How My Cell-Phone Made Me Spend A Night In Jail (1)
Philip Matthew Alarie





This is a true story, of a random experience I had with the Montreal Police… I look back on it now, thinking it was actually quite funny… So, I thought I would take an attempt on making a story of it. (one of my first attempts to write one.) I have spent countless hours trying to perfect this story, as I jogged my memory through the events, which had happened to me… I also went over it countless times, to assure the accuracy of the events, (as well as my exact feelings, thoughts and dialogue, which I remember) that I experienced… So, finally, here it is, for me to share with you! Enjoy!

~(Contains some vulgar language, so reader discretion IS advised!)~
(Please forgive the use of vulgarity in this short story. I ONLY used it to clearly and realistically represent what I felt and witnessed, throughout these events.)


It was evening time, just before sunset, on Thursday, October 17th 2008… It was a day like any other. Most of my days are quite uneventful though, but on that day, I was going to head over to my best friend Jason’s apartment, to spend the weekend. To spend the weekend with him and my girlfriend (Holly). So I thought I’d head out using my regular method. I usually bike to john Abbott College and leave my bike there, to take the 211 to Lionel Groulx Metro. And from Lionel Groulx I hop onto the metro heading to Cote Vertu, where I usually catch the 215 bus to go to Jason’s apartment.

When I got on the bus, I was out of breath and exhausted... Hell, smoking will do that to you, when you bike... On the bus, I met up with an old friend from high school, (Hannah Jones) whom I hadn’t seen, or spoken to, since grade 11. We spoke for a bit, about what we had been up to in the years after high school.

After we spoke for a bit, she asked me if she could borrow my cell-phone. I think it was to call her boyfriend up, to let him know that she was on her way home, or something like that… (Her phone was dead, I guess) So I didn’t mind. I handed it to her and when she was finished making the call, she handed it back to me. I took it back, and placed it beside me, on the seat.

For the remainder of the bus ride, I played Tetris, on my DS. I got so caught up in the damn game… So caught up in it, that when I got off the bus, I forgot to put my cell-phone back into my pocket. Oblivious to that fact, I got into the metro and onto the orange line heading towards Cote Vertu…


Just before I got to the Cote Ste. Catherine stop, my DS battery had died. "DAMMIT!" I thought. "I almost had 200 lines in Tetris!" So I put my DS back into my knapsack. As I was doing this, it occurred to me that I may have forgotten my cell phone on the bus… Sure enough… After thoroughly searching my pockets and knapsack, my cell-phone was nowhere to be found… “Dammit,” I thought. “I forgot my bloody cell-phone on the damn bus! How could I have been so careless! This kind of thing has NEVER happened to me before- especially with me having OCD and all!”

So I got off at Cote Ste. Catherine, to transfer back to Lionel Groulx. From Lionel Groulx, I took the green line to McGill, to go to the Eaton’s Centre. I remembered there being a Telus shop there. It was there where I thought I would report my cell-phone missing, and try to get a replacement phone. When I got there, the shop was closed for renovations. On the door there was a sign saying that there was a Telus store somewhere on Maisoneuve Street. So I walked up and down Maisoneuve, to try and find the store. I wasn't able to find it... It was now past 9pm and all the stores were now closed.

I then decided to go back to Lionel Groulx, where I would do some detective work, to try to recover my lost cell-phone… When I got to Lionel Groulx metro station, I asked the man in the ticket booth if anyone, by any chance had turned in a lost cell-phone. Nope, no luck… So I went outside to see if the bus I was on was still there. There was a 211 bus there, but it was a different bus with a different driver. Regardless, I still asked the bus driver if he had come across a missing cell-phone. But again, no luck… “Not really any surprise… Just my luck!” I thought to myself.

It was after this that I had decided to use the public phone-booth, to report to Telus that my cell-phone was missing. And also, to get them to deactivate it, so strangers wouldn’t use it. I also thought that perhaps somebody's stolen it by now anyways... I was also going to call Jason. Call him to tell him how I lost my cell-phone, so that if he would try to reach me, he would not be able to, and not to worry... Little did I know that these events would cause me to experience one of the weirdest things, that I had ever experienced before…


It was around 9:30 pm on the phone’s clock, when I walked into that phone-booth. That cursed phone-booth! I was quite stressed at the moment, so I light up a cigarette, to help take the edge off. I then called up Telus, to report my cell-phone as missing and to order a new phone. After I took care of the matter, I was going to call Jason. I put one quarter in and I was about to put in the second one, when I heard sirens and saw flashing blue and red lights…

I turned around to see what was happening… There were 3 police cars and one of them literally drove into the phone-booth! I was absolutely shocked! “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?!”, I thought. “WHAT DID I DO!?!”… The cops then came out of their cars, (4 male officers and 2 female officers) with their hands on their holstered guns, ready to shoot, if I made the wrong move. One of the male cops from the car, which almost drove through the phone-booth shouted something in French- something I couldn’t understand. He was probably shouting; “COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!” And maybe even; “YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT! EVERYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN THE COURT OF LAW!”- Or maybe something like that- I’m not quite sure…

In my utter confusion, I dropped my cigarette and quarter and complied- throwing my hands into the air. At first, in my confusion, I was speechless… They took away my knapsack and patted me down, to check if I had any drugs and/or weapons on me, I suppose. They then took my wallet from me. They then made go face down on the front of a police car, where they made me put my hands behind my back and then one of them put handcuffs on me… As they were doing this, a female officer was searching my bag and carelessly throwing my stuff- mostly clothes and video games- everywhere. “What a bitch!” I thought… I then started to panic- and started to yell; “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?? I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG!! I WAS ON MY WAS TO MY FRIEND'S PLACE IN D.D.O, WHEN I LOST MY CELL-PHONE!! I WAS JUST REPORTING IT MISSING AND WAS ABOUT TO CALL MY FRIEND!! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??” But those bastard "pigs" seemed to just ignore me… As this was happening people were getting on the 211 bus and coming from and going to the metro and were all watching in awe, probably wondering; “what the hell did that guy get caught for?” It was actually quite embarrassing, as I didn’t even do anything wrong! They then threw me into the cramped backseat of a police car…

While I was in the police car, I was so confused, wondering; “just what the hell is going on? What is it that they think I’ve done??” and at the same time I was resenting my DS for starting this mess… I was thinking to myself; “If I wasn’t so caught up in that damn Tetris game, and put my cell-phone back into my pocket, I would never have forgotten my cell phone and this random shit wouldn’t be happening right now…” They made me wait in the police car for quite a while, while they were talking amongst themselves in french and I couldn’t understand what they were saying.

Then two male officers got into the car and one of them started to ask me questions. First he asked; “Tu parlez francais, monsieur?” "No, I speak only english,” I replied. (My father’s family is almost ENTIRELY French, but I am TERRIBLE at speaking it!) Then in broken english, he asked me my name, (I guess to double check that the wallet they found on me was really mine) date and location of birth, address, postal code and phone number. He then asked; “why you call 9-11 and say you put bomb in metro?” To my shock, I replied; “what the hell? I would NEVER do such a thing!!” then he asked me; “do you work for Al-Qaeda?” “WHAT??” I replied. “Do I EVEN look like a terrorist??” And then the other cop showed me 2 of my pill containers, (Seroquel XR and Effexor XR) which were in my knapsack and asked me; “Why you take these drugs?” “For bipolar disorder and OCD,” I replied.
- “Do you feel like to hurt people?”
- “NO of course not!”
- “Do you feel like to kill yourself?”
- “NO! I haven’t felt that way in the longest time!”
-“Do you hear the voice in your head?”
- “NO, I’m NOT crazy, or anything!!”
- “Do you do the drug, like cannabis?”
- “NO!”

After he asked me these questions, feeling quite panicked, I repeated to them the story of what it was I was doing, up till the moment I was in that cursed phone-booth… Its like they just mockingly pretended to listen to me, as they shook their heads… Those "pig" bastards just didn’t care… They probably had some quota to meet, to get a bonus and to get promoted- so they probably thought they'd crack down on some stupid shit, to make that quota. So they probably found out about a prank bomb threat, from the phone I was using and I just happened to be the one in there, after the son-of-a-bitch that did it... So without even asking any witnesses about it, or checking any evidence, they jumped their gun, thinking I was the guy who did it... Either that, or one of the "pig's" was off duty, busy making love to his wife, when he got a call about a bomb threat and rushed on down, just to get the job over with as quickly as possible- just to get back to screwing his wife! How utterly unprofessional! Those "pig" bastards just didn't care... Shit! Talk about being in the wrong place, at the wrong time!

Then, I started thinking; “So, now I’m going to jail, because they think I made a bomb threat from that bloody phone-booth? Shit, I haven’t made a prank phone call since grade 9... And don’t even know why I did it then- when even an 8 year old would know better, than to make prank phone calls! Probably what happened is that some immature, son-of-a -bitch before me decided to make a bomb threat, in that same phone-booth, to get his kicks… Whoever that son-of-a-bitch is, I hope he pays and pays for making me pay- for something I wouldn’t EVEN imagine doing… I hope they catch that son-of-a-bitch soon, so they would just let me go… Damn, I was really looking forward to seeing Jason and Holly… Shit, I wonder what Jason, Holly and my family will think, when they find out that I‘ve been arrested? For something I wouldn't EVEN dream of doing!” …Damn, I hate misunderstandings…

Meanwhile, they drove to a police station nearby. One of the cops went into the police station- for whatever reason, I’m not sure and the other one stayed in the car with me.

As I sat there, I was playing around with the handcuffs and I found that it would be quite easy for me to get out of the handcuffs I had on, because my wrists are so thin. But, I thought; “if I did that, the "pig" would probably beat me up… But then again he’s not that big… Maybe I could take him on and then escape… But then again, that would obviously be pretty stupid and don’t forget the "pig" has a gun…”

As I sat there, I was pretty sure the other cop would come back into the car to tell me it was all a misunderstanding and they'd just let me go… But then the other cop came back- and nope, they didn’t let me go… Just my luck! Then the cop who returned to the car said; “Mr. Alarie? You are under arrest for public mischief!” This was the most confused I had EVER been, in my life! I just sat there silent in my confusion, feeling completely powerless to change the circumstance, which I had unwillingly become entangled with... They then drove me to another police station, not that far away…


When we got to the other police station, the officer drove the car into a small garage (only large enough for one police car). Once the car was parked, the 2 officers got out of the car and one of them escorted me out of the car and brought me into the police station. They brought me into the lobby, where there was an officer behind a counter at a computer. There was a clock on the wall, behind the officer at the computer and it was just past 10pm now. The officers then spoke amongst themselves in french, for a brief moment. Then, one of the cops then took off my handcuffs- “Hell I could have taken them off myself,” I thought to myself, as I silently giggled to myself. Then the cop told me to place my hands on the counter (where he could keep a close eye on them, I suppose…). The officer from behind the counter then repeated to me the questions, which the cop had asked me in the car (my name, date and location of birth, address, postal code and phone number). The only questions he asked me, which the other cop hadn’t asked me, was for my weight and height. I complied and has I was answering his questions, he typed all of this information into the computer. He then made me sign a form, which I’m not sure for what it was for, because it was in french…

Then one of the cops made me take off my sweater, belt, necklace, claddagh ring (which I NEVER usually remove, from my finger) and even my shoelaces… “Why the hell would they take my shoelaces?” I wondered… Perhaps they think those things could be used as weapons, or as objects to hang myself with or something… “Whatever,” I thought. I complied to his request… The cop then placed these items in a large, plastic Ziploc kind of bag.

The officer from behind the counter then asked me; “do you have a lawyer?” “No,” I replied. He then gave me a number to call, for a free lawyer… The officer from the counter then told the other officer to bring me into a room, where there was a phone, to speak with a lawyer. I used the phone to call the lawyer. I then told the lawyer about my ridiculous circumstances and she just told me to remain silent in court and she would take care of everything for me… I then hung up the phone and then knocked on the window on the door, to tell the cop I was finished with the call. He then escorted me back to the lobby…

The officer from behind the counter then called in a jail-guard. The jail guard then escorted me down a corridor, to my cell… As I was walking down that corridor, I noticed that most of the cells were empty of prisoners. “I guess that on Thursday nights there isn’t whole a lot of crime,” I thought… As I was walking, I also thought to myself; “I’ll just co-operate with these “pigs,” because they’ll probably just let me go soon, anyways…” While I was walking, I had to hold my jeans up- just to keep them from falling down (I hate being so thin…) and to keep my feet in my unlaced shoes, I had to waddle like a penguin…

The guard then brought me to my cell and closed the bars behind me… I then asked him, from behind the bars; “when will I be going to court?” “10am, tomorrow morning,” he replied… “Shit! I guess that I’ll have to spend the night here then…” I thought… He then walked back down the corridor and went back into the lobby. And there I was, confused and all alone… None of this seemed real- It was like a really messed up, bad dream (the rest of the time I was in custody, had felt like this…). …

The cell was about 10 feet by 8 feet. With concrete block walls, a concrete floor and a concrete ceiling. The cell was quite filthy… There were food wrappers, juice boxes and Kleenex littered all around… There was also a stainless steel toilet (that was filthy too, as it certainly DID have its share of stains on it…)- it was on the back wall and had a sink on top of it, without any soap… The toilet looked like it had never EVER been flushed! It was quite disgusting… “I will MOST definitely steer clear of that toilet!” I thought to myself… I then jokingly thought; “ If I use that toilet, some grotesque monster might just pop out of it!” The toilet didn’t even have any toilet paper for it- “gross!” I thought… Like do they REALLY think that someone will try to hang them self, or try to kill someone, using toilet paper! Damn! You would certainly need a hell of a lot of toilet paper to do that! I mean, imagine seeing a prisoner with a bunch of toilet paper, sneak up behind another prisoner and try to strangle him with it! Or, a prisoner hanging from toilet paper, from the bars of his cell! That would be utterly ridiculous, don't you think? (What I would find out later, to my shock, was that if you needed toilet paper, the guards will give you Kleenex! And not even that much… And that is absolutely disgusting!) “Do the “pigs” ever even clean up in here?… Oh yeah, that’s right- they‘re “pigs!”” In disgust, I wondered to myself- “Guess they just cant be bothered… It was a person with OCD’s worst nightmare! Too bad there isn’t such thing as a “Mary Poppins,” working in the jail to clean these filthy cells, with a snap of her fingers!” I jokingly thought… There were 2 large wooden benches anchored to the wall, on both sides. One of them had a wool blanket on it. On the right hand wall, near the ceiling, in the corner there was a security camera pointing directly at the toilet. “Why the hell would they have a security camera pointing right at the toilet?” I thought. “Well we don’t call them “pigs” for nothing! So, they must be perverts too!” There was also a small air-vent, just above the toilet. I jokingly thought; “hmmm…perhaps I could somehow break the security camera and pry open the air-vent and escape through there- as I am quite thin, after all…”

I also noticed some graffiti etched on a wall between cells, outside my cell- It said; “FUCK THE POLICE!”
“That’s right- FUCK THE POLICE!” I said angrily, under my breath… “FUCK!” I thought to myself- “THIS is where I’m going to spend the night?? So much for going to Jason’s place! Too bad that “Mary Poppins” isn’t here to snap her fingers and send me straight to Jason’s place, where I AM supposed to be! Or that she could snap her fingers and I would be back on the 211 earlier that evening and remember to put my damn cell- phone in my pocket! Or snap her fingers to make me have forgotten my DS at home, earlier that evening!” Oh, if only “Mary Poppins” had existed and was there with me…

I was cold, so I sat down on the bench, which had the wool blanket. At first, I was a bit reluctant at using that blanket- because you never know who used it before… It could have been some hobo off the street, or something. Or someone who hadn’t bathed in like over a decade, or two- Who knows? But I was cold, so I wrapped myself in it and lay down on the hard, uncomfortable bench… I was still cold but not as cold as before, at least…

As I lay there, I said a silent prayer- praying that I would get through this quickly… Then I started wondering to myself; “how the hell did I get into this shit?” And I replayed the sequence of events, which had occurred in my mind… I was really anxious… So anxious, that I was wishing so strongly that I could just have a cigarette, to help take off the edge… Just one… But obviously I couldn’t do that… I lay there worrying about what Jason, Holly and my family would think when they found out that I’ve been arrested for something, for which I was innocent… I longed so badly to be with Holly! And was quite disappointed, that I wouldn’t be able to see Jason that night… I was REALLY looking forward to going to his place that night… But this ridiculously random circumstance HAD to happen to ME… To me, of ALL people…

And I lay there thinking, thinking that perhaps this was some kind of divine justice, for the crimes I had committed, in the past… Crimes like shoplifting, stealing my parents car while they were sleeping, or away- when I only had my learner’s permit. Smoking pot, smoking in public places, where it was prohibited… And arson?- I’m not sure- but when I was in grade 7, one weekend, one of my best friend's (Wes) and I went into a small forest, near my old house and were playing with a Zippo lighter and we almost burnt the forest down! And we ran away…(In retrospective- what a stupid thing to have done! Actually, all of those things were rather stupid!) Maybe now it was God’s wish for me to pay for those crimes, of my past- although indirectly…

“Shit!” I thought to myself. “I do all this crazy shit and get away with it, then I’m just minding my own business one day, obeying the law and everything, then BAM!!! Off to the slammer, I go! I mean, WHAT the hell??” I lay there thinking to myself about how ridiculous what had happened to me was and I quietly giggled to myself… I was also certain they’d let me out as soon as possible, finding out this was all just a misunderstanding… And then I thought; “what if just ANYONE is using a phone booth and they get arrested like me, on some stupid charge? Damn, that’s quite a scary thought indeed!”

I was then really not sure what time it was, as there were no clocks anywhere, but it was most likely quite late… It had already seemed like I had been in that cell for an eternity… I was quite exhausted from all of this crazy business, so I thought that I’d try and sleep.

I had fallen asleep for a short while, until I was awoken by some prisoner’s ridiculously loud snoring- it literally shook the bars and walls, within the jail! But nonetheless, I still tried to sleep, but slept quite poorly- drifting back and forth many times, from consciousness to sleep…

Then a guard started making his rounds… What an asshole he was! As I was trying to sleep, he kept banging on the bars of the empty cells, with his nightstick and it was making an awful racket! It sounded like machine-gun fire! And he was also whistling quite loudly, which was quite irritating! He then stopped banging the bars with his nightstick, but continued to whistle loudly, for quite some time… Then he was silent and the "snoring prisoner" started to snore more quietly…

So, for a short time I fell asleep again… ONLY to be awoken by somebody’s ridiculously loud fart! It echoed throughout the jail! And that fart had also literally shook the bars and walls, within the jail! It scared the shit out of me! I would drift off to sleep again- only to be awoken again by another ridiculously loud, earth-shattering fart, every couple of minutes! This must have went on for about an hour! “What the hell did that guy have to eat, before getting thrown into this shit-hole?” I jokingly thought…

I became quite restless and couldn’t sleep… And quite some time had passed, when the jail guard came, with another prisoner- a well-dressed, middle-aged man. They put him in a cell across from mine. He sat silently in his cell, for about 10 minutes. But then, he started to yell; “HELP!! HELP!! COULD I PLEASE GET SOME HELP?? HELP ME PLEASE!! I’M BIPOLAR AND I’M HAVING AN ANXIETY ATTACK!! I NEED SOME HELP IN HERE!! PLEASE!! HELP!! HELP!!” The guard just told him to shut up and a prisoner in a nearby cell told him; “just shut the fuck up!” And that’s what I was thinking, at that moment… He would then start yelling periodically, every couple of minutes…

As this was going on, the guard started to whistle again and at the same time, through the vent in the wall, I could hear a female guard humming “Amazing Grace.” It created quite an eerie atmosphere, within that jail…

After a while, there was almost complete silence again- the "bipolar prisoner" finally did shut the fuck up! The only sound was that from the “snoring prisoner,” but it wasn’t that loud… And the “farting prisoner” farted no more…

Then a little more time had passed… The jail-guard returned once again, with another prisoner, who was a young man. The guard had put him in the cell, directly across from mine. He sat silently in his cell for quite sometime.

Then he asked me; “So, what’s your name?” “My name’s Phil,” I replied. “What’s your name?” I asked him. “Fred,” he replied.
He then asked me; “how old are you?”
- “22.”
- “You’re the same age as me!”

He then asked; “so, what are you in here for?”
- “Well, the “pigs” think that I’m a terrorist, working for Al-Qaeda… And they also think that I made a bomb-threat at Lionel Groulx Metro station!”
- “Shit! Seriously? Well, are you a terrorist? And did you make a bomb-threat?”
- “FUCK NO!! Do I EVEN look like a bloody terrorist?” (He then chuckled)
- “Well no, but why’d they think it was you and bring you here?”
- “Because I happened to use a damn phone-booth, which had been used by some son-of-a-bitch to make a prank bomb-threat…”
- “Shit! Just your luck, man!”
- “Yeah, I know fuck… Just an instance of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, I suppose!”



Go to part:2 



Copyright © 2008 Philip Matthew Alarie
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