In which my 'C' in biology no longer looks so sinful.

People, you all need to sit down. Are you sitting? OK.

I think I remember the night starting with The Fiance uttering these three words to me, "Start drinking heavily."

Well, all right. Who am I to not follow directions? It was the annual Halloween celebration in Madison. What are they calling it these days? Freakfest? Yeah, sure. Downtown State Street is fenced off, 35,000 Halloween revelers are corralled inside and allowed to celebrate their little, drunken hearts out. Police on horseback patrol the scene, and if things get out of hand, they turn to tear gas to whip the crowds into shape. Huh. Sounds like a good time. I wouldn't know - for several reasons:

A) I've never celebrated Halloween on State Street. Not once throughout my entire adolescent, college life. It's not my thing. Big, drunken crowds? Boo. I'm an old, boring lady, and I prefer my drunken crowds in small - very small - doses.

and B) This year, although I was prepared to face eternal damnation by parading around downtown Madison dressed as a nurse (and I use the term "nurse" very loosely), we, uh, didn't quite make it.

So rewind a few hours. The Fiance, myself and several (several) friends gathered to begin the festivities in the comfort of a heated, well-lit apartment. I mean, why pay for alcohol at a bar when you can down plenty of liquor at no charge, beforehand? Right? Right.

And I, well, I needed to be coaxed. This whole idea was out of control. Me? In a nurse costume? It's cold out? Drunken crowds? Ma? Help. Hence, The Fiance carefully handing me a drink, a look of sincerity in his eye, and proclaiming the famous last words: Start drinking heavily.

And boy did I ever. One shot, three beer bongs and five grape Smirnoff Ice's later, WHEE! I had arms! And legs! And YOU! Look at YOU! I LOVE YOU. Let's take pictures! And kiss! And, wait a minute, YOU'RE HERE, TOO?! Oh my God, I can't WAIT for my wedding! You're going to be there, right? RIGHT? You HAVE to be there. I need another drink! Let's HUG. Look at my HANDS! I love Halloween and nursing and drinking and EVERYONE. We are ALL in LOVE. We need MORE COWBELL!

And then it was time to leave. We rounded ourselves up (I was carefully rounded up because, HI, I LOVE YOU, AND I DRANK A LOT, WHEEE!) and headed in the dark and the cold to State Street.

Well, needless to say, I had to GO. I mean it, literally. My bladder nearly runneth over. We had just entered State Street, handed over our bright orange admission tickets, and were free to run WILD. Look at all the costumes! FUN! I'm a NURSE, HI! This is my fiance, he's a S-U-R-G-E-O-N. See? We're, you know, TOGETHER. Get it? I love ME! And then, seriously, I had to go.

The Fiance ushered myself and His Brother into an alley and said, "If you have to go, go here." It reminded me, slightly, of Wayne's World and the, "If you're going to spew, spew in this," line, but that's neither here nor there. What WAS here was that I was a nurse (very, very naughty) and I was crouched down, relieving my immensely full bladder in an alley. His Brother did the same. We, as a whole, totally had to pee. The Fiance stood guard. Until, you know, five police officers found me crouching and His Brother, um, standing (?), and decided this is TOTALLY not the way to behave in public.

That, friends, is when it happened. I, who had to be coaxed into the night's festivities, I, who never got worse than a 'C' in any of my classes, I, who nearly always uses a toilet, had handcuffs slapped onto my virginal, once crime-free wrists.

Oh, shit.

The Fiance was told to leave the alley to allow The Police Who Frown On The Public Depositing Of Human Waste to have their law-abiding way with us, The Criminals, and he refused. That's my fiancee and my brother, he argued. He was not about to leave us in the hands of the big, bad police officers. So, well, they cuffed him, too.

Oh, shit.

My immediate spoken thoughts went something like this, "Oh my God I'm so embarrassed, I'm so sorry, I'm so embarrassed, do you know that's my fiance, do you know? I'm so embarrassed, I have a JOB. I'm so sorry. I don't do bad things. I never got worse than a 'C' in school. I'm so sorry and this is embarrassing and yes, I'm supposed to be a nurse. Yes, you can confiscate my stethoscope."

So as I continued to babble and apologize like the Babbling, Apologetic, Yes, She's A Nurse, that I was, I was led away in handcuffs and loaded into a police truck. After a somewhat lengthy ride-along, myself and other Criminals of Yore were unloaded into a parking garage. This is where I thought maybe they'd shoot us, but rather, we were offered citations instead.

Could I be shot instead? Thanks. Because I'm SO EMBARRASSED, PEOPLE.

I was breathalyzed, photographed, and, "Oh, did you know you were bleeding?" (And yes, people, my head was bleeding, likely the result of my hostile take down [read: NOT ACTUALLY HOSTILE, SO WHY IS MY HEAD BLEEDING?]) I was given a citation, cut free from my restraints, and let go on the sidewalk. What sidewalk? Well, gosh, I don't know. I had no idea where I was. Clearly they let drunken, cited nurses wander free on the streets of Madison after midnight.

"OK, you're all set to go," Police Man said as he led me, The Criminal, to freedom.

I, mildly dumbfounded, pondered "all set to go." So, I suppose if you mean, "I totally just peed in an alley, got arrested with my fiance and Best Man, paraded down State Street in handcuffs, have blood dripping down my forehead, I totally don't know where I am, and I think that guy over there called me naughty," then yes. Yes, I am all set. Thanks.

I was reunited with The Fiance and His Brother shortly thereafter on the Mysterious Sidewalk, which, turns out, is nowhere near where we need to be. Defeated, I took off my shoes, clutched my plastic bag of Personal Belongings (including: stethoscope, drivers license, citation, and a guide called "What to do when you get a citation"), and walked the LONG walk back to the comfort of the completely trashed apartment that started it all.

Of course, halfway back we all had to pee, so, because, WHY NOT, we only got ARRESTED FOR IT, ducked into the bushes and one at a time emptied our still very full bladders.

Hey, I'm a criminal now. We criminals NEVER LEARN.

* * *

Aftermath: The Fiance and I woke up Sunday morning, I, still in my costume, he, not too thrilled. My makeup had smeared, I had dried blood on my forehead from the Mysterious Head Bashing incident, and The Fiance had a scrape across his cheek. Clearly HE had a hostile takeover, as well.

I stared at the ceiling as he finally spoke.

"We got arrested," he said, emotionless.

I considered what he just said. WE got arrested. Arrested. Handcuffs. Peeing in public. Complete humility. Seriously. Does this happen in real life? And then I replied.

"We are AWESOME."

And then, immediately after speaking those words, I pulled the following out of my bra: a feather and my Freakfest ticket stub. I'm TOTALLY keeping those. I need something to tell my children one day.

Something along the lines of, "God will EAT YOU if you EVER go to State Street. And also, use toilets."