I Got Arrested in Sweden
You know those awkward games you’re made to play if you go on any kind of organised trip, where you have to say your name and then something “cool” and “funny” about yourself that is “totally radical and unbelievable”? In these situations, most people experience symptoms of increased pulse, mild sweat and redness spreading across their face as they roam their neglected brain for something that will make the guy spitting into the microphone confirm what a fucking legend they are. I love these situations, because as an otherwise quite uninteresting human, getting jailed in Sweden is my golden ticket to free goon and brief, though much appreciated, applause.
It was a particularly drunk night out in Fjällbacka, a nice town along the coast of Sweden and one of the destinations on a sailing trip I was on, when my friend and I decided that we were bored (obliterated) enough to do something really stupid. And that we did – I’m assuming (‘cause I can’t really remember) there was little rational reasoning behind it; however, you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that Swedish police cars are the worst looking vehicles you will ever encounter. They are so ugly that no matter how law abiding you are, after having a glance at those neon coloured monsters, you will want to rob a bank just to be led inside one of them in order to spit all over it. Therefore, in a broader sense, we were doing everyone a favour when we decided to decorate one. Indeed, the hood, roof and surroundings of the car got embellished with stolen potted plants of all sizes, flowers that had been ripped out of quiet gardens and misplaced signs that were once on walls, but before we even got to admire our masterpiece someone yelled, “Run!” So we ran.
Being incredibly slow and super lazy, I was unsurprisingly the first one of us to get caught. They shoved me against the wall, handcuffed me and led me back to the, now stripped bare and horrifyingly neon, police car. I remember my friend yelling to me from behind about laying low and playing it cool, something I completely disregarded when I started rambling about human rights, furiously demanding a lawyer, to which the police responded by kindly asking me to remove my bra and necklace so I wouldn’t strangle myself to death.
Inside the car, we were put in separate small rooms with a window and a chair. After being entertained for a while by another drunk mess in the other room who was insisting on taking his clothes off, I quickly fell asleep, and when I woke from my nap we were 1.5 hours from Fjällbacka in a bigger city called Stromstad, where the main police station is located. Once inside, there was a brief interrogation before we got led down a hallway to the soothing sound of other people vomiting, crying and moaning in what I assumed to be pain. When the door to my cell opened and I was told to step inside. Realising I was going to be in there alone, I tried once more to use knowledge obtained through CSI marathons, and fiercely insisted on a phone call “’cause that is my right as a citizen of the world!” The guy laughed a little before he accurately pointed out that I watched too much shitty television, and locked the six locks to my cell while waving at me through the caged window.
Eight hours were spent alone in that tiny room, which isn’t really that much, but I managed to re-evaluate my entire life, especially my awesomeness, before they let me out. There was nothing in there except a run-down toilet and a plastic-wrapped mattress. Also, the walls were painted green and covered in tiny red, yellow and blue dots which could have wigged out the best of us. My tainted nervous system was exploding. I tried to count the dots for a while, but got caught up in hysterical thoughts about a lost hope and my future as an inmate, which luckily got interrupted by an officer telling me to pull myself up and follow him into the interrogation room.
The interrogation room was really just a nice office, with a kind-looking elderly man behind the desk. They wouldn’t give me any information about my friend, what he had said or admitted to, so I finally had to take last night’s advice about playing it cool into practice. Turns out the old bastard tried to set us up, telling me my friend had claimed I did it alone and was the mastermind behind the sophisticated crime, and telling my friend the opposite. After about 30 minutes of tears, explanation and eventually a warning followed by an apology to the Swedish police for decorating their car with stolen goods, they sent me off into freedom and my future was once again bright.
Stoked on life outside the dotted walls, I knew I desperately had to get in touch with my friends back at the boat, as they’d be worried sick about me having been away for such a long time. Almost shaking in anticipation for what I expected to be extreme relief, and perhaps even some tears of joy, I made the phone call declaring that I was alive and well and that they didn’t have to file the missing person report just yet. An anti-climax hit when my best friend who picked up the phone merely responded that she didn’t even notice I was gone, and when I told her I’d been in jail for the last eight hours she just said, “Yeah alright, get back though, we’ll be leaving soon”.
Back at the boat, the person most thrilled to see me was our 45-year-old captain, who was undoubtedly still wasted and whom I’d known for a mere two-and-a-half days. After playing some Akon songs where the word “convict” is repeated throughout and cracking some devastatingly bad jokes, he manoeuvred the boat out of the harbour and we were once again at sea and far away from neon-coloured police cars, stolen plants and my dignity.
Getting jailed in Sweden is a lot better than getting jailed anywhere else, so if you’re thinking about taking the next step into utter disgrace, I strongly suggest you go there and vandalise their trucks. Not only is it easy, it can be done in pretty much all kinds of mental states, but it will also give you a story to tell in times of emergency, and momentary, swift and completely useless respect from fellow dirtbags.
Cover by Boingy Man