The Outlaw of St. Louis: A Survivor’s True Tale of Survival Against All Odds

Today, for the first time ever, I was pulled over by the police while driving.

This is my story.

I was driving back from brunch–something I’m guessing most rebels do on Sunday–when a police car pulled behind me, its lights flashing red and blue. Although I knew I could outrun it in my ’03 Camry, I decided to play it safe and pull over.

I handed the officer my license and insurance. He asked me if I was aware that my plates were expired.

I knew at that moment that he had me. There was no sweet-talking my way out of this one. You see, a couple years ago when I got my license plates renewed, I put on my Outlook calendar that I needed to renew them again in July of 2011. So the reminder popped up a few weeks ago, and I went to the DMV, and they told me to get an emissions test and inspection, which I did this past week. I then went back to the DMV on Wednesday, but the lines were really long, so I tried to renew online. However, I didn’t have a pin code because the state never sent me a renewal notice, so I e-mailed the state for the code. Their response was that my plates should have been renewed in January, and because they were overdue, I would have to take care of it in person at the DMV.

I am a man on the run. I no longer look anything like this. I look the opposite of this.

I was sure they were wrong, because when is my Outlook calendar ever wrong? But then I looked at my license plates, and sure enough, they say JAN on them, clear as day. Apparently I rely more on Outlook than real things right before my eyes.

I showed the officer that I truly had been trying to take care of the issue (I had the receipt for the emissions test and inspection), and he let me off with a warning. Which I don’t really understand. I broke the law, right? Shouldn’t I get a ticket?

So now I’m on the lam. I ditched my car as soon as I was out of sight of the officer, taking off on foot. I’m a marked man, with my expired license plate warning, and I’m sure all police in the area have “shoot to kill” orders.

Thus I’ve taken to the seedy underbelly of St. Louis. I live in the sewers now, eating whatever the rats leave behind, sleeping in puddles of urine and double beds.

Double beds. The horror.

I spent the first few hours of my new life as an outlaw in the most productive way possible, constructing a crude loincloth out of duct tape and cat hair. I shaved my head, grew a beard, and trimmed my fingernails so the police can’t identify me.

I am a shadow of my former self.

I roam this windswept land in search of…something. Is it love? A new start? Or perhaps a receipt of my 2009 personal property tax bill payment. No one knows.

No one knows how it feels to be outcasted from society, discarded like yesterday’s garbage. I turned to friends and relatives, and everywhere the look of disgust and dismay is the same: Why has he come to me? they wonder. Why is he wearing a duct tape diaper?

These are questions that cannot be answered.

I sleep with one eye open and the other also open. I tried to join a gang but I was too rough around the edges. So I started my own gang, the Sewer Ratz Fun-Time Solution Remedy. Initiation was brutal.

Do not try to find me. You will try anyway, as the reward money for my capture is surely in the tens of dollars. I will evade you until the end of days.

This is the last you’ll hear from me until tomorrow around this time. So until then, if you see a pale man cowering on a street corner, tufts of cat hair attached to his loins by what appears to be duct tape, please keep walking. Do not look back. Because he might not have had enough duct tape to cover his butt.