Time: 12:40 AM.


Location: Really nice neighborhood next to a park by the beach, filled with mansions and residents suspicious of non-luxurious vehicles and vehicles over 7ft high.


Attire: Under garments.

I awoke to flashing lights and Levi frantically tapping my back.


A dog starts barking.
Levi rolls out of bed and quickly starts putting on his clothes. Flashlights shine directly into my eyes.


MAN’S VOICE: The van’s shaking! There’s definitely somebody in there!




“Open up! It’s the police!”


At this point I’m still under the covers. Levi is struggling to find pants in the dark. I have a strong feeling I should roll into the back of the van and hide.


LEVI: Ok! Hang on!




LEVI: One second!


POLICE: Are you coming out the side or the front?


LEVI: The side.


BOOM BOOM BOOM on the side door. I start to roll back to hide. Then I think better of it.


The door opens. I’m laying paralyzed, and still sleepily in the bed. Flashlights blind us. This isn’t real life.


MALE OFFICER: It’s against city ordinance to sleep overnight in your car. We got a call from a neighbor suspecting there was someone sleeping in this van. 


LEVI: Oh we didn’t know.


MALE OFFICER: Are you wanted for any outstanding arrests?


Levi stands up to get out of the van.


MALE OFFICER: hey no– you need to sit back down.


Levi puts both hands in the air and slowly sits back down.


MALE OFFICER: Is it just you?


LEVI: No, my wife too.


FEMALE OFFICER: (clearly confused by how attractive Levi is) What’s going on, did you just get sleepy and pull over…?


LEVI: Uh well…my wife works in Torrence and the commute is really bad so we’ve been staying overnight to skip the traffic. And I am a student, so I just can study wherever.


MALE OFFICER (surprised):Huh. Yeah, that makes sense.


Female officer shines light toward me.


FEMALE OFFICER: (Accusingly) Who’s that??


**We think she thought I was the mistress sleeping over in the van.**


LEVI: That’s my wife.


FEMALE OFFICER (embarrassed): Oh sorry, it sounded like you were talking about her like she wasn’t here.


I shift uncomfortably, still silent laying in bed trying to cover my indecency.


FEMALE OFFICER: Ok we’re going to need your IDs.


Luckily I keep my license on my phone and luckily I sleep with my phone so I didn’t have to stand up and bare my indecency to the police while finding my license.


Female officer takes the IDs back to their car.


Awkward silence with male officer. He and Levi look at each other.

MALE OFFICER: Did we wake you guys up?

(What’s the right answer here? If we weren’t sleeping, does that mean we weren’t breaking the law?

LEVI: um I was just falling asleep. I think she was alseep.

They look at me. More silence. I know how this works, I’ve seen TV. And I have the right to remain silent. I need my attorney!

MALE OFFICER (admittedly): This is actually a really nice setup, man! What’s under there? (pointing to the bed)


LEVI: Oh just storage. He shows him.


MALE OFFICER (impressed): What’s holding it up? 


LEVI: 2×4 wooden beams.


MALE OFFICER: Nice. How long have you guys been married?


I’m still silent.


LEVI: Almost 5 years.


MALE OFFICER:  How old are you guys?


Me. Still silent. I lift covers up higher. I snap a picture because this is prime documentary content and someone has to.


LEVI: I’m 30. She’s…Andy how old are you? 24? 25?


I nod.
MALE OFFICER:  This is great. I mean you could just get F-$*%!-ed up and then crash in the back. 


LEVI: uh yeah you could…I’ve just been surfing in the morning.


Female officer and dog return. She hands us back our IDs.


FEMALE OFFICER: Ok guys. So like we said it’s a city ordinance that you can’t sleep here so you’re going to have to leave and take your van somewhere else…You might blend in more in Redondo beach.


LEVI: Ok we’ll leave.


MALE OFFICER: Alright you guys be safe. Have a good night.


Doors close.


Big heavy sighs of relief. The police car drives away. We stare at each other wide-eyed.


ME/ANDY (finally speaks): This is so fun.


We laugh hysterically.

7 thoughts on “OPEN UP, IT’S THE POLICE.

  1. Ali says:

    Love this. “You might blend in more at Redondo Beach.”
    There are some people sleeping in their subaru by our house, they have sheets covering their windows. Your set up is waaaay nicer than what they’ve got going on. Maybe I’ll call the cops….


  2. Alicia says:

    This was my favorite story so far! Andy, you are such a good writer! Maybe you could write a book about living in the van and make millions from books sells. That would definately be worth living in a van.
    Also Levi, I am now glad you cut your hair so the officer didn’t think you were a homeless bum! Just a homeless student 🙂


  3. I read this in the car while driving cross country a week ago and couldn’t comment but this is the stinking funnies thing ever. I laughed so much at it. I’m hoping all your future police experiences are just as easy breezy, ha. And yes, definitely start sleeping in yo PJ’s


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