Friday, January 28, 2011

"I Don't Hate Cops . . . "

The police and I have not always seen eye to eye. When I was a young man, I will admit to feeling somewhat at fault for our relationship problems, but as I grew to be a man, I became more aware of their wants and needs, and began to treat them with the respect they seemed to feel that they deserved. It was then I realized: it really was them, not me. But it did become apparent to me that being polite is generally the best policy to adopt when dealing with assholes whose job it is to strenuously exert their authority over you. However, they say there are exceptions to every rule.

Let's take a trip back a few years, to a time when I was bartender at the local watering hole . . .


My friend and co-worker A__ and I were heading home in the wee hours after working the closing shift. I was on foot, while A__ pedaled his BMX beside me at a relaxed pace. The weather was pleasant and we chatted idly, presumably of ships and shoes and sealing wax . . . maybe cabbages and kings . . . at any rate, we were a block from my house when a city police cruiser slowly drove by us.

“Oh man. That guy's going to jack us up for sure.” said A__.

“No way,” I returned. “Why would he? We're not doing anything. Walking. We're dressed respectably enough, he has no reason.”

“I'm telling you. You'll see.” he replied.

Sure enough, Officer Buddy circled the block and pulled up behind us. He got out of his cruiser and approached us and asked what we were doing. I politely explained to him exactly what we were doing. Finding my direct and obvious answer to his simple question somehow offensive, he lightly pestered us with a couple more inane questions, which we answered obligingly. He then requested our names and addresses. I politely refused. He insisted. I asked him why he would need that information, and he replied unconvincingly that there had been some 'crimes' committed in the area recently. I inquired as to whether we were suspects in these crimes, and Officer Butthead replied huffily that he was “Just doing his job.” But, no, we weren't suspects. By this time it had become apparent that he had really hoped to find something wrong with what we were doing, and was disappointed to be disappointed.

At this point you might well interject and ask me why I didn't just give my name and address to Officer Noseypants and be done with things. I might well ask myself the same question. The simple answer is sometimes it's hard to let people get away with being shitheads. Even people who have proven, time and time again, that they can, and will, always get away with being shitheads.

I informed him that detaining me without reason was not his job, and he smiled a long slow smile at me, the kind of smile you'd see on an evil clown with a mental handicap, and said “OK, smart guy.” Turning to my companion, he asked him for his name and address. A__ respectfully complied, after which Officer Bitchass turned back to me with a malicious smugness I'm sure he felt was clever and said “All right then, A__, I'm going to write you a ticket for riding your bicycle on the sidewalk, with no light, and for not wearing a helmet. That'll be a $175 fine.”

“You're going to give him a ticket because I know my rights and have a big mouth?” I asked, dumbfounded and chagrined. He smiled his vengeful, half retarded smile: “Just doing my job.”

Memory fails me as to what I said to him as we left, but I'm sure it was something about what a fine job he was doing. I apologized to A__ for what had happened, and we continued on our way toward my home, a block away. We had gone about half a block when we realized Officer Shitforthinkin was trailing us in his cruiser with his lights off . . . At this point A__ had a wonderful idea. As we stood on the corner near my house, he asked me if I'd like to stop and have a smoke. I replied that I thought that was a capital idea. We smoked a long, slow cigarette and talked about what a dick Officer Bonesmoker was. He sat in his now parked cruiser like a jungle cat stalking its prey. Only stupider.

After our smoke break by the stop sign, I suggested we go have another on the retaining wall in my yard. When we entered the yard and sat down on the low stone wall on the lawn, Officer Sucksadick sprang to life. He sat up, hunched over, squinted, drooled a bit, and drove his cruiser closer for a better view of our obviously suspicious activities. You could almost feel his certainty that, soon, we would make some kind of grievous error in judgment, expose our nefarious intentions and fall into his clutches . . . imagining that he'd get the key to the city and a big juicy promotion for this masterful detective work. Either that or he was jerking off thinking about himself. Anyway, we sat there for a good long time and it must have driven him nuts. We were pretty happy with ourselves, but all good things must end, and the charade was actually getting pretty boring. “Fuck this,” I said. “Let's go call in a complaint about this prick.” We strolled around the corner of the house and up the walk to the front door. I had just put the key in the lock when Officer Chickenchoker roared up in his cruiser and pointed an incredibly bright floodlight out his window at us. I had had enough. Leaving the key in the lock, I turned and strode with purpose toward Officer Dimbulb's car. Placing both hands on the door, I leaned in through the open window. As I did so, he turned away from me to face forward out the windshield. He looked uncomfortable, but said nothing.

“Why are you harassing me?” I demanded. (This was a great feeling)

He mumbled unintelligibly . . .

“Pardon ME?” I demanded, even harder. (I couldn't believe this was happening! What the fuck was I doing?)

In a sheepish whisper, nearly inaudible, and almost childlike, he managed: “i don't want to talk to you right now.”

To this day, I have no real idea why he didn't just get out of his car and beat me senseless, but he didn't. I can only conjecture that at the instant I began to speak, he realized that his life's work had been completely misguided and therefore meaningless, and that he possessed a character composed almost entirely of tragic flaws. Or, since nobody had probably approached him like that since he became a cop and first put on his spiffy uniform, and I had short hair and was wearing a really nice navy pea coat, maybe he felt that if I was acting like that I must be someone he shouldn't fuck with. I really don't know. I really don't care either. All I know is what happened next:

I lifted my right hand, stretched my arm out and pointed it down the road: “THEN MOVE ALONG!” I commanded, with the kind of authority usually only dispensed by wankers like him at targets like me. I turned and walked back to my front door. Officer FuckIsuck turned off his spotlight and began to scribble furiously in his notebook, probably a bitter note to his mother about how it was all her fault that he turned out to be such a fuckwit.

I never saw him again.

8 comments:

  1. Holy shit you are hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is awesome. It would be cool to write a story about the police officer-his own private thoughts and all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. k: thanks!

    anon: i think that would be a pretty short story. here's an excerpt:

    " . . . "

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fuck me - this happened to me all the time when I lived in Vic. All because of my stupid habit of walking home from Logan's rather than drive drunk...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'll never forget that night....the next morning I turned in my badge. I'm watchin you four eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. KenUsedToBeYourNeighbourMay 29, 2011, 1:15:00 PM

    That's such a great story. Best part is you didn't give your name but more or less told him to go FAK himself.

    In the modern era, you would be pulling out your iPhone to document the experience. Officer NothingBetterToDo would have a formal reprimand on his record...

    Great Story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. hey ken! yeah, he was a real prize winner.

    ReplyDelete

Drop me a line. Let me know how awesome or shitty you think I am. I can take it.