Friday, January 28, 2011

Stories from a Cop Family

I'm the only member of my family that doesn't carry a gun for a living. This occasionally makes for highly amusing dinner conversation. As much as my family drives me crazy, they're also pretty funny and genuinely good people. And while the politics of being a cop in SF is not at all my cup of tea, some of the encounters with the public offer their own brand of humor. Of high comedy is the time I'm totally exhausted, up early, wrapping presents for my incompetent brother on Christmas morning and he walks in from work and says, "I JUST GOT BACK FROM A HOMICIDE! THERE WERE BRAINS ALL OVER THE WALL! IT WAS AWESOME!" Yes. In all caps. Just like that. Nothing says Merry Christmas like brain splatter.

Tonight my mom recounted the story of being called to an "unruly juvenile" situation. Or something. That's not the exact term. Despite having been bombarded with police code forever, I absolutely refuse to memorize any of it. REFUSE. But basically: A woman called the cops because her 14 year old son wouldn't go to school. This story will also give you some idea of my mother's own parenting style.

They (mom's teeny tiny adorable female Asian partner and my mom) get to the apartment on the outer reaches of the western edge of the city and the woman says, "My son refuses to get up and go to school!" My first thought is: Really people, you call the cops for this? You can't handle your own shit? That's, frankly, kinda embarrassing.

Mom says, "Where's his room?" Lady points, mom and partner go down the hall. Partner walks in and very nicely says, "Good morning!"

Mom walks in and, doing the thing I hated MOST in childhood, opens the blinds, rips the covers off him and yells, "GET UP!" (In fairness, this did not happen often to us. I'd have to have been particularly reluctant to get out of bed for this to happen. And actually I remember my dad employing the blanket tactic far more than my mother.)

Once the covers are off, mom discovers that he has cigarettes in his bed. "Are those his?" she directs to the mom. Blank stare. Mom grabs them and hands them to the mom and says, "He can't have these! He's too young!" My mom then walks across his bed in her police boots to hand them back to the mother.

This shit head teenager at some point then swears at his mother. In front of the cops. Seriously y'all, what is WRONG with today's youth? My mom yells at him, "HEY! You will not talk to your mother like that when I am here!" I can hear her voice saying this without even being there. Shudder. (Other favorite Mom line: "I'm not yelling! This is not yelling! You will KNOW when I'm yelling!" I love this one. I use it sarcastically all the time.)

I'm old enough that swearing in the presence of my parents is no longer a big deal. Swearing at my parents? To this DAY I don't think I have dared to swear AT either of them. I'm pretty sure my mom would still beat my ass if I ever called her a name or told her to fuck off. Seriously, even typing that I might say that to her is terrifying.

My mom then looks at the mother and says, "You want him to behave? See that cell phone? Take it! The TV, the computer? He shouldn't have any of this stuff!" Then the mom doing what makes all these little shits just how they are, gives the brat spending money. SPENDING MONEY! I can imagine my mom's head about to burst. She looks at the lady and says, "Don't give him that!" What is "enabling your child", Alex?

Mom's partner then asks, "Where's his dad?" This is rich: "He's outside." Hahaha, wut? Turns out the parents are divorced but the dad drives the son to school. Dad is in the car in the parking lot waiting for his son. Mom walks out and taps on guy's car window. He smiles and waives. Mom asks him to roll it down. "Is (kid's name) your son?" Dad responds, "A little bit." Giggle. What's a little bit? Either he's half your genetic material or not. Accountability, people, accountability! I don't have exactly what went down in that conversation but mom said, "I yelled at him too." Oh, mom, I can only imagine...

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