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  • Overall we're good and considerate people. But there was this time five years ago when we were delinquents. All three of us. Shy "Bunny-bun-bun," quiet "Squirrelina" and me.

    It was spring break and all three of us stayed in put Kansas City, Missouri. Bunny-bun-bun was from Far Florida, Squirrelina was from Far-Far Alaska and I was from Somewhat Distant Wisconsin and could have gone home, but there was a conference for artists in my field that I had to attend.

    We were antsy. Kansas City in March was a grey-windy bore. More so than other places I've been. I think it is because there is a lack of shoreline water-and the Missouri River does NOT count. Without shoreline or sun things got stagnant and frustration brewed.

    Desperate measures tempted us on that road trip... to KANSAS!

    Squirrelina and Bunny-bun-bun were vegans at the time and I was vegan around vegans so before we set off to the Land of the Bland we picked up some pad thai to go.

    Driving to Kansas was like shuffling cards, we cut off the freeway when we felt properly mixed up and lost.

    Welcome to Leavenworth.

    We were not timid about our first sin. We pulled into a McDonalds, walked in, shot snotty glances in the direction of the sizzling burgers and fries before sitting down in a booth to enjoy our 'Real Food.'

    After dinner we surveyed the village K-Mart and hung out in Squirrelina's car afterwards. She pulled out a flask of whiskey, impressive as we were all 19. The flask was red and had a sickle motif on it. A communist flask of whiskey! Bad girls!

    I took a modest swig, but Bunny-bun-bun only sniffed and crinkled her nose. "Aw c'mon," we chided her, "live a little!" Bunny-bun-bun wetted her tongue, but no more. The dear was not comfortable, twitchy even. She wanted to go home, this was not what she had in mind for our adventure.

    Watching Squirrelina take several more sips I too got nervous, since she was the only one who knew how to drive.

    "Let's go for a walk somewhere," I said hoping to change the direction of the evening.

    We drove down the main road and saw nothing exciting until we saw the sign 'Leavenworth National Cemetery.'

    Everyone agreed cemeteries were cool. But Bunny-bun-bun didn't understand why we wanted to see one at night. I wanted to see it because it was a full moon and the pure white military headstones lined up with mathematical perfection glowed eerie. Extra eerie. Squirrelina thought so too.

    We drove a little further and saw an older graveyard. Moss covered markers from the 19th century, ornate, spooky.

    We pulled in the driveway, parked the car and hopped the fence. We ignored the sign that said "Cemetery open 8am-6pm. No trespassing." It was a tall fence and Bunny-bun-bun had difficulties getting over it in her skirt.

    It was very satisfying to walk around. I think we talked about broken hearts and Edgar Allen Poe.

    We weren't out there long, just long enough to get cold and mutually agree (to the tremendous relief of Bunny-bun-bun) that Kansas was lame overall and that we should go back to Kansas City.

    Not so fast. We saw the flashing red and blue lights on the stone fence by the gate. And when the police got out the breathalyzer I heard the collective whimper from my pals.

    "You have a choice," the cops told us. "Come and with us and spend the night in jail or be fined $1000 each and be banned from the state of Kansas." What a decision!

    The cops also let us know a few more things before we decided: we were extra suspicious because there was a high security prison across the street- y'know we were probably digging up bodies to help our commie boyfriends escape. And because of this if we took the fine option we could go to court to prove we weren't and maybe have our penalty lessened.

    This is a photo I took of myself on the way to court practicing my most penitent expression, since I really needed access to Kansas. Overland Park, Kansas had the only large fabric store in Kansas City, and I didn't want my face to be recognized from the wanted posters.

    We won, criminal records cleared, but we still had $200 fines each.

    I never plan on visiting Leavenworth again.
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