The first and only time I've ever been in the back of a cop car was in the late 90's.
It started out more innocent than a bucket of honey-coated golden retriever puppies. I was being a good sibling and running my brother around town, so that he could prepare for a school project.
First I sat outside the Dollar Store, in my white Honda convertible, as he spent money surely found at the bottom of my Mom's purse. He emerged triumphantly with a full plastic bag, bumpy and stretched out with props he needed for the project.
We wound our way through various cul-de-sac's as he tried to remember where his school project partner lived. As we passed a friend of his, loping down the sidewalk, my brother reached into the bag, pulled out a plastic cap gun, loosened his seat belt, leaned out the window, called his friend's name with glee, aimed and pulled the trigger. The caps were loud and foul-smelling once discharged. I barked at him to "quit it" and then dropped him off on a corner he deemed to be "close enough."
An hour later I was alone at home when the doorbell rang. When I swung open the door to reveal two police officers, my anus froze.
The first thought that flashed in neon across my brain – they know I drove to McDonald's last night with no shoes on and ran that yellow light and oh my God do house call arrests exist?
They asked to speak to the driver of a car that matched my car's description. I took them into the garage and stood frozen as they circled my car. HAD I MURDERED SOMEONE WHILE DRINKING THAT VERY GOOD MILKSHAKE LAST NIGHT?
After letting me sweat through my Value Village man's dress shirt they revealed the real reason for their presence. They'd received a call that shots had been fired from my vehicle.
All the blood rushed to my face as relief flooded every limb. "Oh my God, you guys. This is a hilarious misunderstanding."
Turns out they didn't think it was funny AT.ALL.
I got marched out front and slid onto the unyielding plastic backseat of their cop car while we went to go look for my brother who could back up this story.
Not surprisingly, the cops weren't huge fans of my admission that I had no idea where the house was. Once we parked, I lead them through various backyards, frantically yelling my brother's name over that pulsating lump in my throat that signaled imminent tears.
We finally found them. Three pre-teen boys, sweating and goofing off. Videotaping themselves being drug dealers. Dollar store guns in their pockets. A parked rusty van in a driveway as their lair, complete with a pile of baking soda on the filthy card table that just fit in the back.
As the police approached the boys and gave them a stern talking to, I held back, arms crossed over my whole body, shaking and staring at the dirty grass. As soon as I heard one cop say "If you had aimed that very real-looking fake gun at me, I would have fired my gun at you," I LOST MY EVERLOVING SHIT.
Hysterical tears. I'm sure they all swivelled to watch the girl dissolve into a puddle of salt water.
We lived in the safest, most idyllic, most boring neighbourhood ever. One in which my pudgy nerd brother could have been shot dead. And it was all my fault.
As I shook the oceans loose from my eyes I looked up at the boys' dopey faces, not taking this seriously at all, and I got FUH-YURIOUS.
Because, wait a half second here.
This wasn't my fault AT ALL. My dumb dumb brother and his dumb dumb friends were 100% to blame for this.
And I got to ride in the cop car while all my neighbours peeked out from behind curtains. I now surely had a record (aiding and abetting idiots). I was the one who was now surely emotionally scarred and never again able to happily drink a McDonald's strawberry milkshake.
After hissing at my brother "wait until MOM gets home", I once more got into the back of the cop car and they dropped me off in our driveway as my Grandma pulled in, her mouth a perfectly frozen "O."
I eventually forgave my brother. My anger runs hot and fast but then easily and quickly fizzles. I've never had the stamina to be a good grudge keeper. I'm sure all it took was a sincere apology and a milkshake.
So, when I say I have very little experience with a life of crime, you know to believe me.
I still live a very sheltered and safe life, packed with careful left turns, earnest respect for authority figures and too many "thank you's!"
When I turned on Narcos, the new series made exclusively for Netflix about Pablo Escobar, cue my eyeballs getting bigger and bigger and wilder and wilder.
Since I never paid attention in History class, I get to watch this incredibly twisted saga play out and I have NO IDEA how it will end. (If I had to lay money down, I don't think Escobar is finishing out his life in a Cabo Retirement Village. I only have 1.5 episodes left. DON'T RUIN IT FOR ME.)
Seriously – the cojones of this man. The crimes. The bloodshed. The strategies. The terror. All from the brain of a paunchy dude with a shaggy mustache and no education.
Every element of the storytelling feels authentic and rich. You know how Mad Men nailed their time periods so well that when you were done each episode you were disappointed to remember the internet and boot cut jeans existed? Same thing here. The styling, sets, costumes, lighting, direction and tone are absolutely 100% 1980s Colombia. When real news footage of various major events is interspersed, it swirls in seamlessly, like butter dissolving into a hot bowl of mashed potatoes.
Narcos has happily hijacked every second of my free time since the season became available on Friday. Don’t be a fool. Let it seduce you too. Just let me finish it first so we can DISCUSS every single devastating detail, ok?
As a member of Netflix Canada's #streamteam I will be giving you the straight goods on what I'm watching each month in exchange for a yearly membership. It's a match made in heaven, really.