too deeply into the communion wine. Every once in a while, police blotters carry a story that help us all feel good, because we’re clearly in better shape than someone out there.

Today’s brilliant arrest story comes to us by way of Miami. I’m not sure about linking to the blotter because it may change from day to day, so I’ll just relate the entire story below:

At around 1 a.m. Friday, officers on bike patrol reportedly observed a male, later identified as Miami University sophomore J. P., staggering in the alley behind Oxford United Methodist Church.

According to police reports, the officer followed P., 19, to the corridor leading to the church’s back door where he proceeded to urinate on the building. The officer reportedly identified himself as police and asked if the male knew he was urinating on the Methodist church.

According to police reports, it was apparent P. did not know what he was doing, but he replied, “I’m Catholic.” P. reportedly had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, wobbled on his feet and slurred his words. P. was charged with public urination, disorderly conduct and underage intoxication.

Our unfortunate protagonist reminds me of my freshman year in college when my cousin (a fifth year senior) lived across campus. He had me and a couple of my new dorm mates over to his apartment, where he bought us a case of beer. The four of us didn’t get through it, so sometime after midnight we tossed the last couple bottles of Bud Light into my backpack and set off to trek across campus to Case Hall.

It was a long walk and we were fully hydrated. Not even halfway back, several of us realized that the bathrooms adjoining our dorm rooms were far too far away, so we ducked down under a raised sidewalk attached to one of the dorms we were passing. Only seconds into relieving ourselves, we groggily looked around as Matt – our friend who was keeping watch up at street level – started hissing at us, “DPS! DPS!”

“DPS” was the Department of Public Safety, State’s version of campus police. I’ve always wondered why anyone bothers to post a lookout. By the time they can communicate that there’s danger, it’s already upon you.

So, my buddies and I promptly assumed the position against the police car. I’d tried to stealthily take my backpack off and ease it to the ground without the security guard noticing, but I suspect none of us are quite the ninja we think we are after a few beers. After questioning us about where we’d been and where we were going, the guard and his partner looked over at my backpack. Kevin and I looked at each other. A week into our first year away at school and our parents were already going to have to send bail money.

Until the security guard showed me that everyone has a sense of humor occasionally. We’d respectfully refused to admit to having been drinking up to that point but watched, nervous, as he wandered over to my backpack, prodding it with his fingertips. I could see him finding the outlines of the glass bottles inside.

“Son,” he asked me. “What’s going to happen if I lift this backpack and drop it on the sidewalk?”

“I believe my root beer bottles would probably break … sir.” Believe it or not, the concept of a search warrant and probably cause had flashed through my head. My amazement at hearing the words come out of my mouth was mirrored on Kevin’s face, lit up by red and blue lights, but I had to shoot him an angry look as he started to laugh.

The campus cop was trying not to laugh, too. “Your root beer bottles?” he repeated.

“Yes, sir. I love the stuff.”

“You guys are headed home, that right?”

“Straight home.” That one was Matt, I think trying to get us out of there before Kevin started howling laughing.

The cop let us go. Our poor Miami student wasn’t so lucky, but I swear he should have gotten off for suggesting that where he chose to relieve his bladder was just a little interdenominational rivalry. If you can make a police officer laugh, you should be allowed to go home and sleep it off.

Reproduced from

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2 Responses to It’s Okay, I’m Catholic

  1. Paul says:

    Remember the time you dropped the wheels off the pavement in Clifton and totally wasted an otherwise quite fine family van? Based on his having peered into the wrecked vehicle, the cop’s report noted the presence of beer bottles. Actually, they were IBC root beer bottles. It took me a full day to find the cop and point out his error. To this day, I believe beer and root beer are cousins.

    • popdialectic says:

      Of course I remember – I was actually just telling that story to Alison about a week ago. And to this day, I’m glad I got to you with the truth before the cop did. I remember the idiot just looked through the windows and wrote “alcohol involved” into the police report, since I’d already been carted away for medical attention.

      Critical difference I just have to point out on the record: it really *was* root beer when I was 16 and wrecked the van.

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