Today’s crackpot called to report a parking violation. Our concerned citizen lives across the street from an elementary school. He came home from work at about 2pm in the afternoon to find an unknown car parked in his driveway. Just then a petite Asian woman walks up with a school aged child by the hand and a baby in her arms. She seats the children in the car and prepares to leave. Our hero quickly pulls his car in the driveway behind hers, blocking her escape, and calls 911. He reports that a woman is trespassing in his driveway, and he wants her car towed away. It was much like you would call an exterminator, after trapping a possum in your yard. When I got there, I found our righteous victim standing on the sidewalk, and our erroneous parking scofflaw behind the wheel of her car, blocked in the driveway; looking much like that trapped possum. Our courageous hero says he wants the car towed away. I suggested we let her drive away, since that’s what she wants, and then the problem will be solved for everyone. Our victim asks, “What about my rights!” I reminded him that his rights don’t include the ability to falsely imprison someone guilty of a parking infraction. He said he didn’t know that. I told him, “That’s what scares me.”
There's a tax preparation service out on the dirty boulevard where I patrol. It's across the street from a local Home Depot. It's one of those places where all the day laborers congregate out front to get work. Well one of them found a gig. As I sat stopped at the intersection, I watched this guy swinging his sign. All of a sudden I felt the strike of virtual slap in the face. Here was an illegal immigrant, dressed up in a bad Statue Of Liberty costume, telling me not to forget to pay my taxes. He had that little F.U. wink in his smile. What the heck?
I must have driven past this restaurant in my district hundreds of times. The today I made a traffic enforcement stop, and the driver pulled into the restaurant lot. I then noticed this banner on the fence out front. It took a moment to register, but once it did, I was completely flustered and let the guy go. Do you see whats wrong? Wait for it.....
As a sentinel of the streets, my patrol car is more than just a ride, it’s my office. Up until recently, that was a 110,000-mile wonder with three hubcaps, a right front fender that was a slightly lighter shade than the rest of the car, and was missing the letter ‘P’ in the word “police” on the back of the car. Imagine my surprise the other day, when at the start of my shift I found a brand new shiny Crown Victoria in my parking space! It was decked out with all of the latest cop junk inside, clean, and had a mere 450 miles on the odo!! I was feeling pretttty good. I went to my first call; an auto collision. I got out and left the motor running with the air conditioning on, as I usually do when I’m gonna be out of the car, but nearby. Instinctively by muscle memory I hit the power door locks to unlock all of the doors, just before shutting the driver door. When I asked my comrade how I could help, he asked me to get my citation book. Well imagine my surprise when I went back and found my car locked up tighter than Fort Knox! What the heck?!? I usually carry a spare key, but I just got this car…I hadn’t had time to get one!! Well take a look at what the bastards at Ford did to me…Arggghh!!!
Code 3 driving with Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" playing in the background. I recommend it.
"I'm here to tell you what to do and if self-preservation is an instinct you possess, you'd better f---ing do it and do it quick."-- The Wolf: "Pulp Fiction"
Words of wisdom from Winston Wolf. Self preservation. It seems to me if you’re gonna be a crook, you’ll want to avoid getting caught. And that means avoiding drawing attention to yourself. Subtlety. You don’t want to attract any John Q. Laws. Here's one of the first things Winston might suggest...
Learn to drive.
Our first two candidates were flying down the road, driving like morons do. They wound up crashed into another motorist. They tried to handle a simple exchange of insurance by the side of the road. Unfortunately for them, their smashed up car and the debris it left in the road drew the attention of Five-0. The large payload of video game systems, digital cameras, jewelry and a computer in the back of the wreck drew even more attention.
A closer look at the property and a few phone calls revealed that our two speed demons had actually been fleeing with the haul from a fresh burglary that they had just committed. Oops.
* * *
Our next genius tried to make a U-turn at an intersection. Well, close to an intersection. Almost at the intersection. If she had driven just a few more feet she could have made the turn free and clear. She must have been in a hurry. So she turned into, or rather onto, the raised median strip. She high-centered and stranded her car for the glory of all passersby. This kind of brillant move tends to attract attention. The kind that begs for one to check a person's driver’s license status. Surprisingly, she actually had a valid license. Unfortunately, she also had outstanding felony warrants for perjury and welfare fraud.
Winston would be so disappointed.
It seems that our kids today are growing up lacking in the all too important skills of critical thinking and reasoning. What is to blame for this decline? Is it the omnipresent technological distractions we’ve created? One can make the argument that the youth who’ve never known a world without the internet have become the ‘cut-and-paste’ generation. They’re part of the “go to the freezer and get the box” regurgitation-nation. I’m sure it’s a factor. However, I’m placing my blame on the schools. No, no, no; not the teachers. They do the best they can with what walks in the door. I’m directing my first shot down the corridor. Specifically to the cafeteria. That’s right, lunch-lady, I put the blame on YOU! How can you expect the kids to pay attention if you’re not? Sales transactions are a perfect arena for practical math exercises. How many of these do you sell a slice of pizza for? The answer is zero of course!
I was out on the prowl the other day, cruising the dirty boulevard, when I came upon a parked car with a custom plate. A lot of people like the personalized plates today. Even I have one. As states go, California surprisingly ranks only 22nd in percentage of vanity license plates issued. (#1 is Virginia.) Anyway, this guy felt like he had a statement to make about his ride. I tried to decode the meaning of it in my head. Then, as I passed by, I got a better look at the ride itself.
Ohhh. Nice touch..
Just the other day I was dispatched to a car accident at a busy intersection. I found the two parties still in their cars stopped in the middle of the left turn lane at said intersection. The cars looked drivable so I directed our unlucky motorists to pull over at a gas station across the street. I followed them over to sort things out. The next thing I know, the two drivers, an older man and woman, began yelling at each other in heavily accented English. The man said he was stopped at the red light and the woman rear-ended him. Furiously, the woman retorted that she was in fact stopped at the light, when the man backed up into her! The man fired back that he did no such thing, that it was her.
“Whoa!” I looked at the front of the woman’s car, a brand new Camry with a pristine front-end. I asked her where the damage was. “There no damage!” she said angrily. I asked the man where the damage was to the back of his Jeep Cherokee. “It not damage!” he said.” WTF? I asked them, if there’s no damage, then what was the problem? He was mad that she said it was his fault, while she was mad that he said it was her fault. Neither of them wanted anything done. They just wanted to be right. Discuss...
I can only imagine the entreprenuer who dreamed of one day having his own store. His own retail empire. His own piece of the American Dream. He thought to himself, "I need a name with a hook. I need an eye-catcher here. How can I tap into the lucrative junior high-age boy demographic, and turn them into life long customers? I want the Beavis and Butthead crowd..."