The Day I Almost Got Arrested by The US Military Police

I don't know how it got to the point that we were walking around Itaewon in nothing but boxers and bras, but it surely involved a lot of drinking. My British buddy "Pedro" invited me to this party inside of US army Yongsan garrison, where those 6 dollar bottles of military gin and military vodka were sure to be flowing out of the coolers like it was river water. I can't even begin to try and recall how we left the Dragon hotel or how many we had, but considering that Pedro vomited as soon as we exited base and started heading towards Itaewon, it was surely enough to take down Charlie Sheen reincarnated as a horse. In all my years of alcoholism in Korea, I'd never seen Pedro throw up. Him puking may have had something to do with how we lost our pants, but such minute details have been lost to history and the passage of time.

Now, Pedro and I were civilians, but we had short hair and reeked of military gin. There's a reason why the military rations out the stuff at 6 bucks a pop: to weed out the drunks. They don't need to put a chip in the shit to know who's been chugging it the night before Physical Training; they can just smell it on you from from the other side of the barracks. And that is exactly why, by the time we made it from Yongsan gate 3 to Itaewon station exit 3, we had already aroused concern from a couple of MPs who'd no doubt radioed us in.

Now, the military police only have authority over US soldiers, and once Pedro and I for some reason showed the capacity to recognize military ranks, the MPs outside of the police station by Itaewon station exit 3 took serious notice. As we passed a couple of MPs, one of them motioned my way and asked me: "What happened to your clothes?"

I replied, "Listen lieutenant, tell Private Gomez over there that his head is too big for his uniform!"
I'd simply read the private's name tag, but at that point they were sure Pedro and I were two renegade soldiers out to destroy what little reputation the US army still had. Private Gomez shouted, "hey, come back here!" and Pedro and I made a run for Polly's at the top of Hooker Hill. The MPs didn't give chase, and once we were halfway up the hill, we felt secure enough to try and enter whatever Hooker's window we felt like.

Normally, the sex workers are very inviting, but upon seeing us in our underwear, wearing bras, and reeking of military gin vomit, they locked the doors to their windows in panic. I guess they must have some kind of alert system 'cause before we even made it to the next window, it was already locked and the women inside panicked.

I guess attempted kick-in of a sex worker's window was all the military police needed to start giving chase in order to "ask questions." I screamed at Pedro, "shit, let's run to Polly's bar" but Pedro couldn't keep up. I made it up the hill and ran inside of Polly's. As I walked in, I saw that Pedro had tripped and gotten surrounded by a bunch of dudes in digicam fatigues. I entered the bathroom at Polly's terrified for my life; I was sure I was gonna end up in a maximum security stockade, only to escape to the Itaewon underworld as a soldier of fortune, relying on nothing but my background as a mechanic and the authority my mohawk commanded.

However, as I threw some water on my face inside of the bathroom, I remembered that I was a civilian and that the US army had no authority over civilians in Korea. Pedro, on the other hand, got demoted a rank. We both had forgotten that he was in the army. I always thought he was a teacher until that day. You think you know people, but some basic things about them escape you.