Nine o'clock, Sunday night, wanted a beer. I live in Oakland and the nearest good liquor store is a mile away. It's night, it's Oakland, that's a drive.
Two blocks from my house, police cars are blocking the street straight ahead and to my left, the two directions I want to go. A cop on foot is waving a flashlight. Charades with police, my favorite sport. I turn off the car stereo and roll down my window. The cop meanwhile has stepped forward, eager to send my oblivious ass on its way.
"Where do you want me to go?" I ask.
He could speak now but is apparently too deep into his role as a mime. He points, waves the flashlight. I turn my car to the right. "Thank you."
"You betcha," he says, speaking now that I no longer need him to.
I take a left at the next corner, head down the street to the main intersection. Where there are more cops, blocking the road to the left, the one direction I need to go. I take a right, drive four blocks to the next major street, take another right, drive four more blocks until taking one more right puts me on a major street behind all the action, drive four more blocks and take another right that goes half a mile until I'm at the street three blocks from my house where I was initially headed.
From there it's smooth sailing. A left turn and I'm less than a mile from my liquor store.
Knowing all the road blocks, I took a different route on the way back. What a hassle for one beer. Good thing I was already drunk when I started.