So a couple of months ago I got an interview at a medical school in rural Tennessee and right about 2 days before my interview my rare Apistos spawned. So I decided to take my small brine shrimp hatchery with me on the interview so I could start it up the day before my interview and have it going in the hotel room / car so the shrimp were hatched and ready when I drove home to Philadelphia.
So there I was in Tennessee with my small DIY pickle jar / baby brine shrimp hatchery with the salt all premeasured and mixed with brine shrimp eggs, with the mini heater and bubbler all hooked up sitting in a bag in the front seat when I looked out the window and saw a giant hill with fossil bearing rock on the side of the road. Naturally I had to stop and poke around. So I decided to park on the curve of a side road that didn't seem to have any traffic at all, being in a sleepy rural town. The area was so rural and remote that I didn't even bother locking my car door.
I got a bit carried away looking at all the good fossils and walked around a bend in the cliff for a few minutes as I searched through the rocks with my small pick axe. Then when I'd collected enough I started walking back to the car and I see this cop lean in my car door through the driver's side and look over at the passenger's seat. He then backs out quickly and looks a bit startled. He turns around and sees me walking towards him with rocks in my hands and a mini pick axe. He backs up a few steps puts his hand on his gun at his side and says "is this car yours?" At this point I'm kind confused and slightly worried. The cop looks uneasy and trigger happy. I said "yes its my car." Then he says "whats that in the front seat in the bag?" So I look over and see my brine shrimp hatchery in the front seat half hidden in the plastic bag. I calmly explained how I've got fish and how I'm hatching food for them so I can drive back and feed it to them after my interview. He then asks me "Am I sure that I'm not cooking METH?" since there's such a big meth problem in the area.
Taking a second to fully understand what he was implying, I pieced it together, salt crystals, pickle mason jar, wires sticking out of it, parked in a random isolated place, abandoned car. I immediately assure him no its not! For some reason he visibly relaxed and I thought "oh good that wasn't too hard," and that's when 3 more cop cars appeared out of nowhere with lights flashing and surrounded my car on all sides, boxing me in. More policemen get out and start poking around in my car looking at the jar and asking me the same questions. Backup had arrived.
After a lot of cross questioning and a few sweaty moments on my side they seemed to accept my explanation. I'm sure I saw disappointment in their eyes... Lucky for me or it would have been hard to explain to the admissions people why I needed to be bailed out of jail for meth cooking charges the day before my interview!
This is what they saw in the front seat: