Last time, Pronounced Winston et consortes were captured by a bunch of armed assholes and dragged off to God knows where.
Vanessa looked at me and bit her lip. She was scared. So was I. So was Jolu, his eyes rolling crazily in their sockets, the whites showing. I was scared. What’s more, I had to piss like a race-horse.
Piss becomes the major theme of this segment, actually. The next bit is all about Marcus trying to convince his captors to let him go to the bathroom, which they do; they even go so far as to uncuff him. A lot of time and love went into making the pissadventures of Pronounced Winston relatable. Make of that what you will.
As my bladder cut loose, so did my eyes. I wept, crying silently and rocking back and forth while the tears and snot ran down my face. It was all I could do to keep from sobbing — I covered my mouth and held the sounds in. I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction.
Dude’s leaking fluids all over the place. Excretion is, of course, a sign of abjection: the substances we push out of our bodies are, in a very basic sense, not-ourselves, disgusting waste, reminders of our own mysterious, squishy, gurgling, churning insides, very different from the idealized view of the human creature as a noble, rational and moral being. Pronounced Winston is adrift on the limitless abhuman ocean of the Piss Dimension.
The man who came in was wearing a military uniform. A US military uniform. He saluted the people in the truck and they saluted him back and that’s when I knew that I wasn’t a prisoner of some terrorists — I was a prisoner of the United States of America.
No, Marcus, you are the terrorists.
“Hello, Marcus,” Severe Haircut woman said. “We have some questions for you.”
“Am I under arrest?” I asked. This wasn’t an idle question. If you’re not under arrest, there are limits on what the cops can and can’t do to you. For starters, they can’t hold you forever without arresting you, giving you a phone call, and letting you talk to a lawyer. And hoo-boy, was I ever going to talk to a lawyer.
Like I said, I gotta give Cory some credit here. This is perfectly consistent with what we’ve learned about Marcus: he thinks he’s the coolest and most badass kid in town, he’s got all the adults figured out, he knows how to play them like a fiddle. He’s seen all the videos on the Internet about his “constitutional rights” and what to do if a cop pulls you over. He’s gonna play hardball with these heavily armed people who’ve just kidnapped him because he’s an American, for fuck’s sake. You can’t treat an American this way.
He’s an idiot.
“Am I under arrest?” I repeated. They can’t make you answer any questions if you’re not under arrest, and when you ask if you’re under arrest, they have to answer you. It’s the rules.
See? It’s the rules.
“I’m not going to unlock my phone for you,” I said, indignant. My phone’s memory had all kinds of private stuff on it: photos, emails, little hacks and mods I’d installed. “That’s private stuff.”
“What have you got to hide?”
“I’ve got the right to my privacy,” I said. “And I want to speak to an attorney.”
“This is your last chance, kid. Honest people don’t have anything to hide.”
“I want to speak to an attorney.” My parents would pay for it. All the FAQs on getting arrested were clear on this point. Just keep asking to see an attorney, no matter what they say or do. There’s no good that comes of talking to the cops without your lawyer present. These two said they weren’t cops, but if this wasn’t an arrest, what was it?
In hindsight, maybe I should have unlocked my phone for them.
You see what I mean, right? First of all, this is in-character, and second of all — this is the first time Pronounced Winston ever admits he was wrong about something. I actually don’t have a complaint here!
Well, apart from the fact that it’s hard to even call it “wrong”. The very fact someone’s asking questions instead of just hauling him off for a 48-hour torture session just to soften him up means he’s incredibly lucky (or privileged, we might as well say). He’s not wrong about the phone and the lawyer as much as he is wrong about the entire fucking world and his place in it, and he’s about to learn that in a fairly nasty manner.
Well, how much he will actually learn is up to Cory. I’m not holding my breath.