Concealed Weapons by Rocky
The RCMP (The Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have no sense of humour when it comes to women who happen have swords. Surprising as that may seem, I know from personal experience that these modern centurions can't fathom how important such a fashion accessory can be.

It all started out so harmlessly. I was working as a volunteer for the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). A friend of mine was responsible for fund raising and had talked me into helping with their bingo night. Now that in itself is a hazardous experience. Imagine if you will a stampeding herd of blue-hairs bearing down upon you intent on purchasing the winning bingo card. Late at night, I still think back to those times and shiver!

As a reward for service above and beyond, my friend would take all the volunteers out for pizza after the bingo. On one particular bingo night, my friend could not stay for pizza and left me in charge of her twelve-year-old son, who had also worked the bingo that night. What I didn't know at the time was this sweet little boy was acquainted with the police for previous and numerous indiscretions. What could be more innocent than giving a kid a ride home after a hard-earned pizza?

I was about half a mile from the boy's home when I spotted the telltale red and blue lights in my rear-view mirror. I tried to think, 'Had I been speeding?' No, I was certain that given the amount of traffic speeding wasn't it. 'Hmm... a taillight was out maybe.' I waited until traffic cleared, and was about to pull into the turning lane and stop for the officer when another police car came careening through traffic and pulled sideways (impressive) in front of my truck. I began to think that this might be more than a taillight or some such.

A man in plain clothes came up and tapped on my window, flashing a badge. He had an angry look on his face, and I'm sure I had a puzzled look on mine. "What is your relationship with him?" he asked, pointing at my friend's son.

For half a second I wondered if they thought I that was a kidnapper or about to commit statutory rape. (Ha, did they have the wrong lady!) "He's my friend's son, I'm taking him home." I replied politely. I watched out of the corner of my eye, as the uniformed officer from the other car seemed to be inspecting the outside of my truck and camper. What the hell was going on here?

This answer seemed to mollify Mr. Plain-clothes and he asked to see my license and registration. Anyone who has ever had a camper knows that the cab of same is rarely kept as pristine as the family car. In other words, I had no idea where the registration was. I began pawing through all the various accumulated crap that was tucked behind the sun visor and in the jockey box. When I finally found the proper documents we were ordered out of the truck and the two police men began digging through the junk I had just strewn all over the seat. Strangely enough, they never asked to see in the camper. Good lord, I could have had the desiccated remains of Jimmy Hoffa back there. However, they were very thorough in their search of the cab.

So, here's where we come to the sword. (Yes I have one, doesn't everyone?) On this particular day, it was tucked discretely in the long pocket in the front of the seat cover. It was obvious that they weren't finding what they were looking for. ...BUT they did get a little excited when they found the sword. A three foot, slightly curved, Indian dress sword to be exact. It was still in its sheath and hadn't been oiled in weeks. I snickered under my breath when it took the two of them to pull the sword free of its sheath.

To be honest, I had forgotten it was there. It was part of my ensemble at the last convention and I had been half-dead with con-burnout when I had unpacked the truck. I thought the whole thing was hilariously funny; Mr. Plain-clothes did not. "Why do you carry a sword in your truck?" he asked, giving me a dirty look that would have peeled plaster.

I grinned sheepishly and tried to explain what a multimedia convention was and that it had been part of my character there. "You mean to say that you are ** years old and spend an entire weekend dressed in a costume?"

I needed to give him some form of reference that he could understand. "Yeah, you know, like 'Dungeons and Dragons.'"

"Hey I've heard of that." piped up the uniformed cop.

"You're kidding right?" Officer Plain-clothes said, giving the much younger uniform a look of disbelief.

"No seriously, these things are real." The uniform's head bobbed up and down.

I was left standing holding my sword beside my camper as the police drove away.

"You're not gonna tell my mom, are you?" my passenger asked.

Shaking my head, I replied, "I don't think she'd believe me even if I did." I took him home.

This was a few years ago and now even the police know what a multimedia convention is, heck some of them even attend. (Smirk, don't ask - don't tell) Frankly, I was just happy that I didn't have to explain that the costume I wore to that con consisted of a piece of cloth, a sword, and a leather bra. I might still be locked up to this day. ...No sense of Ha -Ha!

** This number has been concealed to help me to perpetuate the illusion that I will be forever 29.

1999 S. Day