by Dan Abromowitz

A run-in with the law can be a harrowing ordeal, but with a cool head and a few simple tips, you can get off a lot easier than you otherwise might. Here's how:

1. If an officer fails to read you your Miranda Rights, you're allowed to call him "Miss Miranda Wrong" for the rest of the arrest. Use this to defuse tension.

2. Tailor your approach to the type of cop you're speaking to. Motorcycle cops are surly and love hard drinking, fast women, and the open road. Bike cops have tremendous core strength and can leap vast distances. Horse cops love unicorns. Traffic cops are sad.

3. Always be polite and submissive. Address officers as "Sir" or "Head Honcho" or "O Great And Terrible Police-Christ." Offer to wash their feet and give water to their camels. Curtsy often and low.

4. Under no circumstances should you pet a police dog. They are officers ensorcelled in the line of duty and they find it absolutely humiliating.

5. If you're stopped by an officer, always ask, "Are you detaining me?" Then ask, "Are you debossa me?" They're not the boss of you.

6. Once arrested, nothing you say can help you in a court of law. You might be tempted to try to trick your arresting officer into a game of Riddle-Me-This or guess at his secret name, but play your cards wrong and you'll lose your freedom and your firstborn.

7. Many cultures believe getting arrested is very bad luck. If you are going to be arrested, wear red and place a coin under your tongue.

8. When asked, always give a fake name. Even if you're caught in the lie, most cops are aspiring novelists, and will let you off for providing them with a particularly piquant character name. Freebies: "Darleen McClusky," "Cantor Parish," "Sir Leslie Port-Cavendish."

9. It doesn't matter how many times he tells you to stop; it is illegal for a cop to make you hit yourself. Yes, it's your fist, but he's moving it, and he knows it.

10. You do not have to submit to a search unless the officer brings a warrant, or hard rock band Warrant, or kills it on an a cappella rendition of "Cherry Pie," in which case you're legally obliged to provide the stomp-claps.

11. Undercover cops can lie about being cops even when asked directly, but blood will tell.

12. If the cuffs go on, try yelling, "This is all a big mistake!" They might think it's all a big mistake and let you go. If not, hey, A for effort.

13. Be white.  If you can't be white, be the president.  If you can't be the president, be Will Smith. Good luck!

Dan Abromowitz doesn't know how to do anything. Follow him on Twitter.