Saturday, 15 May 2010

Wooden boxes in Chinatown and the bumper sticker ...

From the hand of Country Joe McDonald as published in the first and only copy of the Intergalactic Fan Club magazine Fish Rapper in May 1967. Joe and Janis Joplin were courting at the time.
Janis and I went out to see this movie, and it turned out that she thought that it was a big drag and I thought it was groovy. She said that she would stay and watch the rest of the movie and then we could go around and get some of those wooden boxes in China town, so I said OK. We went down to China town, it was about 1:30; I dropped Janis off when she saw a bunch of boxes and told me to stop. She ran out and started looking there and I asked her what to do with the car, she said to take it and park it. I started driving around and I went all around the block and I couldn't find a place to park. I got mad 'cause I couldn't find a parking place and double parked it on the corner, stopped the car and left it there. I went over to see what Janis was doing and she was still hunting around for boxes. She was fucking around with the boxes. I looked back over and saw there was a cop car over there by the car. I knew that they were going to get me for parking the car right there. So I went back and just walked over and got inside the car and drove off, you know. I figured that if they were going to do anything they would go ahead and do it.

They followed me around the corner and I pulled over and they pulled up behind me. They asked me if I knew that my car had rolled down the hill and I said "No, that I didn't know that," because it hadn't rolled down the hill.

They said, "oh, well, you were double parked."

They checked the car and they said there was a tail light out. No, they didn't see the tail light, oh yeah, they did see the tail light. So they got me for the tail light and then they saw this Fuck Communism bumper sticker that I had on the back. Two patrolmen come walking by on the beat, they talked to the two cops that were in the car and then pretty soon another cop car pulls up and it's got in it this like lieutenant person who comes over and says, "how’s everything going?" and smiles at me. I said, "just fine." He goes over and talks to the guy and gets out a book and they look it up to see what to do about the sticker. Then they have a photographer come in. They decided that its got to be photographed, but I have a choice, I can either take it off or leave it on and they'll photograph it and send our pictures to the D.A. and if he wants to press charges against me he'll do it. I said well ok, we'll do that. They photographed it and this lieutenant person or sergeant left. Then one of the cops knelt down beside the car and looked at me and said, "you know I wouldn't want my children to see a word like that." I just listened and then he said sort of to himself, "of course they're not old enough to read yet."

Then I was stopped another night. We went down to get some more boxes and got stopped on the freeway by the highway patrol for a tail light being out and they cited me for outraging the public decency, by having the Fuck Communism bumper sticker.

There appears to be a ruling, something about topless dancers, that makes it ok to have a Fuck Communism bumper sticker, and our lawyer is appealing it in court now. It will probably be dropped.

I took the car in to get the tail light fixed in Berkeley and the cop told me that if I didn't already have a ticket for that bumper sticker he’d arrest me on the spot.

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