Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Being a Grown-Up

What is it with parents who let their kids drive, but won't let them take the responsibility that goes along with it? It's not uncommon for me to do a traffic stop or work an accident involving a juvenile, and have mom and/or dad show up to defend their kid. Some incidents that come to mind:

I worked a crash where a girl had pulled out in front of an oncoming car and got broadsided. She was OK, but the other driver sustained a broken foot. I gave the girl a ticket for not yielding to the other car. Dad showed up, and proceeded to question my logic for citing his daughter. He insisted it was the other driver's fault, because he should have been able to stop before hitting his daughter. This clown and his daughter actually took the citation to court. They lost.

I worked a crash where a boy was traveling at a very high rate of speed (estimated 70 mph) in a residential area (posted 25 mph zone) and flipped his car. It slid on its roof for some distance, and took out a fire hydrant and some trees. Miraculously, neither the boy, his passenger, nor any pedestrian was hurt. Mom and dad showed up and were shocked that I would cite their son for reckless driving. According to them, there was no evidence of such a violation.

I pulled over a girl for driving with a suspended license. Dad showed up and demanded that his daughter be allowed to drive the car home, because it was too inconvenient for somebody with a valid license to come and get it. I told dad that if she drove the car one inch, they were both going to jail for hindering my investigation. They finally got in dad's car and left in a huff.

Parents: If you're going to let your kids drive, they should understand that mommy and daddy can't fix it when they break the law and get caught. And you just reinforce their actions when you try.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Latest Fad

Mr. Zepam: "Somebody broke into my apartment and stole my oxycodone. I need to make a police report so my doctor will write me a new prescription."

Officer Cynical: "I don't see a pried door or broken window. How do you suppose they got in your apartment?"

Mr. Zepam: "I don't know. Maybe they had a key."

Officer Cynical: "How many other people have you given keys to?"

Mr. Zepam: "Well, nobody. Maybe they got it from the landlord or something."

Officer Cynical: "And you say your oxycodone was here in your bedroom? Right by your jewelry and this video camera and this cash? Why do you suppose they left that stuff here?"

Mr. Zepam: "Well, the jewelry isn't worth much, and the video camera is broken."

Officer Cynical: "How would they know that?"

Mr. Zepam: "No idea. Look, are you gonna take this report or what?"

Officer Cynical: "Sure, I can do that. But just FYI - filing a false police report is a crime that you can go to prison for. Not that you're lying to me or anything. Just FYI."

Mr. Zepam: "Fine. Never mind, then. I don't want the stupid report. I thought the police were here to help people. Jesus!"

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So Long, Mr. Garner, and Thanks for the Autograph

I awoke this morning to find out that James Garner had died. You can find out pretty much all you want about him anywhere on the web. Here's what I remember:

I was a kid in the early 60s, and my Dad had somehow gotten tickets to the Indianapolis 500. While walking around near the fence that bordered the pit area, I saw a guy in a white racing suit standing there, signing autographs. I got into the small crowd gathered there; I thought it would be cool to have one of the drivers' autograph.

As I got close, I could see the man was turning away to leave. But when I held up my ticket stub, he turned back, came over to where I was standing, and signed the back of my ticket. I realized then that the man was James Garner. He was there promoting his new movie, Grand Prix.

I still have that ticket stub. It's signed in green ink. Thank you, Mr. Garner, from that little kid.

Friday, July 18, 2014

DUI Math

(Xanax + Thorazine + Seroquel + Alcohol) x (Drive Over Median + Drive On Sidewalk + Drive Across Lawns) / (Hit parked car x 3) = Go To Jail

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Sympathy Meter Reads "Zero"

You and your soon-to-be ex-husband are in the process of moving. For some reason, you're both standing in the middle of WalMart parking lot with your crappy, overflowing pickup truck pulling a crappy, overflowing U-Haul trailer, arguing over the custody and visitation papers that one of you doesn't want to sign. And you're holding your little child in your arms while you scream back and forth at each other in the wind and cold and rain, and in front of the whole fucking world.

I couldn't care less about which of you think's s/he's the injured party. I don't give a shit that one of you wants the child every other Thursday and twice on Sundays, but the other wants him on odd-numbered holidays and during the full moon. Put that poor little kid in the truck where it's warm and where he's out of earshot, and you two idiots go sit somewhere and try to act like actual human beings and work this out. Because you're propelling this kid down the road that'll lead to him being in my next generation of clients. I've seen a hundred times.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Flash

If you run from me, possibly the slowest living organism on the planet, and I catch you, you are one pathetically slow son of a bitch.

The other day I went to an apartment in a particularly crappy section of Cynicalville to arrest a guy on several warrants. I knock on the door and a woman's voice asks who it is. I announce myself as "Police", and she immediately yanks open the door and tells me my suspect has just kicked out a window and fled on foot.

Dear Suspect:

Christ, dude, if you ran any slower you'd be going backwards! You should be embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated, and mortified, in that order, to be run down in less than a city block, thrown to the ground, and cuffed and stuffed by a tired old fart like me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman: Suddenly, Nothing Happened!

I'm watching something pretty good on TV. In the distance, I can hear what sounds like a weather alert siren blaring away. But the weather is perfectly benign - not a cloud in the sky - and nothing of any consequence is happening. After a minute, the siren stops.

Almost immediately, my show is interrupted by Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman, frowning at me from the Channel 19 Weather Panic Button Center. He begins by stating the obvious: a weather alert siren somewhere within earshot of Cynicalville has gone off. Then Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman - and I swear to god I'm not making this up - says that it's a mistake and we should ignore it. He then launches into a ten-minute long dissertation about how much of a mistake the distant siren was, and how much we should ignore it, and what he would be doing if there were an actual weather emergency, and what we should do if he ever interrupted a good program again with an actual weather emergency.

I resist the urge to drive to the Channel 19 Weather Panic Button Center and shoot Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman, in the face on live TV. But only because some cop I work with might see it on TV and recognize me.