I recently realized that if a friend went to jail and used their "one phone call" on me, I wouldn't know to pick up (unless I had the jail number in my phone). Could I call them back? And—just in case my mom gets arrested—what's the number? —Cathleen B.

Unfortunately, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office—perhaps daunted by the prospect of a never-ending stream of calls for Amanda Huggenkiss and Mike Hunt—declined to provide the specific number or numbers from which jailhouse phone calls originate.

However, your mom/dealer/bookie (she gets around) isn't entirely out of luck. As it turns out, the old saw about "you get one phone call" belongs with "undercover cops have to tell you they're cops if you ask" on the ash heap of myths about the criminal justice system. If you get arrested and want to let your spouse know what happened, but you also need to let them know down at the car wash that you won't be making your 2 pm shift, you can do both as long as you don't take all day.

That said, be prepared to leave a detailed message: Calls from jail are one-way, so if your party doesn't pick up, they can't call you back.

As you might imagine, the cops don't let you keep your cellphone. They do, however, give you time to go through your contacts and write down all those phone numbers that no one knows by heart anymore.

You might suppose one of the people you should call is a reputable bail bondsman, but you'd be wrong (and not just because of contradictions inherent in the concept of "reputable bail bondsman"). Oregon is one of just four states that have outlawed the commercial bail bond industry. Instead of posting 10 percent with the bail bond company, you can post the 10 percent directly with the county.

Confusingly, some companies in Oregon advertise "bail bond financing." However, these are really just the same sketchy loan companies that always promise "up to $10,000 cash today!" at a paltry 36.99 percent interest, just as soon as you sign over the deed to Grandma's house. You'd be better off getting shivved in the showers.