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My first arrest was when I was 11 years old - I'd injected the chocolates in the teachers lounge with vodka. I was taken to the police station and given ice cream, but not booked.

Mostly they laughed at me and called me "clever". It was encouragement to be different, to follow my worst impulses, and led to a lifetime of pranking.

Let this be a lesson to you - don't trust the police. They do not have your best interests at heart.

Leading out of that first arrest and the celebratory atmosphere of it, my second arrest soon followed at age 13when I conspired to lock the teacher inside the easter egg our class was making as part of the decorations for the parade.  Again, I was taken to the police station and given ice cream.  The principal came and picked me up to take me home, and stopped to get me a bratwurst and pommes frits with my very first soda.

That set the stage for my lifetime criminal career. Ice cream, soda, what's not to love about being a criminal?

Yes, I'm looking at you, you indulgent police - and Herr Straussman, with your soda bribe.

Once, when I was out hiking with friends,  I accidentally crossed the border between East and West Germany, and was held in prison in East Germany for several weeks before the embassy got me free. When I was released, I got ice cream and a torte and the whole village celebrated with a beer fest and music.

Not shabby for being an international criminal.

Then I came to the States and being a criminal here is so different.

First thing, I set up my pharmacy, little realizing my education from Germany was worthless here, and so was arrested and fined for practicing medicine without a license and possessing illegal stills.  The stills are legal now, and I went back to college and got a nice safe degree in fairytales instead.

A hefty fine that took me nearly 2 decades to pay off and not one lick of ice cream! Crime doesn't pay in America.

Between 1965 and 1972, I was arrested several times as part of various protests and marches for civil and women's right and to protest the Vietnam War, but they never gave me ice cream, never laughed at what I did or called it "clever". Instead, they made me pay fines and locked me behind bars for awhile.

Since 1972, I've not been caught, because, yanno, they stopped giving me ice cream.  

What's the point of being arrested if you don't get ice cream?

I'm still a criminal, though, and I still engage in my protests and activism.  I just don't let myself get caught any more. The causes are still there, and the need for reform.

But the police have graduated from joking with us and giving us ice cream to rounding us up and scolding us, then giving us fines to pay off, and on to spraying us with military grade pepper spray, tossing smoke bombs, using physical violence, and no more ice cream.

Let this be a lesson to you - the police do not have your best interests at heart.

American police have made me more than clever. They've evolved me to sneaky and honed me to be pointed in my pranking and protests. No more pranking just for fun and ice cream.  Now, I write letters to the editor and to my legislators.  I drop in to visit my legislators. I send money to causes and inventory goods. I work in the back ground, where the police don't look.

And don't you dare say it's because I grew up.

We all know it's because American police don't give ice cream to their criminals.

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