People never believe the stupid crap that happens to me, but yes, this ain't no clickbait. I was almost arrested today.
This morning there was an open house at the Fillmore Arts Center, where 3 elementary schools have their weekly arts program. M's school was there today and the parents were invited to check it out, so I got to watch her in a drama class and then an art class. When I swung back home to pick up my work things, Real Estate Dad was surprised I actually got to see her. He didn't go because he thought it was just a building tour. Sucks for you Real Estate Dad, I got to see our little angel. But thankfully, I also took thousands of pictures. And this is where I handed him my phone.
And promptly forgot that I had done that. So I was phone-less today. Which isn't a big deal for the days you don't almost get arrested, but today would have been a good day to have the phone.
I got to the office and I've been working on a project with another Realtor. We decided to order lunch from Maggiano's. My turn to pay so I handed her my credit card when she placed the order online and then I headed over there. I told her I could swing in the front No Parking Zone and just run in and grab it, that's what they always tell you to do when you call in an order anyway.
Of course I pull up and the front No Parking area is empty except for one police car. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that somewhere between the police car and the No Parking zone is where I almost got arrested. Wrong.
I put the flashers on and ran into Maggiano's and went to the order pickup window. Told them my name and in hindsight I now realize there was a bit of a kerfluffle behind the desk with the 3 employees and they said they had to get the order from the back. Then I turn and see 3 cops come storming in, Ponch style, and they're heading straight for me.
Me: "You're here for me?'
Ponch: "We are."
Me: "You want me to move my car?"
Ponch: "We're not joking, this isn't a joke."
Me: "I'll move the car."
At this point I'm stumped. Did I park in an ambulance zone? Handicapped space? Nuclear attack area?
Then he screams, very loudly so the entire bar area could hear him, wait for it,
"YOU HAVE A STOLEN CREDIT CARD THAT YOU USED TODAY."
For that first instant I was like, "Yes! I'm not getting a parking ticket!"
I said, "No I didn't."
Ponch says, "Yes you did."
If I had my F*CKING phone I could have shown him my text and email alert from AMEX that says Maggiano's charged whatever dollars to my card. But no. We have to do this the hard way.
The Manager is behind the desk. he's got a sticky note on it with a name, phone number and the last 4 digits of my credit card. I said, "What's that?"
He asks for my card. I provide it. Ponch asks for my license. I also provide that.
Then we wait.
Give me my salad damn it, I'm hungry. Hannah's hungry too. She's probably back at the office wondering if I'm inhaling her lunch in the parking garage.
Manager is calling the number. Asking the number for their credit card info. Hangs up and says "It's not the same number. There must be a problem with AMEX." Suddenly everyone's demeanor changes and I'm no longer a criminal. I was like, "Can you explain what is happening? Someone said I used their credit card but it's really my credit card?" They say yes. Me again, "And you called the police, and Brooklyn* over here comes in screaming at me so the whole restaurant turns around to look?" (Brooklyn is Ponch. I just called him Brooklyn to his face. Not Ponch.)
Then I asked Ponch "What happened to innocent till proven guilty?"
It seems that some woman in Virginia has an alert on her Amex and she received an alert today telling her that there was a charge at Maggiano's for the amount I apparently spent for lunch today. So...follow me on this.
This is Maggiano's in Chevy Chase. They received a call from someone who tells them something on the phone that her credit card may have been used there at the restaurant, and without any proof, and without waiting until I get there with the card - they then call the police. The police practically storm the restaurant and accuse me of using a stolen credit card. The same Maggiano's that hosted some White Supremacist event last year at this time. Yes. Lots and lots of conclusions were jumped to here today.
And all I'm getting out of it is a free lunch. Maybe. If they remember that this even happened. And if I ever go back.
The Manager gave me his card to claim my free lunch. This is what's on the back. Awesome!