Thursday, October 29, 2015


Your mom didn't find it particularly funny when she learned that you skipped school today. She also wasn't too amused when she found the drugs and paraphernalia in your room. And she was really upset by the video on your computer of you putting a gun to your head and mugging for the camera.

Yes, I realize that none of that stuff was yours.
Yes, I realize your friends made you do it.
Yes, I realize that dumb who-me expression works like a charm on some people.

But see, I've totally heard this crap like 500 times before, and I can tell you you're full of it. It's time to man up and take your medicine. And I have a feeling you're not gonna like it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Driving Like A Raving Maniac

Sir, I don't care what you say. 65 miles an hour on the wrong side of the street in a residential area gets you a ticket. Even if you are late for work.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Into Danger

A police officer, responding to a call that a man was threatening to kill his wife and his landlord, is shot in his ballistic vest by the suspect as he goes up the steps to investigate:

 After first retreating, the officer returns to try to get the man to put down his gun, to no avail:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vacation: Days First Through Last

My intention was to write about all the adventures the Cynical family had during our summer vacation. Perhaps, I thought, I can use the trip for the next 112 posts like my pal Dr. Grumpy did, and I won't have to draw from my rapidly dwindling supply of cop stories. Sadly, it didn't work out that way.

The drive itself was uneventful. Myself, Mrs. Cynical, and our three dogs merrily made our way for many hours, finally reaching our destination without incident. As soon as we rolled into the "resort", I felt the first pangs of doubt rising in my craw. While the maps and photos of the place would lead one to believe it was a sprawling acreage, it was not. Indeed, the cabins were very close together, and the entire property was microscopic.

As we approached our assigned cabin, it was clear that it also was much smaller than we had anticipated. Immediately inside the door was a dining table, adjacent to a sitting area with two chairs and a tiny kitchen with a dorm fridge. In the bedroom, the bed was pushed against walls on three sides. The only way for the person sleeping on the wall side to get over there was to crawl across the bed from the non-wall side. This was particularly annoying for the person sleeping on the non-wall side of the bed (me).

Upon closer inspection, the place was downright filthy. One night, Mrs. Cynical tried to use the stove and the grease and other crap around the burner caught on fire. Fortunately, the smoke alarms didn't work:

The oven and oven door were unspeakable:

The shower floor:

The "plumbing" next to the toilet:

The bathroom sink:

The living room lamp shade:

The bedroom fan:

The living room ceiling:

As an added treat, I stepped on a large bolt that had been left on the carpet for no apparent reason, and when I went to open the curtains, I grabbed onto a fishing lure - complete with treble hook - that was inexplicably stuck there. Fortunately, it didn't severely puncture my hand.

Because we were there mainly for the dogs, we took them down to the "beach". I thought it was nice that the management allowed dogs off leash on their "beach", but then realized it was probably because no human being would use it. Near the shore was a thick layer of floating green algae. On shore were the remnants of an apparent recent hurricane - rotting reeds, remains of old fishing gear, and other detritus. The dogs didn't seem to mind, though, and they did get some swimming and fetching time in the lake.

In the evening, we had satellite TV that was about 98% shopping channels, and free wi-fi, which went out the first night and never came back on.

When I finally went to the office, there was no one there. A sign was posted, saying they'd left for a while and please write down any message. So, I left a note that we were leaving. I put the bolt I'd stepped on and fishing lure I'd grabbed onto on the counter along with my note, and we packed up the truck and left.

On the way back, we were able to find this very nice park and spent some time there. I took this photo of Mrs. Cynical and the dogs. But because I forgot my tripod at home, I wasn't able to get in the shot. You ain't missing nothing, believe me:

And that, folks, was my vacation.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Don't Let The Door Hit You

A guy on our department recently resigned for a job at a big east coast agency. This is a person who exaggerated his military service, made marginal arrests, made marginal traffic stops and issued marginal citations, and never knew when to keep his mouth shut. He went to the top of my shit list the night he left me alone in a fairly risky situation because he wanted to go eat.

I'm sure he thinks that his new, bigger and better agency will be a good fit to his approach to the job. I have no doubt he's looking forward to chasing more cars, getting in more fights with bad guys, and being a bigger, badder ass than he ever could have been here. But I think he's going to find himself working with cops who deal with high-risk situations way more often than we do, and they know the value of not recklessly rushing into things, staying safe, and watching out for one another all the time. He's going to pull his cheap shit on one of them, and they're going to tune him up like a cheap piano. At least, I hope so.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


My heart sinks every time I get a telephone call that starts like this:

Officer Cynical: "City Police Department, Officer Cynical speaking."

Mr. Watson: "Yeah. Ummmmm.....So.....Like.....I....Uh....."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Public Service Announcement

I don't know how it is in other cities, but I suspect it's not too different than it is here. Thefts from vehicles (someone entering a vehicle and stealing something from it) and vehicle break-ins (someone breaking a vehicle window, then entering it and stealing something) eat cops alive. We take these reports by the dozens in any given week. They kill us.

I always tell victims the same thing (albeit too late):

If you have a garage, put your car in it. A thief is less likely to burglarize your garage to get to your car.

If you put your car in the garage, shut the garage door. A thief is even less likely to burglarize your garage if the door is closed.

If you don't have a garage, park your car in a well-lighted place, if at all possible. A thief is less likely to enter your car if it's well-lit and he might be seen.

Regardless of where you park your car, put the windows up and lock the doors. Many thieves don't want to make the noise of breaking a window to get into your car.

Don't keep anything of value in the passenger compartment. Take it with you or lock it in the trunk. If a thief does get into your car, don't sacrifice valuables to him.

Don't leave anything - and I mean anything - visible inside the passenger compartment. A thief is less likely to enter your car if he doesn't know for sure there's something in there he wants.

When you look in the window of my car, you see absolutely nothing. Not a pair of gloves, not an umbrella, not a pen.. Why? Because I know from experience that someone might break into my car and steal it. Remember, there are people out there who will steal absolutely anything. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. These are maggots who creep around in the middle of the night, looking for the opportunity to take something you worked hard for so they don't have to. They don't give two shits about how you feel or what it costs you. Their miserable, stinking lifestyles are more important.

Protect yourself.

Friday, October 9, 2015


I feel a little strange taking a vacation, now that I'm retired. It's not like I'm doing much beyond watching TV and walking the dog. But, Mrs. Cynical (who actually has a job), myself, and our 3 dogs will be heading off into the wilderness for a week. I'll be back a week from Monday, assuming I don't get eaten by a bear.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Like A Good Neighbor

Look, I understand that you're having a run of tough luck, and that's why you're driving without insurance. I get it that you promise you won't drive anymore, if I'll just let you park your car here rather than impound it.

Now, I know you would never lie, but let's pretend for a minute that somebody else might. Ten minutes after I leave, that person would come back and drive the car away. Then, let's suppose they hit and injure somebody. Or kill them.

When it comes out that I allowed a known uninsured driver access to his car, I'm going to have writer's cramp from all the checks the court will make me write to the plaintiff. And it'll be coming out of my unemployment check.

So, I'm sorry, but your luck just got tougher. Your car's going to the impound lot.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Pharmacist

Yesterday I had to get a refill of some medication (smegmastatin) that keeps Officer Cynical's cholesterol low enough that his blood doesn't turn into egg yolk. I don't know very much about pharmacy, but just that visit alone was enough to make me glad pharmacists aren't armed (as far as I know).

I go to Great Big Pharmacy. It used to be very convenient to our old house, but is clear across town from our current one. I continue to go there because the pharmacists and technicians are very knowledgeable, helpful and courteous. Yesterday, for some reason, none of the usual staff was there - just one pharmacist and one technician, neither of whom I recognized.

I may not be the greatest pharmacy customer in the world (although I now think I am), but I do know enough to arrange for refills on line a day or so in advance. Then, I usually can just walk up to the counter and pay. Yesterday, here's the scene when I arrive:

Mrs. Sourpuss walks up to the counter. She has a long, whispered conversation with the pharmacist, who then goes back, fills a bottle of pills, and brings it to the counter. Mrs. Sourpuss again leans over the counter and has another protracted, super-secret conversation with the pharmacist, who goes back and repeats step one. At the counter again, Mrs. S. is clearly not happy with the two bottles of pills she's been given. I can overhear that the number of pills is wrong, and that her husband's name, not hers, should be on one of the bottles. The pharmacist is looking at labels, flipping through stacks of paper, and staring at a computer screen, trying to sort it all out. Mrs. S is huffing and sighing, and just generally looking like she's sucking on lemons. Finally, the pharmacist tell Mrs. Sourpuss that if she thinks there's a problem with the prescriptions, she needs to contact her doctor to square it away. Mrs. S. leaves in a huff. This has easily taken 15 minutes.

The guy in front of me is next at the counter. He has a scrip he wants filled. The pharmacist tells him to come back in an hour. I see there are at least six people sitting in chairs along the wall next to the counter - presumably they're all waiting for scrips, too. The guy rolls his eyes and stomps out.

Meanwhile, the technician has been on the phone this whole time. He's getting step-by-step instructions on how to operate the software they use for patient records or whatever. During each pause in the conversation, he pokes the keyboard a couple of times and says, "Nope, that didn't work, either". The pharmacist is running the entire show herself. She's looking at the technician like she's trying to decide the best place to conceal his body.

As the guy in front of me leaves, some blue-hair tries to cut in line in front of me by coming up an adjacent aisle and then angling toward the counter. I body-check her into the rack of Sucrets like I don't notice she's there. I'm ready with my name, name of the medication, and that I'd had the wherewithal to previously order my scrip on line. I sign the sheet that says I know how to swallow pills without instructions and get out of there.

If you're a pharmacist in an operation like that, I salute you. And I thought had a tough job!

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm Funny Sometimes

Officer Cynical: "Sir, this is the second time this week I've stopped you for driving with a suspended license."

Driver Dan: "I know, but I mailed in my application for reinstatement yesterday."

Officer Cynical: "So, if you had applied for a job yesterday, would you just assume you got it and show up for work today?"

My back-up, Officer Sarcasm, almost chokes on his gum he's laughing so hard.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Underline "Hazard"

Block a lane of traffic during downtown rush hour while talking on a cell phone. Pull a U-turn at the busiest intersection in the city, while cross traffic has a green light. Drive 25 miles an hour over the speed limit because the plane leaves in 15 minutes. Pull a friend's old rusted-out junker with a frayed tow rope through the shopping district on Saturday afternoon. Move an entire apartment worth of furniture, including box spring and mattress, by balancing it precariously on the roof of a wheezing '83 Chevy station wagon.

These are things some people feel free to do, because they've turned on their hazard lights. Just flip those babies on, and you're free to drag race down Main Street, drive the wrong way on the interstate, or just take a scenic driving tour of an active runway at the airport.

I suppose they're thinking, "Hey, it seems pretty hazardous for me to be doing this, but if I just switch on these lights it'll be OK."