“Long-haired piece of shit,” one cop said. “What you doing with these spades?”
“Spades?” I was trying to grok. What was these characters’ problem? Didn’t they understand that we were New York hippies and this was the Summer of Love and that Love was supposed to transcend Hate, at least when you were high on mescaline?
One of the other cops stuck his nightstick in my face. “See this?” he shouted, pointing to a wilted daisy affixed to the stick with a thick rubber band. “This is what you call Flower Power.” With that he smacked me in the tailbone and ordered my buddies to get up and spread-eagle.
It was then that Andre turned to me shaking his head and said in his best cracker voice, “Fucking hippie. Can’t you cut your damn hair?” That cracked everyone up.
The three of us fell on the ground laughing. Even the cops, who were no older than us after all, laughed. It was a brotherhood of laughter. The cops told us to just get out of there.
The next day, working the “tips and clips” at the terminal, we were still cackling about it. Somehow, I just don’t think it would have struck us so funny out in San Francisco.