How Not to Get Away with Murder

How Not to Get Away with Murder

I’ve been binge-watching “How to Get Away with Murder” on Netflix. This means I no longer sleep at night because I’m too busy figuring out how I’d evade incrimination in the same scenarios. The HTGAWM characters always pull it off, cool as cucumbers, but there’s one risk factor they don’t have: me.

I am many things – being cucumber-like is not among them.

Last year I found a hypodermic needle beside the road to my kids’ school. Even I knew that calling 911 was probably too much, so I dialed the police department directly. The operator thanked me (I am an A+ citizen). Then she told me to pick up the needle, put it in a milk jug, and throw it in the garbage.

Listen, I am not HAZMAT certified. I’m just a regular human person. But I did have D.A.R.E. in school so I know that even looking at a used needle gives you HIV. And our local law enforcement wanted me to pick it up?!

“But don’t you need it for evidence?” I asked.

“No,” she said. Apparently, the police don’t investigate used needles – just murders and stuff. (Where are our tax dollars even going?!)

“But should I bring it to the station, just in case?”

“No,” she reiterated. “Please don’t bring it to the station.”

I didn’t plan to spend my day fixing crime, but there were schoolchildren involved and I was their only hope. So I went home (not to stay – I just don’t usually carry milk jugs around with me), retrieved a suitable container and a stash of plastic bags, and returned to the scene of the crime. The needle was still there, lurking like a rattlesnake in suburbia.

Fortunately, I had a plan. I mummy-wrapped my hand in plastic bags (33 to be exact), then used a chunk of bark to leverage the needle into the container. I put the bark in the container as well (for contamination isolation), carefully screwed on the lid and located a garbage can in a nearby park.

I was about to drop the needle-jug into it when something stayed my hand. Who emptied these garbage bins? What if some grandfatherly Parks employee picked up the trash, started walking it back to his tiny Parks truck, stumbled on a branch (because his balance had been off since he started that new blood pressure medication), and tumbled over – but luckily the trash bag cushioned his fall, except it wasn’t lucky at all because something in the bag poked through and straight into Pappy’s leg – injecting him with toxic drug-lord-death!

Not on my watch.

I needed a dumpster – something emptied by a giant mechanical truck impervious to deadly-drug-disease.

I went searching for the proper receptacle, the needle jug held aloft and to one side, lest I suffer the same fate as poor Pappy. Finally, I found one. However, it was in a grocery store parking lot.

What if I threw it in and they found it, then used their video camera footage to track me down? I’d get arrested and have to prove I wasn’t a drug user, which would be pretty easy but then they might think I was actually a drug dealer, which was probably a way bigger crime, plus I’d already be in jail and lawyers are expensive.

Not worth the risk.

So I kept searching, all the while wondering if I was even allowed to put the needle in a random dumpster.  What if I just put it in my outside garbage can at home? But clearly that was crazy. What if someone found it there, assumed it was mine and put me in prison? Or what if someone dug through our garbage can, punctured themselves, got infected and sued us? Or what if one of our kids decided to go dumpster diving for some unforeseen reason, and BOOM death-needle?

Clearly, I couldn’t bring the needle home.

Finally, I located a secluded dumpster behind a pawn shop in a garbage-strewn parking lot. I was nervous and unsure – but the police had entrusted me with this mission. I couldn’t risk Pappy’s life by leaving it in a park garbage can. I couldn’t risk getting caught on tape outside the local grocery store and I definitely couldn’t bring it home. So I dashed to the open bin and dropped the needle-jug inside.

I didn’t sleep for a week.

What if someone saw the milk container and thought it was taking up too much room, so they decided to smash it with their shoe – and BAM – death needle?! Or what if a homeless person tried to sleep in there – and BAM – death needle?! Or what if someone accidentally threw something away and then went back to get it but it was way down in the bottom so they jumped in to fetch it and – BAM – death needle?!

And it was ALL MY FAULT?!

On day two, I drove by to see if the dumpster had been emptied. Not yet. Day three was the same. On day four, someone threw an old twin mattress into the dumpster. (One of) my worst fear(s) was materializing. What if someone decided to take the mattress and – BAM – death needle?! Or decided to sleep on it in the dumpster and BAM – death needle?!

I checked the dumpster every day and searched the internet for post-puncture infection rates and legal ramifications every night. The dumpster remained unemptied for seven days. SEVEN DAYS of worry.

I even contemplated going back to get it, but what if I slipped and – BAM – death needle?! (Also, gross.) 

On the seventh day, the bin was empty. And like our creator, on the seventh day, I could rest.

So don’t call me if you want to get away with murder.

Also, if you’re investigating a cold case involving a discarded needle in a milk jug in a dumpster, it wasn’t me. This whole story was fictional. Or maybe I heard it from some guy on a bus. Also, it’s the police’s fault … and … I’d like to exercise my right to remain silent.

Published by Andrea

Writer and avid explorer of all things.

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