Who would have thought a right turn would land me in jail with a body cavity search? At a time I didn't even know what went into body cavities (except tampons). But there I was and there were the police. And once in jail, there was the search. Now the Supreme Court says that's just fine.
Of course, it wasn't just a right turn. It was a wide right turn. In Washington, D.C. On the Sunday after the march on the Pentagon in 1967 to protest the Vietnam war. We had stormed the barricades on Saturday, being shoved into full trespass by the 300,000 people behind us up into the Pentagon parking lot. We were able to leave that night to tend to a sick friend. And then to get up Sunday and drive messy-haired, blanketed stragglers from Virginia over the Constitution Avenue bridge to the bus stop and train station. In my VW bug.
No one, I tell you, no one was on the road besides that other car. The police car. Gotcha.
But it wasn't just the wide right turn. It was the New York driver's license in the District of Columbia and a Sunday morning without any open court for the Justice of the Peace to rule on the offense and set the fine. I was hauled over to the D.C. jail until I could make make bail.
As they conducted the cavity search of my lower half (that seemed to interest them the most), I practiced psycho-disassociation and looked at it from a clinical perspective. When I re-clothed, I tried to feel un-invaded. It didn't occur to me I had the right to question the practice. Good thing. It would have been a waste of time. And besides, although our Supreme Court says it doesn't matter, I was guilty.