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Around The Sun: A Night In Jail

Steve Harrison spends a night in jail after a madcap drinking bout.

The devil always tries to get us to doubt our beliefs and believe our doubts.

On this particular night it was raining, and very dark. I had been drinking while at work and was in the mood to really let my hair down. I went over to the Wragg’s farm to meet David and Michael. We decided to go for a drive in my car, intending to see how fast it would go. David’s older brother joined us for the ride.

There were several cases of Newcastle Brown Ale in the car boot. We were going through a Newcastle Brown Ale phase. I now hate the stuff and wouldn't drink it to save my life, even if I was lost in the dessert. Wll, maybe I would have to make an exception in that case, but the ale would be hard to swallow.

We got one of the cases of ale into the car and grabbed a bottle apiece. Then off we went at break-neck speed. We each got through several bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale. It is potent stuff. By the time we got to Bradford we were all really drunk. I was breaking every speed limit, careering around corners. The rain was now driving hard and the windscreen wipers were working overtime.

We had been talking about what we would do if we were stopped for speeding or drunk driving. I have a theory that what you allow your mind to dwell on eventually happens. We considered giving false names and addresses, but finally decided that the best thing to do would be to abandon the car and run in different directions, later reporting that the car had been stolen.

No sooner had we agreed upon that than a police car came into view. It was stationary in the middle of the road, waiting to turn right. We were travelling downhill towards it at well over the speed limit. I slammed on my brakes. The car spun around. We were now going backwards. We sailed past the police car, our car still going backwards. It was a Keystone Cops moment. I wanted to burst out laughing.

We passed within five feet of the police car. I can still see the cop's bewildered face as he tried to figure out what was going on. Before my car came to a stop I opened my door, jumped out, and ran for my life. Our conversation about what we should do in these circumstances was still going through my head. I ran like a rabbit through the city's back streets. Eventually I had to stop to draw breath. As I ran there was the sound of pounding footsteps behind me. The foosteps now sounded in the alley in which I was hiding.

I called out "Is that you Michael?'' "Yes,'' came the breathless reply.

I ran towards the voice and found myself in the arms of a policeman. He handcuffed me, then dragged me back to his car, my feet scraping on the ground as we went.

When we finally reached my car its headlights were still on, and the engine was running. The other three had locked themselves in the vehicle. I had to persuade them to open the doors. Michael inisted that he was Mickey Mouse and David said he was Donald Duck.

The four of us were all marched off to the local jail. I was locked up for the night. Later, in court, I was given a heavy fine and banned from driving for one year.

My life was becoming a series of reckless events.

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