Just so you know…if you call our house multiple times as a wrong number, Sir Smiley will take great pleasure in messing with you. Same goes for telemarketers. We received a wrong number call today. She asked for a doctor, and I informed her…nicely…that this was not a doctor’s office. She asked if I was sure several times. My answer never changed. End call.
Two minutes later I receive another phone call. I passed the phone to Sir Smiley telling him I couldn’t handle this woman again. He answered instead…pretending he could only speak Spanish. She promptly hung up…and then called back a minute later. Reaching the ridiculous by this point he answers again, only this time pretending to be an old man. He chats with her a bit, pretending to be senile. Then things get even crazier. She tells him that he owes her $200. Then proceeds to ask some probing questions about who lives with him (he said no one), was he alone (at the moment…his family is out running errand until this evening), and where he lived. He then gave her the address to the police station where he works. She said she’d be there in an hour and a half so they could hang out and chat…and he could give her the money he owes her. Oh, and at some point Sir Smiley threw in the little factoid that he likes to store large amounts of cash in his house.
So in an hour or so we’ll see what her reaction is to his “house”. If she buys his performance I’ll be amazed.
Note: She did call back, asking him why he sent her to a park (which is next to the police station). He then directed her to an address where the neighborhood watch was already serving a warrant. She said she couldn’t make it out that far today and maybe she’ll come visit tomorrow. He said anytime after 2 would be great (i.e. when he’s working). The saga to be continued tomorrow…
Warning: this is not for the faint of heart. Sir Smiley was not the first on scene for this lovely encounter. A co-worker arrived first to a fight call. He shows up and hears a jingling sound from behind the house. He investigates and discovers a woman who had evidentially scaled a chain link fence and was doing “the turtle”…i.e. barrel rolling down a hill. But this was not an attempt to escape apparently since she then wanders back to the house.
Sir Smiley shows up on the scene and gets the low down. Apparently, this couple met online and “hooked up” for the night. The girl (we’ll call her Ms. Hook Up) professes her love for the guy (Mr. Hook Up), and he did not reciprocate the feeling. He asks her to leave and then he himself leaves for a month long vacation. When he gets back, he discovers Ms. Hook Up has moved into his house.
So by the time Sir Smiley arrives, Ms. Hook Up was in the driveway telling the other officers they should leave. She also was telling Mr. Hook Up that she needed to stay. She pleaded with him, saying she sold her house, and that she loves him. Mr. Hook Up is pleading with the officers to remove her from his property. The officers called for a taxi for Ms. Hook Up, but the taxi got lost and took over an hour to get there. Meanwhile Ms. Hook Up continues to declare her undying love for Mr. Hook Up, begging him to let her stay. “But, Babe…” “There is no Babe! I don’t even know you!” “But what about us?” “There is no us!” To say she was drunk was an understatement and she had no concept of personal space. She spent her time orbiting between the officers that were present and Mr. Hook Up, and every time she approached someone they spent the conversation back stepping away from her. Mr. Hook Up started announcing that he would pay obscene amounts of money to the taxi driver that would get her out of there. He even called the cab company a second time and said he would grossly overpay whoever comes to take her away. The cab finally arrived and Mr. Hook Up apologized to the cab driver saying the driver could hate him for the rest of his life but just get her away from here…and then proceeded to shove a wad of cash in the driver’s face. In the end, Mr. Hook Up spent the afternoon with this unexpected roommate before she finally left.
Moral of the story: Too many to name here.
A call comes out, a stolen vehicle. Typically, these calls involve talking to the owner and filing a report. Pretty basic, cut and dry, stuff. It was a little odd, as the address of the complainant was in an area that does not have any vehicles stolen. Sir Smiley arrives and the complainant (we’ll call him Mr. Imprudent) tells Sir Smiley that he doesn’t know the license plate number and that the license plate is from out of state. He provides Sir Smiley with his ID and tells Sir Smiley that the vehicle is not registered in his name. This seems a little odd since he said the vehicle was his, so Sir Smiley tries to get some more details. Mr. Imprudent says the registered owner lives in this state and it is registered in this state also. So now we have a vehicle with out of state license plates, but is registered in the current state. Sir Smiley stops him there to clarify this. So Mr. Prudent elaborates saying that he got mad at the registered owner, switched the license plates, and drove away. He then goes on to state that he knows it doesn’t have insurance but he still considers it his. In short, he put a fictitious license plate on a uninsured vehicle, then stole the uninsured vehicle, drove it on a suspended license, and then actually expected the cops to get the vehicle back for him when he realized it was stolen (you know, the second time). Oh, and did I mention that Sir Smiley checked the records on Mr. Imprudent and he had a burglary warrant that was unextradictable (meaning the department with the warrant wouldn’t pay to have him transferred over to their area…so no arrest could be made)? No? Well he did, and he does.
He gives Sir Smiley the name of the registered owner. Sir Smiley looks her up, gets her phone number, and calls her. He asks her if she knows about her vehicle and she says that she does. She was aware that Mr. Imprudent took it without asking her. Sir Smiley tells her that Mr. Imprudent is reporting it stolen and does she want to file a stolen vehicle report. She says no. Sir Smiley asks if this means the vehicle is no longer stolen and she says yes, the vehicle is no longer stolen. Apparently she may have sent others to recover her “property” but she would not elaborate. Sir Smiley told Mr. Imprudent that all his complaints would be duly noted, and went on his way. All in all, that was one lucky thief.
I’m pretty sure that being a cop is the toughest job there is…or close to it. Partly because it’s so thankless. Did you know there is a holiday commemorating fallen peace officers? I sure didn’t…and I’m married to one. Apparently it’s May 15 and was started back in 1962, so it’s not new. I saw no dedications on Facebook, no inspirational memes, no holiday promotion at the local businesses.
Police do not see the good sides of our society. I mean, think about it, how many people are sitting around with their families, feeling at peace with the world…their children are happy, wives respect them, husbands support them…and think “I should call the cops”. Police do not witness those moments unless it is in their own homes. They witness the grime, the grunge, and the dirt of society. A society that, for the most part, either hates, fears, or dislikes them. Who is pulled over for speeding and greets that officer with joy? How often do shoplifters thank the officer for doing their duty?
The military are considered our defenders (for good reason) and have a great respect from many people. The firefighters are considered the heroes at home…who come to the rescue to save you when you’re in trouble. Not to belittle either profession, they have tough jobs. But it is not thankless. Cops are the guys who come when you don’t want them…like the kid caught with his hand in the candy jar. No one likes to be caught doing what they shouldn’t and no one likes to be told they’re wrong.
Then there are the stereotypes. Officers do not actually spend much time eating donuts. (Although they do love the QT for free beverages). In my husbands department, they don’t have time to sit around profiling, entrapping, or harassing people. They’re running around like mad trying to stay on top of the hot calls, knowing they have several hours of paperwork for that day to finish…not counting the hours of paperwork they were unable to complete from previous days. If that ticket isn’t posted in the 24 hours and you’re all pissy because you’re being inconvenienced…think about the cop sitting up for hours past his shift scrambling to finish reports. But still trying to be thorough because if even one word is off the whole thing could be overturned and their work will have been for nothing. Cops are mediators…they come to deal with that couple or roommates that never get along and somehow must diffuse the situation so effectively that they won’t be called back. They are expected to parent our children, as parents who have no idea how to handle their kids call the police expecting the police to have some magical power to control the kids that they themselves cannot. Police enforce the law, which we like until we break the law ourselves (how many of us have seen some crazy driver speeding, cutting people off, etc and hope they get pulled over, but become angry if we get pulled over for speeding?). They are understaffed, their equipment is subpar, and they never stop working hard to keep their streets safe. They seem to never have days off, as there is always some training to go to, some qualifying test to take, some court appearance to make. They come home late, leave early, and need at least one day to recover before they are fully themselves for their families. These are the sacrifices they make, without so much as a thank you.
It’s no wonder they become discouraged. I’ve heard people refer to them as an organized gang. Because gangs are held to a high standard of behavior, dress, and expression. Gangs have to complete detailed paperwork of every interaction, and if someone complains about a gang member’s behavior that gang member is put under intense scrutiny by a completely different department. Because gangs are held to the standard of the law and if they do not meet those standards they are kicked out. Do you sense the sarcasm yet?
This whole long rant is actually leading up to something. I was getting more and more frustrated at how helpless I was to do something to improve this situation. To show cops that they aren’t the mean parent that everyone wants to avoid, but that people do appreciate their protection. So I have one simple request: write your local department. I don’t care if it’s a letter, a post card, and e-mail, or even a sticky note on their door. Just thank them for what they do, and do it regularly. If you see an officer do something to help someone…mention it. Most departments have a section to refer an officer for a commendation. If enough people started to do this, we could start to change the attitudes towards police officers. So take those few minutes to show a little appreciation…and include your kids. Kids should be raised to trust police and respect them…not fear them.
I am going to preface this post with one remark…if you haven’t yet you should read the “About Me” section here. So you know about my stance as far as these types of stories.
I went on a ride along with Sir Smiley last night. I’ve done many of these and he always claims they’re slow nights…but I always have fun. Right when we left the station yesterday we came across a “regular customer” of Sir Smiley’s. We’ll call him Teeny. Teeny was standing on the property of a local business that is struggling with pan handlers. This man was…ornery. He would give the finger to people driving by he didn’t like…all while holding his hand made sign that says, “Homeless Please Help God Bless.” (This was written on the back of a Mike’s Hard Lemonade container…just to help paint a picture). We pull up and get out. The history begins to emerge as Sir Smiley asks him why he is here AGAIN. Apparently this man is a regular and has been on this corner more times than Sir Smiley can count. Each time, he was told this business did not want loiterers…was informed of what the property lines for this business were…and was told not to come back. He doesn’t seem able to take a hint. This time around he had a broken ankle that was splinted and wrapped. When asked how he broke it he merely replied, “I shoved it up your f***ing a** and you bit it off!” Then lifted his left hand and said he’d take down the two of us with his left nut. He was a charming man. Back up arrives and they look over his discharge papers from the hospital and then arrest him. They have to take all his possessions, including his belt, as a precaution and then slowly eased him into the car. He then flung himself across the bench and began howling. He claimed that by being a Native American we couldn’t arrest him for trespassing as this land was originally his. Sir Smiley calmly dealt with it all and off we headed to jail.
As we get there he starts to head out to the jail and his pants fall off…twice. Never seemed to bother him…he’d just stand there like nothing happened. Sir Smiley walked with him after that and held them up for him as they went inside and I waited out in the patrol car.
If you want some interesting people watching…just sit at the police entrance to a jail. There were two main camps of people I saw. About 45% seemed to be wearing huge hooded sweatshirts in the middle of the afternoon in 80 degrees…the other 45% were wearing pajamas. (the other 10% were odd to say the least) So either they were already planning on being arrested and wanted to be comfortable…or they were mothers. (that was a joke btw)
There were a couple of calls about drugs in the park and a stolen vehicle attempt. We filled out reports and such but never arrested anyone else. We had dinner and Sir Smiley ran another officer through the gun qualifications to practice and then we headed home. All in all it was a fascinating day.
Sir Smiley received a call about a motorcycle accident on a busy road…at night. Upon arrival he sees a skid mark, a pizza box, and something liquid spilled on the road. About a hundred feet away there was a motorcycle, someone lying on the road covered in a blanket, and someone in a motorcycle jacket sitting on the curb next to blanket person. The person covered in a blanket is alive, and blinks her eyes when questioned. Sir Smiley asks the apparent driver of the motorcycle if blanket person was wearing a helmet. He responds by saying, “Who her? I don’t even know her.” So then Sir Smiley inquires as to whether blanket person was riding on the motorcycle. He responds with, “I was just coming from…sushi.”
It now appears sushi man and blanket person are useless in determining what actually happened. Sir Smiley turns to the now gathering crowd and asks if anyone had seen the accident. Everyone says no and leaves. So now he’s left with a pizza box, a crashed motorcycle, sushi man, and blanket person. There is also a strong aroma of alcohol and some broken glass that appears to be from a bottle. Blanket person is still clutching a handbag which has a partially consumed, intact, “forty” in it (a forty ounce bottle of booze).
Blanket person and sushi man go to the hospital whereupon they are patched up and ultimately survive. In the meantime, Tat and Sir Smiley are left with the motorcycle and the pizza box.
Sir Smiley walks to Tat’s car to chat, and Tat jumps out and exclaims, “I got it!” He then tells Sir Smiley the saga. The pizza box in the roadway contained fresh, warm pizza from the restaurant across the street. Highly intoxicated blanket person, with “forty” in hand, purchases dinner and attempts to walk home, crossing the street midblock…in the dark. After successfully crossing seven lanes of traffic with only four feet to go, she is struck by the motorcycle…leaving the tell-tale pizza behind. She is able to hold the forty for a split second longer but loses grip fifty feet down the road. The bottle smashes on the road, splashing sushi man and blanket person prior to their landing fifty feet later.
The moral of the story: Frogger, pizza, and alcohol do not mix. But at least the cops will know what happened…even if you don’t.
In case you didn’t know this…I’m married to a cop. They don’t always have the usual workdays. In fact, Sir Smiley’s schedule is pretty much the opposite of everyone else’s. For the past five years he has worked what we call second shift. So basically the early afternoon until late at night (11 to midnight or so usually). For the past two to three years he has not only worked second shift, but he has worked second shift on Fridays through Mondays. Our weekend is the middle of everyone else’s work week.
None of our kids are in school yet so there are some positives to this. First off is the fact that when we go on dates, all the places are empty. No packed movie theaters or hour long wait at a restaurant. We also have three whole days off together, in the middle of the week. We can go to the park together when it’s empty, and no dealing with rush hour either. We can have a nice leisurely morning together too.
But there are some aggravations. First of all, everyone else operates on a totally different schedule from us. Church functions, friend’s parties, and basically all social gatherings tend to happen on a Friday through Sunday rotation. Meaning if I want to go to the church potluck, I have to pack up three kids, haul them around, and then keep tabs on their actions by myself. This past Sunday it was a Super Bowl party. Even the NFL is plotting against us. It led first to Sasquatch screaming that she had to puke, only to stand over the toilet and belch loudly. While she announced, “I guess I don’t have to puke”…King Toot sneaks behind me and dumps some poor kid’s phone in the toilet. Three kids is too many for this poor mom to keep track of alone. (BTW, I think King Toot was plotting that for weeks and finally saw his chance and went for it). Also, my kids didn’t get the memo that daddy works late so they should sleep in. No matter what, they are up by 7 am. So I have a husband crawling into bed around 1 to 2 am and then kiddos getting up at 6:30 or 7. It feels like it’s been years since I have had a decent night of uninterrupted sleep. Usually it’s four to five hours at a time…tops. Finally, there is the fact that he’s gone during the worst times. Basically, Sir Smiley is home spending time with the kids in the mornings. You know, that time of day when they are all well rested and fed? The happy time where they all play so nicely together and for a brief moment you feel like you’re living in a Rockwell painting? But then comes lunchtime. The kids are screaming at each other and/or you because they are both hungry and tired. Coincidentally this is right when Sir Smiley needs to head out the door. So I get to try and get him out the door and all three kids fed and settled down for a nap. But then comes the witching hour (see my post here for more details). Six o clock rolls around and I’m trying to cook for them all, and feed them (while they pick at anything I make them…and I mean ANYTHING), give them baths, pick up the house, get kids to bed etc. He’s at work, so I’m doing all of it solo. Not to whine too much because I’m not a single parent…I do have help. But this is my blog and so I get to whine about what I want. All I can say is, if you are a single parent and your kids are still alive…you are a superhero.
All in all though, I’ve been doing this a while and eventually the odd way of life became the norm. He actually works early in the morning until the afternoon tomorrow and will be home for dinner. It’s thrown me off and I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself. But now that I think about it, we scheduled dr appointments in the morning because that was when he was usually around…so either way I seem to be doomed. Now to try and keep three kids from touching anything in the waiting room because who knows what germs are on those things and we have finally gotten over a long string of colds. Piece of cake (*long pause followed by hysterical laughter).