Thursday, July 31, 2014


Today, Mrs. Cynical went to a pedicure joint (I don't know what those are called. Toenail palaces?). Anyway, she left the house with just the name of the business (Nails-R-Us? We Be Nails?) and an address. Lo and behold, it was a Walmart. They actually had a toenail palace inside a Walmart. After a few moments hesitation, she decided to go for it. She said it was fine. It weirded me out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 1944

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor


Rank and Organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 24 October 1919, Herrin, Ill. Accredited To: Illinois.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Browning Automatic Rifleman serving with the 1st Battalion, 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division, during the battle for enemy Japanese-held Tinian Island, Marianas Islands, 30 July 1944. As a member of a platoon assigned the mission of clearing the remaining Japanese troops from dugouts and pillboxes along a tree line, Pvt. Ozbourn, flanked by 2 men on either side, was moving forward to throw an armed hand grenade into a dugout when a terrific blast from the entrance severely wounded the 4 men and himself. Unable to throw the grenade into the dugout and with no place to hurl it without endangering the other men, Pvt. Ozbourn unhesitatingly grasped it close to his body and fell upon it, sacrificing his own life to absorb the full impact of the explosion, but saving his comrades. His great personal valor and unwavering loyalty reflect the highest credit upon Pvt. Ozbourn and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Crying Game

Ms. Lachrymal: (sobbing) "I don't see how it's legal for you to arrest a pregnant woman."

Officer Cynical: "Well, the warrant doesn't say 'Arrest Ms. Lachrymal unless she's pregnant."

Ms. Lachrymal: (sobbing even harder) "Well, it should!"

Monday, July 28, 2014

No Sale

You moved out of town because you broke up with your boyfriend.

But for some reason you left your car with him.

Then, you sent a tow truck to pick up your car, but the tow truck driver told you the car isn't where you said it would be.

Then, your friend told you she saw it outside your now-ex-boyfriend's workplace.

So, now you want to make a stolen vehicle report with your now-ex-boyfriend as the suspect.

I guess I don't understand why you got screaming mad at me on the phone when I politely told you that no crime had been committed, insofar as I could tell, and I wasn't going to take a report.

You really need to learn to takes steps to help yourself, not throw yourself off a cliff and then call the cops to catch you on the way down.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Just Call Us For Absolutely Anything

Some true examples of recent calls that make me wonder what the fuck some people would do if something bad or illegal actually happened:

Grandpa calls because his grandson is biting himself and poking himself in the eye. The grandson is 3 years old.

Mr. Jackwagon calls because some kids are skateboarding in the skate park.

Ms. Cornfloater calls because she has one of those marquee trailers outside her dress design business, and overnight someone moved the letters around to spell out a bad word.

Mr. Turdblossom calls because his neighbor's car was vandalized about a year ago, and the neighbor has never cleaned up the broken windshield glass out of the street.

Ms. Douchnozzle calls because there is a dead bird on her porch.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman: Tentative Talk

Strunk White, Idiot Weatherman, gave this forecast for tomorrow:

"The potential for a severe storm remains a possibility."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Officer Cynical Fails to Make a Friend

I stop this guy for speeding in a residential neighborhood. This is an area where the residents have complained about speeders, so we spend a little extra time there as a deterrent.

Officer Cynical: "I'm stopping you because you were speeding. We've had a lot of complaints about it in this neighborhood, so we're cracking down."

Mr. Witepauer: "I was only doing about 32."

Officer Cynical: "Actually, you were doing 36, according to my radar, and the limit's 25."

Mr. Witepauer: "I was looking right at my speedometer; I was going 32."

Officer Cynical: "I'm not going to argue with you. You can take the citation to court, if you feel it isn't fair."

Mr. Witepauer: "It's amazing to me that these tickets always just happen to be for 11 over the limit."

Officer Cynical: "What do you mean?"

Mr. Witepauer: "I've had like 10 speeding tickets. And every time I get one, it just happens to be for 11 over."

Officer Cynical: "Yes, that is peculiar."

I go back to my squad car and write the ticket. When I return to his car and start my spiel about how to take care of it, he starts giving me the rapid-finger-flexing-gimme-gimme-gimme hand gesture to indicate I should hurry up and give him the citation, and going "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah" while I'm trying to talk. Finally:

Officer Cynical: "Hey! You gonna listen to what I have to say or not?"

Mr. Witepauer: "Look, I get it. You're giving me a ticket for speeding and you want me to sign it. Give it to me and I'll sign it. I'm in a hurry."

Officer Cynical: (begins spiel over again from the beginning)

Mr. Whitepauer: "C'mon, man! I'm hungry and want to go home."

Officer Cynical: "I just don't want you to say later you didn't understand your options of how to take care of this."

Mr. Whitepauer: (quickly signs ticket) "I'm contesting this in court. It just doesn't make any sense that it's always 11 over."

Officer Cynical: "Yeah, well, drive carefully and have a nice day."

He takes off, but a block away he pulls over in a "No Parking" zone, gets out, and flags me down.

Mr. Witepauer: "You didn't give me my license back."

Officer Cynical: "If you'd've let me finish talking, you'd know it's in the payment envelope I gave you."

Mr. Witepauer: (starts fishing around in the envelope)

Officer Cynical: "And you're illegally parked. If you don't move, I'm writing you a parking ticket."

Mr. Witepauer: (gets back in car, slams door, angrily drives off)


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.

Monday, July 14, 2014

At Least He Wasn't Drinking

It's 8 o'clock in the morning when I get dispatched to a liquor store for a "suspicious vehicle" parked outside. As I'm pulling up in my squad, I can see the driver passed out behind the wheel - engine running and left turn signal blinking away. I exit my squad, and as I'm walking up to the car, I see the driver huffing Dust-Off in between bouts of total unconsciousness.

Once I get him out of the car he wants to fight, but it's not much of a contest. Once he's cuffed and stuffed, I deal with the car. There are at least 8 empty bottles of cough syrup (AKA dextromethorphan) and 3 empty cans of Dust-Off littering the passenger compartment. But no alcohol in sight. The liquor store hadn't opened yet.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Officers In Mirror Are Angrier Than They Appear

When you look into your rear view mirror and see a cop car screaming up behind you with its lights and siren going, here's what not to do:

- stay in the left lane and slow way down
- stay in the left lane and stop
- continue in the left lane until you come to a left-turn lane, then pull into that
- pull part way up onto the median strip
- continue into the next intersection and move slightly to one side so both lanes are blocked
- cross the center line and drive into oncoming traffic
- anything else other than immediately pull all the way over to the right and stop

I mean, isn't that driver's ed 101? What the hell.....!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Dear Citizen:

I guess your neighbor was concerned about the stuff you put out for the trash the other day, because he called us about it.

FYI: Officer Sarcastic and I dumped out the 6 full bottles of booze so some kid didn't get into it. But there was no way either of us was going to touch the inflatable sex doll. She's probably at the landfill by now, unless she found a new boyfriend on the way.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pants On Fire

One thing I never thought I'd be good at in this job is being able to tell when people are lying. I've taken lots of classes about interview and interrogation techniques, and learned some ways to detect deception, but those usually work best in controlled settings like an interview room. I almost never have that. But, I've found that I'm actually pretty good at picking up on lies and calling people on them.

The other day I did a traffic stop on a car, the registered owner of which had warrants. My first clue that something was amiss was that the driver took forever to pull over, and was reaching around inside the car. This is a huge red flag for cops.

The car finally stops and the female driver is twitching and bouncing around like she's tweaking. She has fresh needle tracks on the backs of both hands. I ask for her license.

Ms. Prince: "I don't have any ID with me. I was just on my way to my friend's house, and I left everything at home".

Officer Cynical: "So, you don't have anything on your person or in the car that has your name on it"?

Ms. Prince: "No, this is my sister's car. But she doesn't know I'm driving it, so don't call her, OK"?

Officer Cynical: "Sure. But what about that purse on the seat next to you? You don't have any ID in there"?

Ms. Prince: "No, that's my sister's purse".

Officer Cynical: "Why are you driving around in your sister's car with your sister's purse"?

Ms. Prince: "She must've left it on the seat, and I didn't notice it".

I ask for her name and birth date. She readily gives me a name, but I detect the slightest hesitation in reciting the DOB. It's fleeting, but it's there. So, I pull out the old standby:

Officer Cynical: "What's your Social Security number"?

Ms. Price: (momentary look of horror) "Oh, I never memorized that. My mom keeps all my important papers and stuff, and I just get the information from her when I need it".

Officer Cynical: "OK, let's review: You fit the physical description of the registered owner of this car, but the car actually belongs to your sister. You have a purse on the seat next to you, but that belongs to your sister. You're 21 years old, but you don't know your own SSN. And, you've clearly shot up within the last several hours, and you're under the influence of something right now. Does that about sum it up"?

Ms. Prince: "Yes".

I explain to the driver that: a) she's lying to me, b) I know she's lying to me, c) we are going to stay there until I figure out who she really is, and d) when I do find out who she is, she's going to have more trouble than just a couple of warrants. She does a pretty good imitation of being indignant for about 30 seconds, then caves and admits she is the registered owner of the car. She goes to jail for False Info to a Police Officer, Driving While Under Suspension, No Insurance, Failing to Give Way to an Emergency Vehicle. Oh, and those warrants. Don't lie to me. If you do, I will know. And I will break you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Mrs. Cynical helped me set up a Twitter account today. I've always thought that Twitter was strictly for smart phone users. I have a dumb phone - one of those ones where you have to press the buttons about 400 times to text "Hi". But, hey, you can use Twitter on your laptop or desktop, so now I'm in!

I learned that I can see my own Twitters (Tweets?), and those of the people/entities I follow, and I can see Twits from other people/entities I don't follow when the people/entities I do follow re-Twat them. I can also get pseudo-Twainted via "Notification", which the people/entities I follow also can see, and by "Direct Messages", which they cannot.

And if I want to put a subject in my Twerps, I can precede the subject word with hashbrowns, although I don't know how one could possibly do that.

So, I have no idea what I'm going to do with this Twitter account, but I have one, so follow me or Twatter me or "Notification" me or "Direct Message" me, and I might respond if I can figure out how.



With Apologies to Thomas Edison

Before you change the light bulb in your clothes dryer, make sure you read the package that the new bulb comes in. Because when you screw a 12-V bulb into a 120-V socket, it does light up for a second.....followed by a loud bang and then darkness. And there were two bulbs in the package, so of course I did it, um, twice.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fire, Fire, Run For Your Lives!

Hey, asswagon! I get it that the smoke alarms in your apartment building go off all the time for no apparent reason. But when they've been blaring for 20 minutes and there's an overpowering stench of smoke coming from the hallway, you might want to at least check it out. Don't just sit there watching TV while the entire top floor of your building burns up, and wait for me to come banging on your door and screaming at you to get out. At least get up off your ass and see what all the fuss is about. You're lucky you didn't wind up like your upstairs neighbor, who we had to haul out of there. He wound up at the coroner's office, doing his best impersonation of a well-done steak.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July?

I'm in a particularly crappy part of town, questioning a suspect about a stolen car. It's 4th of July, and he's is at a party where pretty much everybody in the neighborhood is falling-down drunk. I have the suspect in the side yard of his house so we can talk in private.

Officer Cynical: "So, do you know anything about where this stolen car might be?"

BigFatGirl: (Staggering up to where we're standing) "Hey, that fucker who called you came over here and accused us of taking his fucking car! And right in front of my fucking kids! What the fuck are you gonna do about that?"

Officer Cynical: "Well, right now I'm just trying to get all the information about the case. Then we'll see."

BigFatGirl: (Wandering off in a serpentine fashion) "You really oughtta do something about that fucker, the way he was talking to us in front of my fucking kids!"

Officer Cynical: (Turning back to suspect) "So, anyway, do you know anything about where this stolen car might be?"

EmaciatedGirl: (Staggering up as BigFatGirl is leaving) "Hey, Officer! How about a hug for 4th of July?"

Officer Cynical: "Sorry, I don't hug on the job. Flu season, you know."

EmaciatedGirl: "Aw, come on, Officer! It's 4th of July and you remind me of my grandpa. I loved my grandpa."

Officer Cynical: "Gee, thanks. I'm sure your grandpa was a swell guy, but I don't hug drunk strangers while I'm working. Sorry."

EmaciatedGirl: (Weaving away) "That's fuckin' bullshit! My grandpa woulda hugged me."

Officer Cynical: (Turning back to suspect) "You know, I think I've got everything I need here. If I need anything else, I'll call you."

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Answer Is...

I never cease to be amazed at the number of people out there who think cops are so low on the food chain, that they can say or do anything they want and we'll just stand there and take it. I go into every encounter with the public in a polite and respectful manner, no matter how dumb I think the call(er) is, and even when I'm dealing with some reeking, passed-out drunk or a convicted child molester. At least until they give me a reason to treat them otherwise. But if you're going to start in on me about how cops are just out to make their ticket quotas or just to hassle you, here is a list of responses. Pick one:

1. No, I don't care who you are.
2. No, I don't care who you know.
3. Yes, you do pay my salary.
4. Yes, you can have my job.
5. No, I don't have anything better to do.
6. Yes, I do arrest real criminals sometimes.
7. No, I'm not picking on you because you're a (fill in group here).
8. No, I can't give you a break.
9. No, I don't know your friend, Officer ______.
10. Yes, you will be allowed to make a phone call.
11. Yes, I'm sure you will never do it again.
12. No, we can't talk about it.
13. Yes, it does make me happy.
14. Yes, you will see me in court.

Remember: I'm here to help your ass, not kiss it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Yes, I'm Busy

I'm not superstitious, but when I'm working, don't ask me if we're busy. We don't talk about that.

On my department, we never remark to anybody about how slow it is on a particular day or allude in any fashion to the fact that we're not getting slammed with calls (on the rare occasion when that actually happens). I don't know for sure, but I bet places like hospital ERs and the like do the same.

I'm not superstitious, but you're just inviting trouble - and probably right at the end of your shift - if you start making dumb comments about the lack of anything to do. Because "Anything" is waiting right around the corner, out of sight, and it isn't the kind of "Anything" you're hoping for. If you're bored, and you shoot your mouth off about it, you can bet it won't be something cool like an armed robbery in progress. It'll be some lame-brained civil issue between two people who are incapable of living their lives on their own, bitching at each other over something I can't do a damned thing about anyway. Or it'll be some verbal argument between two drunks that ultimately requires three hours to sort out, and resulting in endless interviews, written statements, photographs, evidence collection, and reports.

So, I'm not superstitious, but don't ask me if I'm busy. I am. Every day. All the time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Crappie Flop

At briefing this morning, we were asked to watch for a certain stolen car. It was a distinctive make and model, and bore a distinctive personalized license plate. The thief was believed to be a known felon with several warrants. We are shown his mugshot, and I commit it to memory.

Later, as I'm driving through the lot of Dungheap Motel, here comes that car the other way. I get a good look at the driver as he cruises past me, and it's the face from the picture at briefing.The adrenalin surges and I try to play it cool so he doesn't flee. I keep him in view until he's out on the street, then I come barreling after him, calling out for back-up on the radio.

I get him stopped and call him out of the car at gunpoint. He complies, but he's twitching and jerking around. As I get him cuffed, he falls on the ground and continues wiggling and flailing and making grunting sounds. I ask him what's wrong, and he says, "I'm having a seizure!". I ask him several more questions, and he answers all of them appropriately. He informs me - mid-seizure, mind you - that he has a seizure disorder and is on meds for his seizure disorder but he doesn't have those meds with him and so he's now having a seizure right now.

I have an ambulance respond, and they transport him to the ER. He's in there for the time it takes Dr. St. Francis of Assisi to see him and clear him for jail (about 30 seconds), and we're off.

Nice try.