Thursday, September 18, 2008


There's a saying out there in this brutal, unpredictable world. They (and by they, I mean me and my personalities) say that you haven't really lived, unless you've been arrested. The fact that I am the only person that admittedly believes this statement, does not make it any less true. Some would call me an advocate of petty crime and misdemeanor, I prefer self-preservationist. Let's just say, it's much easier to justify the existence of an arrest record (however minor, or let's face it, stupid) if you already have one.

Going to jail is much like riding a rollercoaster at a crappy amusement park. You're thrown into a peeling plastic seat with no restraints, are subjected to pathetic, listless banter from the underpaid guy in a uniform, get slid and thrashed around for a few minutes, and once the car stops your neck hurts and you really wish you would have just stayed home. Eventually the food makes you sick, the crowd begins to get on your nerves, time slows to a crawl and crankiness evolves into thoughts of cold-blooded murder . You laugh a little, cry a lot, and when you leave, you get one of those souvenier photos. However, the police department often refers to these little keepsakes as mugshots.

Needless to say, if you are getting arrested, you are probably not in your best form. Chances are you are drunk, on drugs, just got beaten up, or are otherwise incapacitated or half-asleep. You are also either terrified, devastated, or outrageously pissed off. Let's be honest; it is not a pretty sight. Mugshots are not something you pose or prepare for, they just happen. No retouching, no re-takes, no red eye removal. Just you, an outdated camera, and an irritated police photographer.

It is in that very moment, as they line you up against the wall and instruct you to stare at the lens, that you have a decision to make. You have to say to yourself, "Self, one day you could be famous, or at least infamous. And Self, surely this picture will in one way or another reach the media and the general public. When that day comes, Self, do you want to be known as a badass? Or would you rather be remembered as a complete pussy?"

Yes, even famous people often find themselves faced with this life-altering decision. The following celebrity mugshots are just a few of my favorites.

Click. Flash. Whirrrrr...

I don't think it's possible for Michelle Rodriguez not to look badass. Even when faced with wearing an ankle bracelet. She also managed to keep a straight face when blaming her DUI on know, for her allergies.

Moms always told their sons to put on clean underwear to spare embarrassment in case of arrest or hospitalization. Apparently no one told Nick Nolte about also getting haircuts and NOT wearing Hawaiian shirts...ever.

Al Pacino's charges were dropped after he told authorities the gun he was carrying was for an audition. I haven't been on too many casting calls, but I'm pretty sure they don't require you to bring your own firearm. Freakin' coppers. They should have known not to mess with The Don. (And 21-year-old Pacino was cute, right?)

Excuse me, Kimora Lee, but unless Baby Phat is introducing a new line of prison-wear, there is no reason for that amount of happiness...or those bangs. It must really be great to know you have bail money.

Pee-Wee Herman...need I say more? Although in this picture, I'm not so sure I'd trust my kids in his playhouse. He looks much more like a serial killer than a pervert masturbating to porn in an x-rated theater. Either way, you have to love the irony...and the goatee.

If you decide to get whacked out on marijuana and Xanax, make sure to stay home, watch Half-Baked, and eat some Little Debbies (I prefer the zebra cakes). Just don't make like Andy Dick, who groped and exposed a 17-year-old girl and was then still too high to realize he shouldn't be smiling like a psychopath in his orange jumpsuit.

With a name like Rip Torn, you can't go around looking for trouble. Or just plain looking crazy. Call me cynical, but I think the tender age of 75 should be the cut-off for any kind of driving, as well as drunk-driving. Didn't he see Driving Miss Daisy? Get a chauffer.

Speaking of looking crazy...James Brown, everybody.

I don't even know who this is, but it's the best mugshot I've ever seen. It's the prison shot we should all live and hope for. Kudos unidentified caucasian female, kudos! And I have no doubt the arresting officer took care not to rustle her mohawk in the cruiser. They are so courteous, those policemen.

It's true, Larry King DID have those glasses in the 70's. He also passed bad checks. And had a thing for polka-dots.

George Clinton, I have no words. And my eyes hurt. I hope the cocaine you were holding is responsible for that dye job. I'm surprised the fashion police didn't nab him first.

I didn't know it was a practice for police to arrest deranged mannequins. And I honestly don't understand why anyone believes Michael Jackson would have to drug a child; they would probably simply pass out from fright. I know I did.

Jane Fonda is my personal favorite, and it isn't just because of the iconic fist of defiance. It has to be the fact that she was arrested for smuggling pills; charges that were dropped when they turned out to be vitamins. Now that's a hardened criminal if I've ever seen one (and I haven't).

"But I'm A Cheerleader!" No, Natasha Lyonne, it didn't get you out of gay-rehab and it didn't get you out of American Pie 2. Considering the police reports claim you went ballistic and threatened your neighbor's dog (I am absolutely against dog-threats), it's no wonder you have to smirk just a little.

Well, crime still doesn't pay, but at least it makes for some classic snapshots.

In the interest of my own amusement, and because I have yet to recover the original mugshots from my alleged arrest, I decided to recreate this golden moment in my life.

Pay your speeding tickets kids, and make sure your license is always up to date. Trust me, it'll save you a trip to the slammer, court costs, as well as the company of prostitutes and crackheads.

The following allegedly re-enacted photographs are based on an alleged event, involving alleged charges, represent no admission of alleged guilt, and may well be a complete fabrication for the sake of entertainment.

But if they are badass, then they must be real.

Book me, Danno.

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