How Plants Vs. Zombies 2 Nearly Got Me Butt-Searched By Cops

How Plants Vs. Zombies 2 Nearly Got Me Butt-Searched By Cops

Around eight months ago, EA Games sent me a pouch of novelty garden seeds to promote Plants vs. Zombies 2. Like every other piece of video game pap that lands on my desk, it got tossed in my bag and swiftly forgot about — until a drug detection dog mistook them for marijuana. This is the story of the hilarity that didn’t ensue…

For reasons known only to itself, NSW Police decided to launch a drug crackdown last Wednesday night at Sydney’s central train station. (Seriously. who’s looking to get high on a Wednesday?) As luck would have it, I happened to be among the great unwashed who were wearily trudging home from work in the midst of the operation.

As I passed the sniffer dog, I immediately knew something was up: it took a whiff at my bag and then kind of zeroed its snout towards my jeans pocket (worryingly close to my crotch, I might add). Before I could say anything, a second police officer sprang out of nowhere and informed me that they had reason to believe I had an illicit drug on my person.

They were so sure I was carrying, I even got the whole “anything you say can be used against you in court” spiel. (For the record, I wasn’t carrying drugs and haven’t been within toking distance of a joint in almost a decade.)

The pair of cops corralled me into a corner near the CityLink staircase and proceeded to ask me about my drug habits: did I have any drugs on my person? Had I recently smoked cannabis? Had I been around people who had been smoking cannabis? Bemused, I answered in the negative each time.

Meanwhile, my train was due to arrive any minute, which caused me to repeatedly glance at my phone’s clock. This probably made me look shifty and nervous, as opposed to a guy who just wanted to get home on time. One of the cops eventually ordered me to place my phone on the floor.

Over the next twenty minutes, the following things happened:

  • I was made to hand over my licence and contact details, presumably for some police data base of ne’er-do-wells.
  • I was ordered to empty the contents of my pockets and take my shoes off. This was annoying, as it was cold.
  • I was then forced to stand spreadeagled against a wall while one of the police officers patted me down in full view of the public. (Admittedly, this did make me feel pretty badass.)

This is the dog that fingered me.

I have no idea whether any of this treatment was a violation of my civil rights. But you tend to just go with the flow when multiple police officers are telling you to do stuff. Meanwhile, hundreds of fellow commuters were gawping at me as they walked past, just as I’ve often done myself. Until that moment, I’d always assumed the guy getting patted down probably had something to hide.

After some clinical groping and waistband fiddling, the police decided to go through my bag. This was the moment when I really started to worry — and not because I was stashing anything illegal. Y’see, my bag is like a loot-filled rucksack from the worst RPG ever — it’s stuffed to the gills with all manner of weird junk, some of which dates back to the early ’90s.

I had to watch in embarrassed silence as they pulled out an old Amiga Power magazine from 1994, an Avengers Vs. X-Men graphic novel, a Leap Motion controller, old bills, old socks, a macaron stuffed inside a muesli bar box and a Loreal face cream for men (look, it was just a phase I was going through. Shut up.) Inexplicably, they also found a black cape. I have no idea where this came from or how it got in my bag.

Finally, one of the police officers found something that gave him pause. It was a small drawstring bag exuding a slightly leafy smell.

“Wanna score? I got whatchoo need!”

“What’s this?”, one of the cops asked with obvious suspicion in his voice. His partner sidled closer, presumably to block off my escape.

At first, I hadn’t the faintest clue what I was staring at. (My look of dumbfounded confusion probably didn’t paint me in the most innocent light, I’m guessing.) After a few seconds of making squinty constipation faces, I finally remembered what the bloody thing was.

“Er, they’re seeds,” I blurted out weakly. “…Normal seeds. Not drug seeds.”

The police officers dubiously examined the tiny bag and its psychedelic looking contents. There followed a truly awful moment as they conferred to decide my fate. There was talk of a more “extensive” search, which could only mean one thing: thanks to Plants Vs. Zombies 2, a policeman was going to deflower my rosebud. Tch.

Thankfully, after a few nail-biting moments the cops decided to drop the matter and sent me on my way. They even let me keep my magic beans. Hurrah!

The moral to the story is that some sniffer dogs don’t know their nose from their arsehole. Either that, or EA needs to stop using video game paraphernalia for drug trafficking. [He’s joking of course — Legal Dept.]


  • I’d argue the Dog smelt something it was unfamiliar with and thus zeroed in on it as they are trained to do.

    Because there is a constant development cycle of Drugs they don’t have a sample of everything out there so they train the Dogs to react if they smell anything they haven’t smelt before. Or you brushed up against somebody or something and got a trace of drug residue from there.

  • This is brilliant. Had a very hearty chuckle from this 🙂

    When i was 17 i owned a Skyline P plates n all. Got pulled over at least 10 times and the cops would always try and trick me into opening the bonnet and checking out the entire car. Id laugh each time and let them go for their life (i had zero mods and full papers). But one time they went too far, pulled me over in a dodgy suburb for “spinning my tires in the rain” (which i didn’t). Searched the whole car, patted me down and were convinced i had drugs on me. Asked me how i could afford the car and what i was doing in the suburb etc (dropping a friend off). Turns out they were tailing me for a good 5 mins. They found a sports bag in the boot, opened it up and there was white powder in the bottom which was a partially crushed panadol or something and the rest of the pill was also in there. They thought it was illegal drugs and asked me about it. I had no idea what it was and they wouldn’t let me look in the bag. They just asked what the powder was and wasn’t until later i realized there was half a panadol in the bag also. They made me stand in the rain at 11 at night for 20 mins until they were convinced i didn’t have anything on me. Let me go without charge and told me “be careful, next time you wont be so lucky”

    So confused and honestly a little scared by the end of it. Apart from that experience i’ve had mostly good experiences with police.

    • Fuck those police. Be careful next time because you had a panadol? They target certain car types too. My cousin had the same problem.

    • I feel your pain bro.

      When I was 18 I was on my way to a party at a friend’s place in my old 67 Valiant. It was dark as shit and I’d never actually been to the girl’s place before, I just knew I was on the right road. I figured since the road wasn’t that long it should be easy to spot a big party.

      After driving along the street for a bit seeing nothing, I decided to pull over and look up the actual house number and check if I was close in the Melways. The car was old and the interior lights didn’t work (this was back in the late nineties), so I followed the road round a bend and pulled over under the first streetlamp. After spending a minute or so fiddling with the street directory I eventually determined that the house should be right at the end of this last stretch of road.

      As I went to pull out I noticed that there were 3 cars coming towards me (the road had been empty up to that point). As I started moving all 3 cars sped up and simultaneously put on their sirens. That’s when I noticed that right down at the far end of the street, almost out of sight was a booze bus and a shitload of police. I had come around the corner and immediately pulled over without noticing. Apparently they all thought they were about to get some epic police chase action. The cars boxed me in so I had nowhere to go, and a very angry looking police officer told me that I would be “accompanied” straight ahead to the booze bus.

      When I got about 2 houses down from the booze bus, I found the party. All my friends were on the opposite side of the road in the front yard drinking beers. I tried explaining that I was just checking the street directory, but the cops didn’t want to hear a word of it. I was breath tested 4 times using different machines, and when that turned up nothing, they started grilling me. Was I on drugs? Was there a corpse in the boot? Was the car stolen? They went through everything. They pretty much pulled the car apart and were pretty pissed off when they found nothing. This went on for a good half an hour, and all the while my friends were watching from across the street, laughing their asses off.

      Eventually the cops had to let me go. The booze bus was right before a roundabout, so I did a u-turn to get to the party….and back into the cops on the opposite side of the road. Even though they had just watched me being given the full treatment for half an hour, they wanted to go over everything again in case the other cops had missed something. -.-

    • Wow, that must’ve really scared you :O

      I’m driving a Skyline at the moment, black with LED taillights. I haven’t been stopped or targeted by the cops yet, but I’ve definitely seen officers in squad cars and motorcycles give me a stern look when they pass me on the road. I’ve had it for about 4 years now.

      However, a couple of months ago I was dropping a friend off home after having dinner with her, and I was parked outside her apartment to make sure she got in okay, and then I started messing around with the GPS so it could take me home. Had a squad car pull up behind me and just idle. I guess they were trying to see what I would do/was doing. Not one got out, so I did my most careful driving ever: signaled for 8 seconds before taking off at 25km/hr. Definitely got my heart pounding.

  • Sniffer dogs actually ‘sniff’ lots of passing people and for any reason.. however.. they are trained to act a certain way when their nose picks up drug scents.
    Police arent stupid, they should have known you had no drugs on you.
    Either this story is exaggerated to the extreme or the police officers were being aholes.

    • No exaggeration. If I was going to make up stories about the cops I’d either use a pseudonym or keep the time and location purposely vague. (For the record, the cops weren’t giving off an especially douchey vibe; they were just doing their job. Didn’t get an apology, mind.)

    • I’m sorry, but lot’s of police are stupid and lot’s of them are assholes, this type of story isn’t uncommon.

    • ROFL…”Police aren’t stupid” is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while.

      The last copper I had a social conversation with tried to tell me how ‘psyched up’ some guy was on ‘weed’ they had to tazer him like 3 times cause of the ‘weed’.

      I just sat there nodding my head thinking “Of course these are the guys we get when the job pays so average and is hated by all and sundry.”

      I think its terrible you were subjected to all that. Tell these jokers to go out and find real criminals….you know, the ones raping children and taping it.

      • My nephew got charged with hooning, they claimed he was doing “rear” wheel burnouts in his car, I forget what it was but it was Front Wheel Drive, all charges dropped in court.

      • You do understand the vast difference between policing the streets and detective work don’t you? Pretty sure if a beat cop saw a child being molested they would do something about it on the spot but things like that rarely happen in public view, its up to the public to report and specialised detective divisions to investigate and catch criminals of that nature.

  • What’s the bet they borrowed sniffer dogs from airport security for this to flesh out their numbers and they just reacted to the seeds like they’re supposed too (since accidentally bringing in a new species of flora is more likely and more dangerous than carrying a baggy of weed into the country :)). On that note did EA make sure to send local flora or did they send the same stuff to journalists in every country and forget that Australia has really strict laws regarding that kind of thing? ^_^

    That’s seriously messed up though, I’m sorry you had to go through that but simultaneously slightly amused that they had the bad luck to nearly random cavity search a journalist at a damn train station O_o

  • I picked up a stack of these at E3 last year. Came home with them via customs and carried a few around for a bit in a bag. Crazy to think this could have been me. Worse still, I gave them away to my mates kids. Hahaha.

  • “Er, they’re seeds,” I blurted out weakly. “…Normal seeds. Not drug seeds.”

    lold @ this part.

  • Maybe you should grow those seeds to see if indeed they are as you say ” Normal” lol…… you might get a surprise that EA would have to answer for , even more LOL

  • You would not have had your anus inspected, you clown, do you actually think cops are trained medical pros?

  • I’ve seen sniffer dogs walk straight past people I could fucking smell drugs on before, they’re definitely not 100%.

  • They didn’t violate your rights from what you’ve described (well not the law at any rate, rights could be arguably different.) and it’s unlikely they would have put anything up your anus. Most likely you would have been taken to a separate room out of view of the public and made to strip and then squat. The act of squatting will usually make anything hidden up a persons anus fall out.

    I’m not jealous of the experience. I would immediately assume someone had seen the dogs and hidden their stash on me somewhere without me noticing and that I was now completely screwed and would probably lose my job as well.

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