I work at three different jobs right now and sometimes I need a nap during the day. I often park my truck at one of our city parks and climb in the backseat for a siesta. I have pillows and blankets for just that purpose. I leave my truck running so I can have the air conditioner blasting. That way the windows are all rolled up and I don't have to worry about someone reaching inside or whatever. I have been doing this for years. Today I guess that all is changing because I got a knock on my window by a police officer.

I'm one of those people that tends to get upset the more I think about a situation. You would have thought I was doing a criminal act by peacefully sleeping in my truck.

Officer: What are you doing?
Me: Taking a nap (as if he couldn't tell by my I just got woke up sleepy look)
Officer: That's what rest areas and truck stops are for.
Me: Well I like it here because it is close to work and there are shade trees.
Officer: Where do you live?
Me: Fouke.
Officer: Ohhhhh.
Me: Obviously that's further than I am going to drive when I'm tired.

Is there something wrong with living in Fouke? His "Ohhhh" seemed a little judgmental. Actually, the whole thing seemed judgmental. Since when can you not take a nap in the park?!

The officer went on to tell me why you can't sleep in the park. He mentioned some reasons but remember, I just woke up so unless they made good sense to me those reasons didn't stick in my brain. We chatted a bit more. He wanted to know where I worked, we discussed dogs because my dog popped his head up from his sleeping spot...then ANOTHER officer showed up because I guess he needed backup. Seriously! Oh wait, it gets better. He ran my name and date of birth over his walkie talkie. Said he needed to check to see if I have warrants or anything. Lovely. Now all of the people that listen to those scanners hear my name go over the airwaves all because I WANTED TO TAKE A NAP!!!

I have traveled enough to know that sometimes bad things happen at truck stops and travel centers...two of the three places the officer told me that I should take my naps. He suggested the Flying J in Mandeville. Now that is just a bit further away than I plan to go when I am tired but think about it....a female all by her self sleeping in her pick-up at a busy truck stop. Nooooo, that doesn't cause any concerns does it? He also suggested a hotel. Right, because I am rolling with so much dough that I'm going to cough up $50 to take a nap every other day. On a scale of stupid stuff to say, that rates right up there dude.....remember the THREE JOBS thing.

The officer was nice enough I guess but because of the way I was woke up, I'm in a super crabby mood now. A simple nap turned into a near criminal experience.

I don't have time today because I have to get to my next job but I will be doing some research on what you can and can't do in a park. If you have any suggestions or stories to tell me please send an email to Mimi.Campbell@townsquaremedia.com.

UPDATE:

I received a call from Texarkana, Texas Public Information Officer Lisa Thompson this afternoon. She called to apologize for the officer telling me I couldn't sleep in the park. I told her it was an Arkansas side officer. She told me I was welcome to sleep in the Texas side park and that there was not a law against it so that is what I will do next time.