Back in the 80's the Boston Celtics reigned supreme in the NBA. ( kinda like they do today) These were the good old days of Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale. Yeaah, I still wax sentimental when I think of the "Big Green" in those days. At the time, I was a young high school student without much of a social life, so the Celts became my constant companion. Even though a few decades have come and gone since then, I still remember the incident with the clarity as if it happened just yesterday.
It was a Friday night late in the spring of that year. Being the youngest in a family of five without a social calendar to adhere to, I was left alone in the house, as even my parents were out to dinner with friends. The Celts were playing the dreaded Detroit Pistons that night in a battle to sit atop the NBA. The Pistons were the team we loved to hate, with bad boys lining their payroll the likes the NBA has yet to see to this day. We're talking headliners like Bill Laimbeer, Isiah Thomas, and the reprehensable Dennis Rodman. Back in those days, Rodman was at work fine tuning his bad boy image; showing up to events in drag dressed as a bride, wearing black lipstick and make-up, and hanging out with Madonna. The dude was a freak! but he had serious game so the Pistons put up and shut up, as they say. It was always a dog fight when the Celts and the Pistons played, their disdain for each other no secret to any casual observer. Especially when the game took place inside the hallowed, historied walls of the Boston Garden and this night would prove to be no different.
It was a warm evening and our house had no central AC, so I had the windows open in my room which faced the south side of the house, not too far from my neighbor's house while I watched the game. And what a game it was! One of those legendary-once in a lifetime-triple overtime- with one-second-left-basket, to put the game into YET another overtime-game. I was jumping on my bed, going nuts! I remember shouting at the refs, shouting at the players, hootin and hollering and screaming thing like, "take that bitch!" and "die Laimbeer, die!" I am nothing if not a passionate sports fan. After the game was over and the Celts spanked the Pistons like the bitches that they were, I decided to go down to the kitchen to make myself a mini victory feast, a huge smile covering my face.
Our kitchen was accessible from the driveway on the south side of the house, and I had left the front door open, leaving just the unlocked screen door,between myself and the bright, shining light which was now glaring through the screen into my kitchen. As I turned the corner to enter the kitchen, and just before switching on the light, I caught a glimpse of the glare of the un-invited illumination and it stopped me dead in my tracks.
In one fell swoop, the screen door opened and four uniformed police officers descended upon me like a SWAT training exercise in progress. One officer scooped my up into his arms while the other officers, weapons brandished, scattered all over my house.
"Miss, are you alright?" the officer holding me shouted. "Are you hurt?"
Again, paralyzed by fear, I tried to utter some form of a response, but much like I was in the midst of a bad dream, I couldn't get the words out.
"Are you OK?" the officer pleaded again.
"Yeah," was all I could meekly utter, in the confines of the officer's protective grasp.
"What happened here?" the officer asked. "We got a call from the neighbors saying there were loud screams and what seemed like violence going on over here. Are you alone?"
By this time the other three officers were coming back from their search of a completely empty house, replacing their weapons in their holsters.
"Ummm. Yeah, I'm alone," I uttered, my face reddened with fear and embarrassment.
"I'm sorry. Everything's fine." I said. My face contorted into a meek, sort of coquettish grin as I said, "I was just watching the Celtics game."
Complete silence. For a good five seconds, which seemed like a lifetime because all I remember was the sound of the excessive pounding of my heart .
The sounds of uproarious laughter, which broke the silence, much to my relief, then filled the room and after a few moments, the cops started high fiving me and playfully patting me on the back.
"You'd better go tell your neighbor you are ok. She thought there was a murder taking place over here," a cop said.
"Ohh, this is good. I can't wait to tell the chief this one," another cop said.
"Hey, did they win? HAHAHA!!"
They all seemed to be having a good laugh at my expense. I didn't care. I was just grateful that I wasn't in any kind of trouble. Being 15 at the time, anything that involves the cops and no trouble was always a good thing. They then left my house, warning me to lock the door behind them and go to bed!
The funny thing is that the cops never forgot that night. I spent the next few years known, in my small town as "Celtics Fan" a title I wore proudly. They always cut me and my friends a little more slack at football games and home town events than the other kids. I guess the infamy I gained because of that evening served me well. My neighbor never quite got over it though. For a long while after the incident, she would shutter when she saw me. She probably still thinks I'm some sort of serial killer.