I’ve had my board confiscated, I’ve endured preachy lectures by cops who “used to skate,” I’ve been chased, hassled, and interrogated, but I’ve never actually gotten a ticket for skateboarding. Call it luck, call it skill, call it a tasty little thing I like to call charm-whatever it is, I’m not complaining.

The rest of the TWS staff hasn’t been so fortunate: Just last week, our photo honcho Skin Phillips got smacked with a trespassing ticket, and he wasn’t even skating. Skin was merely shooting Adrian Lopez doing his thing on some old lady’s handrail. Or take last month’s spotlighted pro Stefan Janoski, who seems to be followed by a dark cloud that just happens to rain down tickets. “I’d take getting a skate ticket as an opportunity to tell the police exactly what I thought of them,” he says. Bad move, Stefan. See, I like to think my perfect ticket-free record can be attributed to two rules of thumb: 1) If you run, don’t get caught. And 2) If you get caught, lie. Lie like the wind.

Did you see the “no skateboarding” sign over there?

“Sorry officer, I wasn’t paying attention. I was too busy making sure I was skating safely and respectfully.”

Can I see some I.D.?

“Uh, I seem to have left my wallet at home officer.”

Okay, tell me your name and address.

“Sure. It’s Mike Carroll, and my address is 415 Embarcadero Road.”

I actually used that last one with the Berkeley P.D. back in college. And my friends who managed to escape? Why they were my good pals Rick Howard, Sean Sheffey, and Tim Gavin. It worked every time. Not because it was the most intelligent plan, but because the cops just seemed to get fed up with me after twenty minutes of getting nowhere.

I always used to wonder if the Girl team ever got into trouble because of my fibs (it wasn’t the first time I’d dropped those names). If so, I’m sorry guys. Feel free to drop my name next time.

-Carleton Curtis