Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Police Department

I live in a tiny little Mayberry type town. We have no grocery store, nor video rentals. We do have a beauty shop, two hardware store, two gas stations one on either end. Two bars and one farmers restaurant. We also have a police department-sorta. Let me explain...

I had to report once to our station. I had just moved to this town and my dog found that he didn't so much like the mailman, meter reader or garbage collector. So, I had to make a trip to town and the police dept.

When you go to the police station. You drive up, park next to the railroad tracks that run through town, you walk past the TWO police cars parked outside, you open the door that says POLICE DEPARTMENT stenciled in very nice gold letters. There in front of me was a tiny little room. I looked around and saw in all its glory...A wooden door, two white plastic walmart outdoor chairs and a payphone with a HUGE handwritten sign above it that read...IF YOU NEED HELP DIAL 911-- and state your problem.

I shit you not.

And there above the phone was a camera. And I just knew that somewhere, someone was watching me. I had the urge to give it the finger, but not being positive where the real police station might be, I kept my fingers to myself.
I kept wondering if this was some kind of hazing, because I was the newest member of the community, and was an OUTSIDER. So, I played along, I picked up the phone, dialed 911 and waited. A moment later a voice answered and asked what my problem was? I told them I was IN the police dept and there didn't seem to be anyone home. I had the piece of paper I had been given, and I waved it at the camera. I told her why I was there, seeing THEY wanted to talk to ME. She told me to hold on a minute and was put on hold. ON HOLD! What if someone was chasing me? What if the rapist was hot on my heels? She put me on hold for Christ sakes. I then heard the strangest thing. Almost feedback like. I could here a phone ringing in my ear and curiously...In the next room as well. I turned and looked at the little wooden door. I heard the woman talking to someone and then the door opened, with me still on the phone with the operator. There standing two feet in front of me was the policeman. WHAT THE FUCK?? I hung up the phone and held up my piece of paper.
I wanted to ask...Is this for real? And what are you hiding from? You are the POLICE what are you hiding behind this door from? Who do you think you are...The wizard? I went in, and sitting behind the desk was the largest man I had seen to date. The police chief. He had to have weighed three hundred pounds. I wondered to myself, how long it would take my dog to eat him? Bad bad thoughts. He looked at my note, started talking to me about 'acquainting' my dog with the civil servants... And I wondered how long it had been since he had been out from behind that desk? Could he GET out from behind that desk? Then he was talking again..."...He just is afraid of dogs." "Who? Who is afraid of dogs?" I asked dazed. "The garbage man. He's been bitten a few times and would appreciate it if you could keep your dog in the house until he picks up your trash." I agreed to try and make nice with the garbage man, all the time wondering what would happen if they actually had a real crime to solve? One that involved leaving the safety of the 'Police station'? And to this date...It hasn't happened yet.

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