August 11, 2006

Crime Stinks, or Jail Part 2.

If you missed YESTERDAY'S BLOG scroll down one and read it first so you will know WHY I was in JAIL. Thanks.

I know I sound really BLITHE about this whole PERP WALK JAIL ARREST thing, but I have to say, that's like this huge intellectual distance defense thing I do. I'm completely freaked. If I can't get the people at the Social Security office/DMV to ADMIT it was THEIR screw up, I could end up with a FREAKING CRIMINAL RECORD and that just makes me SICK in the pit of my stomach. That cannot happen. I'm scared and upset. I want my mom. And my lawyer. I hope showing my new card will be enough because I did not get a copy of ANAL RETENTIVE FORM 98423821691B or if I did I forgot or lost it or threw it out.

ALSO? Being carted off to prison was Spooky. It was made better than it COULD have been because there were two nice cops. We'll call them Regular Nice Cop and Hot Nice Cop. Hot Nice Cop let me keep my cell phone, or I think I would have tried to hang myself with my strappy red sandals.

FIRST I had to think of someone who would come get me out of jail. SCOTT was out of town. A LOCAL CLOSE friend would be best, but I didn't have my CHURCH DIRECTORY with me. I called Karen Abbott.

She works from home and didn't have to explain to a BOSS, "SO! My friend is, like, in JAIL. For BAD CRIME DOING. I have to go bail her out."
She does not currently have a little tiny baby who needs to NOT BREATH THE FOUL AIR OF JAIL.

She lives 40 minutes away in Mid Town.
She has NO sense of direction.

I called her and I had to tell her like FIVE TIMES that I was in jail before she would believe me.
Me: Dude, I'm in jail. I need you to come get me.
Her: Dude, I know you are feeling pressure with this DEADLINE, but it is NOT jail okay? If you need to step away, come over and we'll have lunch.
Me: DUDE, I AM IN PRISON! If I can't get bailed out within four hours they transfer me to BIG GIRL JAIL. I CANNOT GO TO BIG GIRL JAIL.
Her: Oh poodle, it feels that way NOW, but the work is paying off! I am reading your new chapter four now, and you NAILED the part where----
Her: Okay. My editor sent me her notes, so I HAVE to work today. But later I could come out if you are seriously losing it and we can go have a cocktail?
Me: KAREN. *BAD WORD*ing listen to me. In Big Girl Jail I will be cavity searched and they will take my shoes and put me in PAPER SLIPPERS and a JUMPSUIT and NO. Just NO. COME GET ME.
Her: Wait. Are you being metaphorical?
ME: NO. AUSTELL JAIL HOUSE ON JOE JERKINS BLVD. Please do not get lost. Please bring great heaping fistfuls of cash. PLEASE COME GET ME.
Her: I'm on the way. If you are seriously NOT in jail tell me now because you sound like you are actually in jail. ARE YOU IN JAIL?
Me: PLEASE don't get lost.

Once I knew Karen was deployed I calmed down a little and remembered I was missing the TV show taping and my lunch. I called Daren Wang -- he and I were sposed to be on together to talk about The Decatur Book Festival, so I got him to cover for me. I did not have my publicist's or my lunch date's number in my phone. SO I got to call my editor and say, HI CAN YOU CALL MY PUBLICIST AND HAVE HIM CALL THE BOOK EDITOR AND CANCEL MY LUNCH BECAUSE I AM IN PRISON AND DON'T HAVE ANY NUMBERS HERE BUT YOURS, K THANKS.
She went all Renee Zellwigger on me and said, "You had me at "prison." WHAT?"
So I told her the whole thing and she was surprised at how "Not screaming and crying" I was, and I thought about it and was surprised, too.

I waited for Karen to make the LONG drive and meanwhile I BEGAN calling everyone I ever met, but all they wanted to talk about was the fact that I was in jail. I wanted to talk about, like, Project Runway. And NOT jail. I didn't want to think about, you know, JAIL. But the conversations would go like this:

Everyone I called: Wait. What? Wait. Did you say JAIL?

SO then we talked about JAIL. Can't blame them. Had ANY OF MY FRIENDS (except maybe this one girl I know from grad school) called me to say they were in jail, I would have been SO surprised I would have ONLY wanted to talk about why. I stopped calling people because I couldn't talk about Jail anymore. Could. Not. Then I paced and did graffiti on the toilet and paced and got bored and then, it began to resemble my most hateful fear. This is me, from an old blog entry when I answered some questions for LAUME:

I write novels because I have SUCH a horror of being bored. That, to me, seems like the worst part of being buried alive. Yes, the terror and the oxygen slowly fading and the darkness and the aloneness and the possible bugs touching you is ALL VERY BAD. But when I think of being buried alive, it's the sensory deprivation that REALLY gets to me. If I ever DO get buried alive I hope my serial killer puts a penlight and some Flannery O'Connor in the box with me. Or buries me with a good conversationalist.

Jail is BORING. I came close to understanding how genuinely freaked I was, but LUCKILY, just then, an ACTUAL CRIMINAL with a google eye came by in his JAIL 'JAMAS that said "INMATE TRUSTEE" on the chest in HUGE RED LETTERS. He turned on the TV outside my cell. He forcibly turned it on, against my will. DO YOU KNOW what they made me watch in Jail? Gigli. NO I AM NOT KIDDING. Seriously, if this was a scene in one of my novels, my editor would NEVER let me have a google eyed spooky trustee come force me to watch Gigli. I can hear her now, saying, "Gigli might be gilding the lily, Joss." And yet, hand to God, he came, he had a google eye, he put on Gigli. I called everyone I had already called back to talk about Gigli.
"Gigli is cruel and unusual punishment," said Scott.
Jill said, "I know you did CRIME and all...but...Gigli? That's just MEAN."

Still, it was better than the silence. I called Karen to check on her progress, then I paced around. I started to realize once more that this was actually happening and I was IN JAIL and if Karen ran off the road or whatever I would have to go to big girl prison and I got a little upset and so I watched Gigli and Jennifer Lopez talking about popping people's eyes out CORRECTLY calmed me down. Go figure. THANKS GOOGLE EYED SPOOKY TRUSTEE!

Karen arrived. The Hot Nice Cop came back and said my friend was here AND I had been formally charged so bail was set. I could either pay 1,083 dollars (that I get back after court) or pay 200 to a bail bondsman that he just keeps. I said, "I want to do the thousand. I want my moony back."
Hot Nice Cop: You only get it back if you are found innocent.
Me: Dude. I am getting my money back. Can you hand me my checkbook? Thanks! Now give this to my friend outside and um, can you give her directions to my bank so she can cash it?, look, she's not...good at directions. She would tell you that herself. Can you give her really good careful true directions with pictures so she won't get lost. Because I hate jail.
Hot Nice Cop: Okay....

*Nice Hot Cop leaves*
*I watch Gigli*
*Hot Nice Cop pokes his head back in, laughing*

Hot Nice Cop: She made me give her directions from here TO the bank, and then separate directions from the bank BACK HERE.
Me: That's my girl!

Karen had to get FINGERPRINTED at the bank before they would cash my check for 1,083 dollars. We had ink-stained solidarity over that, because of course, I TOO had been fingerprinted that day.
So I got out of jail and they had TAKEN MY DRIVER'S LICENSE so NO ONE would serve me a cocktail. And they call this America....

I'll finish up this miserable saga later-- must take the sitter home!

Posted by joshilyn at August 11, 2006 12:56 PM

Honey-bunny....! I am so awfully sorry that you- YOU! of all people have been perp walked. If you weren't such a great writer and able to describe it so well I wouldn't believe it. Actually now that I think about it maybe that's an argument for not buying the whole story... although I really think you have better things to be writing. My heart is with you, imagine, having to watch Gigli, uh, having to be handcuffed- wait, which is worse? Just think how much grit this will add to your writing. Love you Joshilyn, shall we come storm the Social Security office for you?

Posted by: Nic at August 11, 2006 1:12 PM

I hate the Social Security office. I think I would hate jail.

You? I love you. This sucks so much for you though. *sigh*

Posted by: Autumn at August 11, 2006 1:36 PM

Um. Woah. That is crazy. I have a feeling a very interesting book was just born in the deep, dark, underbelly of that experience...

Posted by: mom on a wire at August 11, 2006 1:42 PM

Oh, Joshilyn, I think you handled this much better than I would. And I never understood what was so awful about Gigli. Maybe I'm just a movie whore, or maybe it's just my form of something shiny.

I can't believe these people (SS) get away with things like this. What difference does it make if the names don't match, it's the number that matters??? In California, you can put any name you want on your DL, as long as you sign a form saying you're not doing it to perpetrate a fraud. So, how can they do that (SS, again)???

Posted by: ZaZa at August 11, 2006 1:43 PM

I have had so much fun reading your tales of crime because now I have company. I too have felt the cold metal of handcuffs slap on my wrists for reasons too ridiculous to recount. My father got to the jail to bail me out before my cop and I did (I had Testy Campus Cop--Nice Cop stayed behind), and I still had to wait for, like, four hours to get out of there. I was frisked (and I had a REALLY bad sunburn), and they took my shoes. They took my earrings and my barrette too. I was growing out my bangs so my hair was falling in my eyes all the time, and when I was handcuffed, there wasn't anything I could do about it. So I sat in my t-shirt and shorts and those rubber sandals they give you, and was forced to watch . . . Naked Gun. Not as bad as Gigli, but dreadful in its own special way. They kept me in sort of a waiting area instead of any kind of cell, I think maybe because I was 19 but looked 13, and they didn't want a hysterical college girl on their hands.

I was arrested in front of all my friends on our way to a camping trip, but I was very lucky that one of them called my dad, and when I was sprung from jail, I walked out and all six of them were there waiting for me. We still went on our camping trip, and now I have an arrest record. On the way from the jail, "Jailhouse Rock" started playing on the radio, and everyone said, "It's your song!"

I'm just glad I'm not alone.

Posted by: Sarah at August 11, 2006 2:07 PM

Oh, Gawd. I know I focused on how funny your account of this was, yesterday, but I am SO SORRY you had to go through this. And with Gigli-watching, too. So. Freaking. Wrong. I would hope/think that if you have the letter they sent you, and the new card, that would be sufficient for you to get cleared. If not, all of your readers will organize a march on the Austell Jail House AND your local Social Security office.

Posted by: Aimee at August 11, 2006 2:20 PM

Wait a minute, how are you taking the sitter home?!!!! Joss, I seriously hope you have your DL back!!!! Oh goodness, blog again soon, so we know you weren't pulled over and thrown back in jail for being on bond and breaking the law!!!!!

Posted by: Charity_s at August 11, 2006 2:26 PM

I was in a holding cell for about 6 hours once. Fingerprinted, mug shot. charges were eventually dropped. I feel your pain, tulip.
Of course you did criminal things like failing to do ANAL RETENTIVE FORMS and all I did was a supposed terroristic threat :) But this was years and years ago and I'm rehabilitated now.

:) Think happy thoughts, and you're so pretty.

Posted by: Tina at August 11, 2006 2:36 PM

Dear Lord. Thank God the world is a safer place now that they're arresting law abiding married people.

Posted by: Sheryl at August 11, 2006 3:14 PM

Jail? Oh Joss, I can't believe you would go to jail just to get story ideas. That's so sad. just call me next time and I'll tell you all about what jail is like, since I ended up there once for doing a peaceful protest. But hey, it involved a Sheen, so the media went nuts.

Seriously, I'm so glad you had SOMEONE to call. I can't believe that they actually came and arrested you with a bench warrant for a suspended DL. That's just craziness.

Posted by: dee at August 11, 2006 4:21 PM

Dude! I am, like, so not amused by this at all. I am, in fact, RIGHTEOUSLY INDIGNANT. I want to protest...or picket...or have a sit in...or SOMETHING.

Some frigging f***nut arrested friggin' Joshilyn Jackson??? Wha tha??? I'm just aghast and even AGOG.

Seriously. Seriously I want to smack someone for you. I want to open up a can o' whupass on 'em.

I am NOT laughing at this. Not. Not. Not.


Posted by: Angela at August 11, 2006 4:37 PM

I was like Karen yesterday and thought you were exaggerating in some fit of editing madness. Yikes! I'm glad you came out mostly unscathed, poor girl. Chin up and all that -- I'm sure your attorney will do wonders to clear it all up AND get a righteous apology for you.


Posted by: Mel at August 11, 2006 4:41 PM

I totally understand Karen -- both in the not believing and in the needing separate directions for getting there and for getting back. (My people!)

Should we expect this to turn into a realistic small jail scene in the book?

Posted by: Genevieve at August 11, 2006 5:38 PM

But...if they would not serve you a cocktail because you didn't have your license that means they CARDED you! And that means you look beautiful and YOUNG! And that part is good, right? Right? C'mon, somebody chime in with me on this one. I think it'll help. ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at August 11, 2006 6:24 PM

Well, I WAS feeling all sorry for you and whatnot but then I read what Amy-Go said and YEAH! That means all cocktail-weilding personnel who gazed upon your visage thought you were under 21! And so now I'm feeling all petty and stuff. You youthful-looking famous novelists and your crazy incarceration -- pshaw, I say!

Okay, I think I'm over it now. Gigli? For real? If I lived in your state I'd be writing a VERY strongly worded letter right about now.

Posted by: Badger at August 11, 2006 8:34 PM

Oh, Joss. Gigli? And no alcohol? I was just laughing at you about jail, but Gigli and no alcohol... now I am feeling really bad for you. I just want to pat your hair and make it better.

Posted by: Heather at August 11, 2006 9:03 PM

O baby. You definitely made the best of a bad word situation. And what great blog fodder.

Hope you're having the biggest chocolate martini in the world tonight with lots of vodka-soaked cherries thrown in for good measure!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at August 11, 2006 9:27 PM

If you really need the cocktail, I could call my frat boy son who I am sure could have a new license to you in no time. It would be a California license, and it may not actually be your name, oh wait, that's what got you into trouble in the first place. Never mind...

All joking aside, I am with Angela. Someone needs a deluge of letters from some mighty ticked off citizens. Who's running the SS these days, Mike Brown?

Posted by: Sharon at August 11, 2006 10:05 PM

I am freaking out over what's happening to you. It sounds like you're trapped in a Terry Gilliam movie.

Please keep us informed about how this bureaucratic horror resolves. I'm praying something good will come out of this unfair mess.

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 11, 2006 11:45 PM

You know, I get the flu and don't read your blog for two days, and ALL THIS HORRIBLE STUFF HAPPENS TO YOU AND oh my sweet pie!!!!!!!!!! I am so so so so sorry, and would like to compare notes about the time I was handcuffed in Cambridge when I was a mere fifty feet away from my house, returning with Sunday morning coffee cake and milk, and got perp walked to the station in Belmont and fingerprinted and mug-shotted, whereupon I burst into tears.

The older "bad" cop said "Young lady, crying will NOT HELP you," and I just looked at him sobbing and said "if I had known you were going to take my picture, I would have worn matching socks and BRUSHED MY HAIR," and then they felt so bad they let me sit in the detective's office and read his true crime novels for two hours until Intrepid Spouse could come bail me out, but it was only $20. The criminal lawyer was $2000, though. Similar paperwork screwup.

On the bright side, that is how I knew that the back seat of a cop car is sometimes one piece of hard plastic, which came in handy for crime writing. Ahem. Maybe I could retroactively write off the lawyer's fee?

And now I am going to go lie down on the sofa and resume my flu.

I AM SO SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU!!! And here are three words I thought I would never say: PLEASE SUE SOMEONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Cornelia Read at August 12, 2006 1:00 AM

I wish I had made sympathetic noises, cooed to you, soothing sounds, but no. I laughed so hard I cried. I laughed so hard I almost wet the chair. JB and Fran are glad of that ALMOST. and then I laughed some more. The only thing funnier than reading your blog, dear girl is an actual phone call! I kept thinking she's just making this up, to cover for the fact she hasn't gotten them damn books back to us yet. And yet, it might actually have happened. I went back and forth several times. But it was too weird to be not-true. Even a really good author can't expect something that stupid to fly.

I agree with Cornelia, SUE, baby, SUE. and I say that as someone who has sued the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department and knows how the nerves will eat out your guts until you have severe anemia.
But still, you got a case!

I wish you a restful weekend. Lots of kisses and sticky little hands patting you all over.


Posted by: Tammy Domike at August 12, 2006 1:37 AM

On the positive side, it occured to me that I never got my SSN name changed after I got divorced. I'm in the process of doing that now, having learned from you how awfully bad it is when you don't do these minor little things in a timely manner.

And while I haven't been hauled off to the Big House, or even the Little House That Leads to the Big House, I have to tell you that I feel your pain if only from having to sit through the cops reading my son his Miranda rights. When he was 14. Because the principal of his middle school believed he was a Satanist and thought that was an arrestable offense. True story. She's insane on any number of levels.

So hang in there, Peach! You're holding up amazingly well, and at least you were carded when you went for drinks! That's cool! See how pretty you are?

Posted by: Fran at August 12, 2006 2:20 AM

I think Amy-Go and I may be secretly related because I thought "you still get carded so you still look like a young hot thang!"

I am officially too afraid to move to America. Really.

Of COURSE you will be found innocent, how can they argue with your SSN card that has the name they wanted on it??

Do you think this is related to the red flagging at the airport thingy? That would be all spooky. Last time I drove across the Canada/U.S. border in North Dakota, they KNEW about a brief layover (of about 3 hours) that I'd had in San Francisco a few months earlier. Stern Looking Immigration Officer asked me what states I'd visited in the last six months and I listed them off. Then she looked at me and said, "Really? So... no others?"

I said, "Um, no, I don't think so.."

She said "Really, so no other states? Not even one that begins with C and ends with alifornia?"

And I said, "Um, no... oh, wait! Yes! Brief layover in San Francisco for, like, three hours!"

They know it alllll.....

And yet, they can't find your friggin' paperwork? How dumb.

You will NOT have a criminal record.

Posted by: Heather Cook at August 12, 2006 11:05 AM

This seriously happened?! In March I had to renew my license and like you (also married 13 yrs ago) never changed my social security card. The DMV (County Services Rd) told me that I had to go home and get my birth certificate or passport. I did and that was the end of it. I am so never going anywhere near the social security office. I have learned from your mistake, being a law abiding citizen is a "go directly to jail do not pass go do not collect $200" card. I so hope I keep falling through the cracks. By the way your novels are the best I've read in a long long long time.

Posted by: kim at August 12, 2006 11:44 AM

Oh bless your heart and crank up the blender. That must have been just terrible. Except for the HOT COP dude... a few more deets on him might be just the thing, ya know?

Thank goodness they mailed your new cards to you. Hopefully the judge will have many working brain cells and realize that you couldn't have gotten the new cards without filling out the Anal Retentive Form 98423821691B because, let's just be honest here, the government is NOT going to admit they screwed up. Even though whichever maroon did the screwing up wouldn't get fired, it is the government, it takes years to get fired, they will never ever admit they were at fault.

I can't wait to hear the rest of this story.

Posted by: Deb at August 13, 2006 8:03 AM

I think I'm confused, which is not surprising in any way. You got arrested because your name on your DL was different than your SS card? Or because you are married and had not changed your SS card? I can't believe they waste their time arresting people for crap like that. Mind blowing.

Posted by: Tiff at August 13, 2006 8:44 AM

my ss card, name, #, ect match, and every thing, but I feel like doing it all over again, just to make sure. 'cause I live too close to the Austell jail to make them mad. and I hate bad movies. and I'm scared of jail.
Did you tell them you are a very important author, writer type person? You should have. That would have scared them.

Posted by: desi at August 13, 2006 11:29 AM

Sorry, I don't have e-mail at home. I would have seen this Friday and been happy to walk on over to the jail and vouch for you. Even would have brought Indee so you could get a doggie-fix. Hope all your troubles work out.

Your favorite treasurer.

Posted by: Jeff at August 14, 2006 7:53 AM

horrible. I'm hooked like you've injected the words with a highly addictive, illegal substance. what's the name of your book(s?) again? I think I need some more of your high-inducing verbals.

Posted by: deb at August 14, 2006 11:33 PM

Oh. My. God. Found my way here through Autumn (as she is currently stuck in the SS/DMV circle of hell), and have no idea how I hadn't found you before.

You must be thrilled that the first post of yours that I read is that you were arrested. You totally know how to make a great first impression!

Posted by: Amy at August 15, 2006 5:52 PM

I had a phone call similar to yours once. It was about 2 o'clock in the morning and it was my husband's best friend calling FROM JAIL in NEBRASKA!! I answered it and sat straight up in bed--couldn't beleive it!! It was all settled up--misunderstanding sort of thing--but I know how your friends felt when you told them where you were!! Too awful--that sort of thing can cause PTSD--make sure you are ok. And I would sue the pants off of the Social Security Department--idiots!!

Posted by: Sheri at August 19, 2006 5:04 AM