Some friends and I went on a bike ride to a park and stopped to rest. As we were chatting, we heard a rustling in the bushes and suddenly, from our right, two park rangers emerged and a few moments later a ranger from our left. They were in full action-mode and we probably made their night—thinking there were prowlers about. We exchanged cordial greetings, but, unfortunately for them, we were just having a couple of alcoholic beverages—not enough to impair our operation of said spoke-based transportation, but enough to give our insides an invigorating rubdown. Or as the lead ranger said, “There’s no need to hide your beverages; you guys are just having what is classified as a ‘picnic’.” They wandered off and we resumed our chat and eventually our ride.
What’s interesting is that Slate Magazine has a new crime blog. On it, they discuss “consensual” police encounters. Based on the article's advice, we should have probably said, “No, officers, we are not talking to you”, but it didn’t seem necessary since we weren’t doing anything illegal and they seemed like guys just doing their jobs on a really cold night. It’s an interesting Catch-22 though. Do you talk like a normal human and potentially get entrapped or do you refuse to participate and raise suspicions that could derail your night?