Friday, May 1, 2015

Regional Genetic Defect

I've lived in several parts of North America over the years, and I've noticed that each locale has it's own driving peculiarities. Here, it's an inability to merge onto the interstate or make a proper lefthand turn.

People trying to get on the interstate here seem to be afraid of actually getting up to speed within the first, say, 5 miles. They get on the entrance ramp and accelerate up to about 35 mph. Then, they don't bother to look for a space in traffic to get into - they wait for those in the right lane to move over for them. If no one does (i.e., assholes like me) before they reach the end of the ramp, they just stop and wait for an opening. Or, they continue straight ahead, using the emergency lane until they can eventually move over.

Left turns also are problematic. When I took driver ed many years ago, I was taught to drive out into the middle of the intersection, then make a somewhat sharp left turn into the nearest lane. The turn is sort of upside down and backwards L-shaped. Here, drivers universally just take the shortest possible path. They start turning well before they're in the intersection, and cut across to whichever lane they feel is a good fit for them. I can't tell you the number of accidents I've worked where one of these idiots, making his shallow-as-possible left turn, has crashed into some poor sap minding his own business. It drives me nuts.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Acme Exterminators

A woman calls 911 to report she found a baby "rodent" near her fence. She has no idea what kind of "rodent" it is, but she's apparently upset that it would trespass on her property. She thinks it might be sick or injured, and she wants a police officer to come to her house and take care of it. But she's not going to wait for a police officer to show up, because she has errands to run.

I have just one question, ma'am: "Who the hell do you think you are? And why do you need a cop to handle this?" I'm sorry, that's two questions.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman: Plurals

This unusually high amount of rain we've been having is not "a weather phenomena", you idiot! How the hell did you manage to graduate from college? Or is "meteorologist" just some title you use to gain on-air credibility?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Strike 4

I'm called to a drunk guy sitting in a car in a parking lot. I find him in the driver's seat, engine running, tunes blaring, drinking a can of beer. It's 3 in the afternoon, and his BAC is .23. He refuses to take any sobriety tests, because "I know I can't pass them". I start going through the charges he's looking at:

Officer Cynical: "The DUI law includes you sitting in the driver's seat of a running car, you know."
Saccha R. O'Myces: "But I wasn't driving."
Officer Cynical: "OK, who was?"
Saccha R. O'Myces: "My friend."
Officer Cynical: "And where is your friend now?"
Saccha R. O'Myces: "He went to the store for smokes."
Officer Cynical: "OK, we'll just sit here and wait for him to come back."
Saccha R. O'Myces: "OK, I was driving."

Officer Cynical: "And is this car insured?"
Saccha R. O'Myces: "Of course it is, man, what do you think I am?"
Officer Cynical: "Can I see your insurance card?"
Saccha R. O'Myces: "It's at home."
Officer Cynical: "No problem. I can just call your agent and verify it."
Saccha R. O'Myces: "OK, I don't have insurance."

Officer Cynical: "And you know you can't have an open container of alcohol in a running motor vehicle, right?"
Saccha R. O'Myces: "I didn't! I was just sitting here."
Officer Cynical: "Well, there's a cold, open can of beer right there in your cup holder."
Saccha R. O'Myces: "Well, OK, yeah...but I wasn't gonna drive anywhere."
Officer Cynical: "What about when you were done 'just sitting here'?"
Saccha R. O'Myces: "OK, well, yeah....."

Officer Cynical: "And your license is suspended."
Saccha R. O'Myces: (puts head in hands) "Fuck, dude!"


Monday, April 27, 2015

Trains Kill

Last summer, I got a call for a pedestrian hit by a train. When I arrived, the caller was there and just short of hysterical. She said she had seen a guy standing on the sidewalk near the train crossing. He stood there until an oncoming train was about 20 feet away, then stepped out onto the tracks, turned, and ran directly at the train.

Since the train was now stopped and blocking traffic, I figured there might be something to her story. As I started walking the track bed toward the engine, which was a couple hundred yards away, it became clear that the witness hadn't been exaggerating. There were various parts of the victim strewn all over. I finally found the bulk of what was left of him, literally wrapped around the axle of a boxcar, a good 100 yards from the crossing.

The engineer was likewise nearly hysterical. He said he couldn't believe his eyes - a guy running right at him as he approached the crossing. He'd been an engineer for 20 years, and had never seen or heard of anything like it.

A couple of us picked up all the pieces we could find and bagged them up. If I live to be 100, I won't forget collecting that half a hand. Sliced through at midpalm in a perfectly straight line, as though with a pair of scissors.

Friday, April 24, 2015


One of my most memorable exchanges of all time. I'm interviewing a woman in a motel parking lot, after she ran from the scene of the arrest of her drug-dealing boyfriend.

Officer Cynical: "Do you have any drugs, weapons, or anything else on you that I should be concerned about?"

Ms. Stipe: "I have mushrooms in my crotch."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Officer Cynical: Sees All, Knows All

I used to see this vanity plate "BGDMMY" driving around my beat all the time. I finally ran the plate just to see who it was. A few days later, I get dispatched to a vehicle vandalism call. I recognize the complainant's name in the run as the registered owner of "BGDMMY".

I get to his apartment, and the first thing I say is, "Hey, I know you. You're BGDMMY." The guy's jaw drops open: "How in the hell did you know that?!" And I say, "I'm the cops. I know everything."

The guy acted like I was Wizard of Oz for the rest of the call.