The warrant on Alvin Chang

I just got back from the police station. I had to clear my name. I was told I had a warrant on me. I was told it was a sex offense. It’s been a terrible day.

This morning I had to call the IRS — to verify that I was Alvin Chang. I answered questions about myself. With each answer, the IRS agent responded, “Correct,” as if I could be wrong. Eventually, they were mostly convinced I was Alvin Chang.

On my drive home, a homeless man was walking in the crosswalk. He motioned for me to keep going. So I kept going.

Five seconds later, a police car with lights and sirens is right behind me. I pull over. “I stopped you because you didn’t stop at the crosswalk,” he says. I tell him the homeless man waved me through. But the officer just wants my papers. I hand them over. I think to myself, “I’m not the careless jerk you think I am! Hell, I did my graduate thesis on the homeless! I’m a good person.” The officer walks back. He hands me back my papers. He says he’ll just give me a warning.

But then he says, “Do you know you have a warrant on you?”


“I just ran your name and birthdate. You have a warrant. It could be a glitch in my system, but…”

“What’s it for?”

He hesitates. “It’s a, um, sex offense.”


“You don’t have any open containers, do you?”


“Well, it might be a glitch in my system. You should go to the police station and get it checked out.”

He doesn’t arrest me right there, right then. He drives off.

Alvin Chang, the man who hates homeless people and might’ve stolen someone’s identity to file his tax returns because he might be a sex offender, drives home to his apartment. He eats a spoonful of dinner. He’s not hungry. He wants to go to the police station and figure out if he really has a warrant on him. He wants to clear his name.

He drives to the police station. Before he goes inside, he hands his car keys to his girlfriend — just in case. He thinks about what he will say if he’s arrested — just in case. He decides he’ll ask for a lawyer — just in case.

He walks up to the front desk. He gives the nice woman his license. He explains the situation to her. She enters his name into the computer. Nothing. She tries it backward — maybe “Chang Alvin” — because that apparently happens sometimes. Nothing. She tries “Alvin Chan” because that apparently happens, too. Nothing. She tries the name in the historical database, in case something happened a long time ago. Nothing.

She tells him he’s good to go. She gives him back his license.

Alvin Chang is a, um…

Alvin Chang was a, um…

After clearing his name, Alvin Chang goes to the hardware store. He buys mouse traps, because there is a mouse in his apartment. Alvin Chang doesn’t like mice.

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