Thursday, October 18, 2007

Long Time No Post

I got back from Seattle, school started, and bam time for anything but lesson plans and grading papers! I do not even have the time to read other posts but once or twice a week. The last time the yard got mowed...I had to pay someone to do it. I LIKE mowing the yard so that sucked!

I have gotten to do a few interesting things since school started.

Sharon and I took a couple of friends on a outing to Cathedral Caverns. Had a picnic and got a huge ice cream on the way home.

Sharon and I went to Oak Mountain State Park and learned how to kayak. That was the most fun that I have had in a long time.

We also went to Chattanooga, TN and took a course on reflexology. I have to do 14 foot treatments before I can get my certification. I have done 3 of them already. Could this be my plan C?

A long lost friend got in touch with me and we went out to dinner. I was worried that too much time had passed (over 10 years) and dinner would be strained. It wasn't and I had a good time. She told me that she bought two kayaks 6 years ago. Hummm.....

I am still working out with my trainer three days a week. Can't loose any weight but I fell better and I am stronger. I have been in the gym since March ..... being over 40 sucks for weight loss! I never had a problem till I tuned 40.

The librarian at school died Monday afternoon from a stroke. Kinda scary since she and I were born the same year!

School is wild. I like my students but I am tired already. I usually don't hit this wall until Spring Break. All my classes are full and I have no upper level classes this year. This means lots of paperwork on those regular ed students that are failing. I have to do the same paperwork for a kid that shows up, is trying as hard as they can as I do for kid that never comes to school or does not do their work. Thanks W child left behind my arse. I also have a whole slew of special eds and ESL students with accompanying paperwork.

Please don't misunderstand me. I get the biggest kick out of showing a kid that has had limited or no success in math that they can be successful! I love those kids but our system is upside down. Those classes should be small so that a teacher can establish a relationship with each child and give them the individualized attention that they need to be successful. Kids that have always been successful in math are sitting in upper level classes with 10 -12 others. You could stick them in a room with a book and they could teach themselves with little to no help.

I went to our Homecoming football game and was overrun with those "struggling" kids that I had in the past. They chased me down or came and sat with me so they could tell me that they passed their math classes in college with A's or B's. One is headed to law school after completing a marketing degree. Two will be doing their student teaching in the next couple of semesters. One is graduating with honors in three years instead of four. Several dropped out of college but they made sure that I knew that they were gainfully employed. All of them went out of their way to speak to me. I got hugs from all but one. I got a warm handshake from him. I wear my cop persona at school so hugs are not the norm. Great ego boost that was needed!

Mom is getting established and keeping busy. That helps. My brother-in-law had his surgery and seems to be holding his own.

Oh ...we had some great company ... Sharon's SIL and the kids. We took them to Tate Farms and even though it was very hot for this time of year ...we had a great time!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stolen from Sassy Femme

Click to view my Personality Profile page

"INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren't working well. They are the supreme strategists - always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency. "
- Portrait of an INTJ (The Personality Page)

I think that this is pretty right on although being Southern, my feeling side is also pretty developed. The major thing that bothers me about my current job is that I am trapped inside. I spend my whole summer break in the yard or outside somewhere doing something. Chores inside are not likely to get accomplished until it gets cold.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Were You Doing in 1960

Stolen from Cedarflame:
In 1960 (the year you were born)

Dwight Eisenhower is president of the US

Sit-ins being after 4 black college students in North Carolina refuse to move from a deli counter when denied service

A U-2 reconnaissance plane belonging to the US is shot down in the Soviet Union

Hurricane "Donna" strikes the East Coast causing over 100 deaths in the US and the Antilles

John F. Kennedy defeats Vice President Richard Nixon in the presidential race

Cassius Clay (who later took the name Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional fight

Michael Stipe, Tony Robbins, Bono, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Jeffrey Dahmer are born

Pittsburgh Pirates win the World Series

Philadelphia Eagles win the NFL championship

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is the top grossing film

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is published

The Beatles make their debut in Hamburg, Germany

The Flintstones debut

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Finally ..It Rained BIG

Today after church, we planned to go to Point Duck to watch the finals of the Timbersports. We watched the quarter finals yesterday and had a hoot. We met up with my mom, step-niece, and her daughter (What would that be….step great niece or something?) to go to eat prior to going to the Duck.

I was driving my mother’s van with mom and SGN in tow and Sharon was driving my car accompanied by my step niece. We only got a mile or so from the restaurant when the rain started coming down in sheets. I am not about to complain about any rain because we need lots of it. It was accompanied by a very strong wind and some impressive lightening.

All of a sudden, a very tall, very dead pine tree broke, falling toward the highway. On the way down, it caught two high powered utility lines. It pushed the top line into the one below causing a most impressive arc with accompanying flash…bang…and smoke. I think that the arc blew a hole in the ground when it hit. My 16 year old SGN was startled but otherwise impressed with my ability to avoid said tree and following explosion. Sharon handled not running into the back of mom’s van with ease and expertise.

We went about 5 more miles before the rain was so blinding that I thought it best to pull off the road and wait before driving down tree lined streets to the Duck. The road turned into a creek so we nixed the former plan and started home.

Power was out all over town so the traffic lights were not functioning. We went through the intersection of two major highways with no traffic control just minutes after an officer arrived to direct traffic. It is too large an intersection for only one officer but that is all they had…one very wet unhappy female officer. I DO NOT MISS THOSE DAYS!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

May I Have a Serving of Hormones Please?

A friend of mine had to have the ol' female surgery and is recovering at home. Today, I got home from moving more of my mom's shit and got the following E mail:

Well, it has been 3 weeks since surgery. I feel fine and dandy. I tend to be a little slugish and need a afternoon nappy each day. I had a hormone patch the first week and lost a box so I decided to go without and see if I really needed those little ovaries. Things have been going fine and then I notice I was a little short with CW. Well, it was a bad day and I was in a hurry and she was driving wrong.

Then yesterday I got a call on my cell and could hear it but not find it. It sounded like it was coming from down in the couch. I looked and looked, pulled the cushions back, stuck my hand where no hand has gone before, actually picked up the edge and gave it a bounce to knock it out of wherever it was at. I decided to just cry and forget it. My phone was lost forever and I would never get another call. CW comes home and I am in a fetal position on the couch under a blanket. She inquires, from a distance, to my problem. I explained. She said she would call my phone and find it. It starts to ring, I get up off the couch and while standing there CW touches my front pocket. Yes, that right!! It was in my pocket. Well! I have not been wearing shorts with pockets until a day or two ago. I forgot...besides it sounded like it was in that satanic couch!!

Now, today is a new day so I had a few errands this morning. I went by sams to just renew my card. My Aunt called and I sit in the truck and talked to her a minute. I go in to get the card, need my business card, so I go back out to the truck and back in the store. When my business is done I go to leave and the truck is not there. No, it is not. I knew where I parked, it was right there! I start looking around for the camera's or some friends playing a trick but I see none. Finally, I see the truck about 4 lanes over, 3 feet from a huge light pole, just sitting there sideways in a parking place. How the hell?? I walked over there and "clicked" the lock, got in and everything looked fine. You tell me! Apparently when talking to my Aunt I left the truck running and put the gear in neutral so I could run the air conditioner and must have left it there. The parking brake was not on. I am insane!

It was a good thing it didnt hit someone, something or that damn huge light pole! I got in and drove home. I am back in the fetal position cover with a blanket and a schnoodle. I dont think I will get back out for a few days. Unless, I need to go get some of them hormones.

Unstable watching Cable

ROFLMAO ... this was a great finish to my day! Two storage buildings down, two more and a green house to go! Yeah!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Words...Now and Then

Yesterday, I called my 79 year old mom on the way home from my workout.

Me: Hi mom. I am on the way home, do you need anything?

Mom: [very winded] No, I guess that I am ok.

Me: Why are you so winded? What have you been doing while I was gone?

Mom: I pulled some weeds in the garden and then I swept off the patio. It was really dirty after that little rain so I got out the blower and gave it a blow job.

Me: [silence…trying very hard not to laugh]

Mom: I guess you lost your signal …call me back when you can

She hung up on me and I almost wrecked my car I was laughing so hard!

Today, I had the whole day off from helping her so I went across the river. I ate lunch with Sharon and then went to find some new tennis shoes. I went to their bathroom and saw some really cool posters on the wall about running. I got a big laugh about one in particular:

The picture is of a guy decked out in running gear. The caption says, “Why do I run? I run because my girlfriend got a girlfriend.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Here It Is

We rented one of these on vacation a couple of years ago and I have been wanting one since then.

Curtains please!

It even came with a toaster oven .... for recruiting purposes!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Graduation Present to Myself

I have not had a car payment since 1997 so after much soul searching and saving...I bought me a new ride!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oh Deer!

Today, we had a little sad excitement at school. It is exam week. The students take two exams each day and then they leave at noon. The second exam today was during my planning period so I was in my room packing up stuff for the summer. It was nice and quiet in my room and the hallway when I heard the teacher across the hall say, “There is a deer in the courtyard.”

I started toward my door when I hear what sounded like a gunshot down the hall. Students started yelling. I went into the hall and turned toward the office nearby when I saw a deer running toward the outside door from the science hall.

WTF?...... I do not teach in a rural school …we are in the middle of a town, population about 60,000!

The deer was slinging blood everywhere when he hit the outside door. It opened and the deer went into the airlock between the two sets of doors. It started running back and forth between the two sets of doors; body slamming the doors and windows trying to get out.

We have a custodian that reminds me of Tim Conway doing his fireman gig. He appeared out of nowhere, shuffled slowly to the door, opened it nonchalantly, and entered the airlock area, about 25’ by 8’, WITH the frightened bloody deer. He shuffled to the outside door, opened it, and stood there as calmly as if he was holding the door for an old woman. The deer figured that the door was open and hauled ass out of it toward the elementary school across the street.

The woman that works that office was standing behind a closed door squealing like a little girl. No one was doing anything but running around like they had gone mad. I went over and told her to open the door. She went back to her desk. I told her to call 911 and ask them to dispatch animal control. She picked up her little school system radio and looked at me like I was speaking German or something. I told the other woman that works the office to call the elementary school and tell them to do a modified lock down in case the deer went into their school.

Both of these women acted like their brains had run out the door with the injured animal. I had to tell the first one to put down the radio and use the phone to call dispatch, you know 911. The other one was saying that she didn’t know the number to the school. DAMN ….get your act together.

After three tries, the woman dialed dispatch and then looked at me and said, “What do I tell them?”

Mother fuck! How about telling them that an injured deer just broke through a 2” thick glass window, ran up and down our hallway, and then left headed toward the elementary school across the street leaving our halls covered in blood and broken glass. She just looked at me so I came around the counter, took the phone from her and gave dispatch the information. They sent animal control and our SRO. I was not sure that we ever made the call to the other school so I asked dispatch to call them too.

Meanwhile, Tim Conway shuffled back into the building and disappeared. I do not believe that his heart rate ever got above 60 and he was actually within injury range of the poor animal. The women in the office who were never in harms way were having a meltdown. Their heart rate was probably in the stroke range.

The terrified, injured animal ran all over the elementary school campus and then into the residential area where he was located and neutralized by a police officer. The poor thing had been hit by a car before coming onto our campus so his injuries were severe. I still would have hated to have been the officer that had to put him down. I eat venison but I do not hunt.

I reverted to teacher mode and returned to my classroom. Three women that work in the office came by and thanked me for taking charge. They said that they just didn’t know what to do. They said that it was “incredible” watching me flip to cop mode, handle the incident, and “transform” back to teacher mode. I laughed and said that they needed to go find Tim Conway and thank him. He kept his cool and got the animal out of the building.

All of this happened in a span of maybe 5 minutes. The custodian that works my hall got all the blood off the floor, the glass swept up, the window boarded, and the door glass blood free in the 15 minutes that she had until the bell rang for school to be dismissed. They really do not make enough money! My hat is off to the work ethic and efficiency of our custodial staff.

All of this action was recorded by our surveillance cameras so be looking for it to appear on Funniest Videos in the near future.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nothing But Net

No more teaching days this school year! Four half days with kids, lots of packing and cleaning, and I am free!

As a preface, I need to say that I NEVER touch my students. I am very careful to keep that adult / student space between us or that zone acquired as police officer. Today, these incidents occurred completely outside of my control:

Today the Seniors had Baccalaurate practice. It is our school's tradition to give cards called "Kiss a Senior Goodbye" from underclassmen and teachers after the practice. I sent several to former and current students. Several of the current students were teary eyed when they came to class, thanked me and joked about what I had written.

One of them that had been scared to have me as a teacher because of my former occupation came into the room, bear hugged me, and said through tears..."You're not so scarey afterall."

Then the former students started dropping by:

Two girls that relocated to our area because of Katrina brought me cap and gown pictures of themselves with very sweet thank you's written on the back.

A girl that relocated to our area from California during her Sophmore year, landed in my Geometry class suffering from major cultural shock, came to my room to give me a hug and tell me what an awesome PERSON I was. Not teacher ..but person. WOW!

Then, the ultimate breech in my personal space occurred. Another tall boy that I had in a lower level math class his Freshman or Sophmore year, came up, grabbed me in a hug and actually lifted me off my feet. (I am NOT a short nor light woman)He hugged me, put me down, and then laid his head on my shoulder, crying, and said, "Thanks for caring!"

This all happened within a span of 30 - 45 minutes and from a Senior class that I did not think that I had made any lasting attachment to... you just never know!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Super Hero Are You?

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

The Flash
Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Personality Tests are Fun

I'm a Ford Mustang!

You're an American classic -- fast, strong, and bold. You're not snobby or pretentious, but you have what it takes to give anyone a run for their money.

"Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

I'm a Mandarin!

You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.

Talent: 28%
Lifer: 46%
Mandarin: 62%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Did It

Color me graduated! We just got home from Tuscaloosa. I can now join The University of Alabama's alumni association ...not bad for an Auburn fan.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Summer Break...Here I come

Nine more teaching days...4 days of exams...and one teacher work day. Thirteen is such a lucky number and exam answers are scantron! I have every paper graded and recorded in our computerized gradebook. So run a few scantron sheets, enter a few exam grades and push a couple of buttons...viola...the end of the 06/07 school year!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I Must Be Losing My Rep!

I did not blog about this but I have had a run of incidents in my classroom of late. A couple of weeks ago, one of my 9th graders started skipping my 7th period class ….. every day. Long story short, when she was called to the office and confronted about the skipping, she had a valid reason. She didn’t like me! Oh darn…loss of sleep over that one!

Assistant Principal: Can you tell Ms A why you haven’t been attending her class?

Student: I don’t like her…that’s it…I just do NOT like her at all.

AP: Does she treat you differently than the other students?

S: No, she is like that with everyone.

AP: Like what?

S: She tries to make us follow the rules …she needs to lighten up.

AP: Is she ugly about it? Yell at you or something?

S: No…she just makes everyone do math ..the whole time…in her class. I don’t care what you do to me…I am not going back in that room with that woman!

Solution: Send student to a Special Ed teacher’s room to do Ms A’s work for the remainder of the year.

Problem: Now she skips that class and it has taught her that it is OK not to follow the rules.

Then, a couple of Friday’s ago, I had a killer headache and stopped up nose due to our lovely weather and my allergies. During my 1st period class, I kept smelling, faintly, what I thought was hand sanitizer. I have a large pump type dispenser of the stuff in the back of my room. We all got to go to an assembly to watch a play between 1st and 2nd period. One of my students was stopped by another teacher in the hall on the way to the play because she smelled like she just stepped out of a bar.

Come to find out, she had a fruit punch bottle filled with Scotch that she was drinking IN MY CLASS! How in the hell did I miss that one?

Today, I see two boys passing a note in my 4th period class. I watch hands…its an old habit. Boys don’t pass notes often unless they are passing it to a girl. They were amused and more interested in it than my lesson on circles. I told them to get back on task. The one holding the note, wadded it up and held it in his fist. Hummmm…also unusual behavior. Mostly the note would wind up on the floor or stuffed in a back pack. I work my way around the room and hold out my hand for the note. He looked at his friend and slowly placed it in my hand. I went back to teaching.

While everyone was working a problem, I unwadded the note and read its contents. Damn…one of them was trying to sell some pills to the other and bragging that it was a great deal….2 for $10.

WTF… my class!? BAM …immediate adrenalin rush….major dump! Do they not realize what I used to do for a living? I picked up the “emergency” phone on the wall to summon an administrator. I finally hung up and a couple of minutes later, they called back. I made my request and one showed up eventually. I gave him the note, explained that it was about a drug deal, and asked if he would like to take both of them to be searched. He did. Don’t know the outcome of that but they did not return to class.

I have not felt that rush in a long time…I used to feel it a couple of times a day. I had so much energy that had no where to go… not only was I shaking but my voice was shaking! I had to mentally gear down so that I could finish the lesson. It was a good thing that I was already planning a workout at the gym after school.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Just a Glance

Today, I was doing my duty between classes watching students in the hall. Two young men were headed south and a young man was headed north. The two headed south reached where the hall splits and gave each other a quick hug like girls do all the time. The kid that was northbound saw it and made a comment to himself as he passed me. It was in a nonjudgemental deadpad voice, kind of a reflection. He said, "That was kinda gay." His expression never changed and he just kept on. It was all I could do not to giggle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The School Burglary

One night on 3rd shift, I was dispatched to an alarm call at the alternative school. I arrived about the same time as TL and we started out in opposite directions shaking doors and checking windows. Just to the north of the front ramp, TL found a broken window at ground level. A jacket and a hammer had been left on the ground and a small amount of blood was on the broken glass.

We called for additional units and asked dispatch to call the principal. The window was too small for us to enter the building without removing our gear so we needed a contact to unlock the door. My best friend, ML, and a couple of other units arrived just slightly before the principal.

The back of the property was surrounded by a 12 foot fence topped with razor wire. The contact unlocked the gate first so that two units could cover the back of the building and then came around to unlock the front for us. He then went back and waited in his car for us to clear the building.

None of us had ever been in the building so he gave us a brief overview before we entered. The three of us, TL, ML, and me, entered the front door with guns drawn. It was very dark. A large bank of windows was at the end of the hall and some muted light from the street lights filtered into the hall casting weird shadows and screwing with our night vision.

I was on the left and TL was on the right with ML in front of him. The first door was on the right. The door lead into the main office with several small offices attached. I held the hallway while the other two entered the office. While they were clearing it, I stood very still, listening, watching for anything unusual. A large clock on the wall clicked and I almost jumped out of my skin.

They came back into the hall and we approached the second door. It was on the left so ML and I went in to clear it. It was a lounge with vending machines, tables, and two small bathrooms. We checked the small area and cleared the bathrooms. I cannot express how unnerving it is to open a windowless door not knowing who or what was on the other side. We reentered the hallway and moved to the next door which was on the right. ML and TL opened it and we realized that it lead to the basement where the burglar had made entry into the building. I again held the hallway during the eternity that it took them to clear the basement.

We reached the end of the hall which was a T-shaped intersection. We could tell in the dim light that the hallway to the right was shorter and had less to check than the hallway to the left. The decision was made for me to hold the hall to the left while ML and TL checked the short hall to the right. TL took the north side and ML took the south side. TL checked the first classroom door and found it to be locked. They passed it and went to the second classroom on the north side; it was unlocked so TL entered it to clear it. As he was exiting it, ML opened a windowless door on the south side. It was a bathroom. He cleared it and reentered the hall.

I was listening to all of this. My job was to watch the east hallway to make sure that no one came in behind us from the non-cleared part of the building. My hearing was hyper alert and I was not pleased that I was not with my friend, ML.

TL checked another door on the north side and found it locked. ML checked another windowless door on his side. It was not locked. As he opened it, he screamed and disappeared into the pitch black room. TL ran across the hall shouldering into the door. I had left my post and sprinted toward ML. I reached the hallway outside just as TL went through the door. BAM, a gun discharged. Something went flying through my hair on top of my head. I went from 5’9” to about 2’6”in a blink of an eye. I hit the door and it didn’t budge. TL and ML both screamed for me not to enter the room. The bad guy had his back to the door between them and me.

Me: Shots fired. We need backup and a supervisor.

Dispatch: Shots fired?

Me: Shots fired. Send backup and a supervisor now.

As I was talking to dispatch, I was running toward the end of the hall into not cleared parts of the building looking for another way to get into the room where my partners were obviously struggling with a guy and where someone had discharged a firearm. I wanted, no, I needed to get to my partners and help! I ran into the kitchen, realized that not only had I left my post but I was running blindly into part of the school where someone else could be hiding.

I carefully backed out, returned to my post and began directing the units that were arriving to help. It had gotten quiet in the room where everyone was and no one would respond to my verbal inquiries or my radio transmissions. What was going on? Was anyone shot? How can we get to them?

I instructed the first unit to ask the contact what was in that room and was there another way into the room. It was being used as a broom closet but was actually a small room with an exterior door. He had a very large ring of keys and was sure that one of them would open the exterior door.

I put a rookie in the hallway to take over my post. I went outside and got the keys. As I was running around back, other units were arriving including my Sgt. and Lt. They joined me around back and sent two others to clear the east and south halls. Dispatch was finally able to get TL to respond to his radio and told him that there was an exterior door. They told him that we would be attempting to unlock the door to get to them.

We had no idea what kind of weapon that the guy had; who had discharged their weapon; or if anyone was hurt. It was going on 45 minutes since ML had yelled out. I crept up to the door and began trying keys. It was excruciating crouching on the steps reaching across the door trying keys. My mind was racing trying to imagine what we would find on the other side. SC was waiting behind me with a shotgun.

I finally found a key that fit. I motioned to SC that I was about to open the door. He got into entry position and waited. The door opened to a pitch black room. Both TL and ML had their backs to us and the bad guy was backed into the corner against the hallway door holding a box cutter. Both officers’ flashlights had burned out so the three of them had been frozen in place in the dark waiting for some movement to alert them of the other's location. It was going on 90 minutes then.

Once everyone could see, they started trying to talk him out of the box cutter. He refused to give it up. ML and TL refused to leave the small room until he was under arrest. We started taking stuff like mops and mop buckets out of the room to clear a take down area. This went on forever. The alarm sounded about 2:30 AM. The sun was beginning to peek up over the horizon by this time.

My LT, a two tour Vietnam vet, got impatient. He ordered TL and ML out of the room. I have never been so glad to see two guys in my life. I felt like a mom wanting to check them over to be certain that they were not hurt.

The Lt. took the shotgun from SC. He entered the room and told the bad guy that if he did not drop the box cutter; he would shoot him. He backed back out and gave SC back his shotgun saying, “That will be way too messy and they have classes in a couple of hours.” He took out his firearm and reentered the room. I am not sure what happened next. I heard the Lt tell the guy to drop the box cutter. He yelled, “Stop” and a shot rang out. The bad guy had a gunshot wound to his arm.

ML and TL ran back in and drug the guy out of the door. They cuffed the guy and drug him out to the ambulance crew that had been on standby for hours. They hauled him off to the hospital.

ML and TL then filled us in on the details. As ML entered the room, the guy was behind the door. He struck ML’s arm that held his flashlight with a tire iron. ML lost his flashlight in the process. When TL entered the room, the guy grabbed his gun which discharged. The casing from his gun was what flew through my hair. They struggled with him for a few minutes until he grabbed the box cutter off a shelf and started swinging at them. Then, it was just an extremely long standoff.

He was eventually convicted for the burglary and sent off. Months later; I received a very legal looking document that informed me that ML and I had been sued for 1.3 million dollars. He claimed that we found him walking down the road, grabbed him, and hauled his ass into the school. Once we had him in the school, we allegedly beat him and shot him. I was astonished at his pitiful story for one but also how I, not TL or the LT was named in the suit. Go figure, he used a jail house lawyer and of course, lost. Well actually. It was thrown out before it ever went near a court. I was interested to see where I was going to come up with that kind of money. Even though it was BS from the beginning, I had to list the suit on applications and such for years. That was very stressful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Paying It Foward Before The Movie Was Made

In the early 70’s, our country went through a recession. My dad was one of the casualties. He lost his job and was unemployed for three years. My mom taught in a private school so money went from tight to non-existent. I can remember many times that my parents had a difficult time scraping $125 together to pay the mortgage on our house. We grew most of what we ate and felt very lucky when there was meat on the table. I guess that I was about 12 when he lost his job. The mantra that was most often heard around my house was, “We can’t afford it.”

I was in Girl Scouts and my troop leader decided that a trip to Savannah, GA to see Juliet Gordon Lowe’s home would be a great trip for the troop. I lived in Birmingham so it would be quite a drive. We sold cookies to defray some of the cost but still had to come up with money for the hotel room, gas, and food. When the time came to commit to the trip, I never even asked my parents. I just told the leader that we could not afford for me to go.

A few days before they were to leave, the leader came by the house to talk to my mom about the trip.

Leader: “A person has anonymously paid for ‘A’ to go to Savannah with us."

Mom: “What trip?”

The leader explained about the troop going to GA and the cost involved. They both turned and looked at me with the most puzzled expression.

Mom: “Why didn’t you tell me about this trip? Don’t you want to go?”

Me: “I would love to go but I know that we can’t afford it so I didn’t ask.”

Leader: “We want ‘A’ to go and we have a person willing to pay for her part of the trip if you will let her go.”

Mom: “I don’t know how we would pay them back.”

Leader: “’A’ would be the one paying it back

Me: “I’m not old enough to have a job. How can I pay them back?”

Leader: “You are not to pay this donor back. The only obligation attached to the money is that when you are older and have the means, you help someone else that can’t afford something important to them.”

I went on the trip and even though I was young, I have never forgotten that obligation. I have more than spent the small amount that was given to me on others. Each time that I help someone, I attach a note with the same obligation. “When you get older and can afford it, help someone else in need.”
I have tried numerous times over the last 30 some-odd years to find out who paid for my trip. My leader continues to refuse to tell me who it was. I just want to say thank you and let them know what a profound impact that obligation has had on my life. I guess that they knew that I would fulfill their terms. I hope that they have not been disappointed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Dress Code

A young lady female student wore a shirt today with two hugh icecream cones prominently displayed atop her unnaturally prolific cleavage. It read, "Lick 'em, Don't Bite Um." My question did she make it until 4th period before someone actually noticed?

A month or so ago, I stopped a student in the hall shortly after 2 PM wearing a shirt with 5" red letters reading, "What the Fuck?" Is anyone paying attention?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Breakroom at Lunch

KG: Why have so many parents been up to school today?

SM: They have been coming in droves trying to talk to counselors about their kid's next year's schedule.

KG: You would think that they would dress more appropriate. They are wearing stuff that we would send their kid to ISS for.

SM: You should have seen this one parent that came in today! The end of her nose looked like a penis. I could not look her in the face to talk to her. It made me uncomfortable!

The rest of us ....bahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Thesis

It is done! I just E-mailed it to my advisor and barring any complications, I will print it and mail it tomorrow. Can you say relief and elation? That's a big 10-4!I will soon be 10-42, signing off for the shift, on grad school.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Donuts Anyone?

After school the other day, I stopped in an old haunt, i.e. convenience store, to shoot the shit with some friends. The Krispy Kreme guy was there putting nice fresh donuts in the display case. They looked so good and seeing that mystery meat had been served in the cafeteria at school, I had resisted the temptation to eat.

Two of my friends in blue were there hanging out and they proceeded to give me a rash of shit as soon as they saw me looking at the donut case. I glanced down, realizing that I was dressed mainly in dark blue, grabbed up a donut and took a bite.

5-0: “Don’t let me ever see you with a donut again. You’re still one of us! Real police don’t touch those things!”

Me grinning: “I’m wearing blue today so I just couldn’t help myself!”

5-0: [groaning] “Oh that hurt!”

2nd 5-0: [laughing] “You HAD to go there, didn’t ya?”

The owner and clerks were laughing so hard that one of them spit coffee all over the counter.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A New Slant on Early Release

Sorry that I haven’t been around for a few days. I am trying to put the finishing touches on my thesis so that I can graduate on May 12 as scheduled. Some things have been interfering in my concentration and sending my stress level through the roof.

My mom has been occupying a great deal of time helping her get her utilities turned on in her new house, find a plumber, tile, etc. to remodel her bathroom and refinish the floors before she moves in. I asked her to wait until I finished school to start all of this but she found a house she likes so the time table has been moved up.

I have been on a board over a large organization for 9 or 10 years that is imploding. We had a meeting Tuesday which can only be described as hostile. I did not get home until midnight from a meeting that started at 6 PM. My telephone which never rings has been steadily ringing for three days and so has my cell phone. My email box has been overflowing.

My car overheated. It turned out that I had to get a new radiator to the tune of $250. I also have to renew my tags on both of my cars and camper in addition to renewing insurance on all three before the end of March.

We have been blessed with a visit from Sharon’s sister-in-law and kids for the last two days. Their visit was a bright spot in my spring break but it also interrupted my work.

My sister called this morning with not so good news about my brother-in-law. His diagnosis included the word terminal. She wants me to tell our mom in person so I will be traveling Saturday to tell her the news.

I did manage to get a much needed massage (birthday present) and go to the gym today.

On the way to the gym, I passed the spot of a call many moons ago which caused me to laugh so I will share it with all of you.

My partner and I were riding around, bored, on a Tuesday afternoon. We had been assigned to the northeast part of town which was not a hopping place in those days. The dispatcher told us to go uptown to BOLO (be on the lookout for) for a white male that was bothering kids who were riding their bicycles

Us: Do you have a better description?

Dispatch: 10-4, suspect is wearing two pair of socks and a baseball cap.

We started laughing making comments (not on the air) that he ought to be easy to spot if that is all he was wearing. We also were making less than nice comments about the dispatcher and how a shirt color or hair color might be more helpful.

Us: 10-81 (in the area)

Dispatch: [laughing] 10-4

We drive around for a few minutes until we see some kids bicycles lying in an alley, no kids in sight. We turn up the alley and there he is …a white male, 6 foot, blond curly hair, wearing a ball cap and two pair of socks. ….that’s all ….nothing else….. just those items and his birthday suit. We get out and try to ascertain who he is and why he has removed his clothing. I am sure that we were a sight, a tall fat bald headed man and a tall thin blond girl both in uniform talking to a naked guy wearing a ball cap. The naked guy standing there like it was the most normal thing in the world.

We found that he had just been released from the psych ward of the local hospital. He got hot so he took off his clothes. They were neatly folded behind the dumpster. He just wanted to borrow the kids bicycle because he was tired of walking.

We put his clothes in the trunk and placed him in handcuffs and off we went to jail. We charged him with public lewdness. You should have seen the faces of the jail personnel and trustees when we stepped out of the elevator. I think they let him out just a little too soon!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Greetings to all my readers! Wear green today in celebration of my birthday! I have never been able to figure out how I became so famous that people in many countries celebrate my special day and why green is the color of choice. I was just a wee little thing when all of this started so I didn't have much say in it all. I do like the parades and I like that others drink green beer although I don't touch the nasty horse piss myself.

Enjoy a parade or a drink on me today! Look for a Shamrock, kiss an Leprechaun, BUT if you find that pot of gold must share with the birthday girl!

Friday, March 16, 2007

They Plump When You Cook Them!

When I got divorced, I moved into a very small (600 sq. ft. or less) apartment in the town where I worked. I got free rent for being security for the complex. The apartment was upstairs with a small balcony off the living area. The building sat at the bottom of a small hill. There was a large grassy area behind it and more apartment buildings at the top of the hill. The apartment beside me was a mirror image of mine. Their bedroom backed up to mine which was entertaining from time to time. When the entertainment got too much, I would put on my headphones, put my Fleetwood Mac album on the turntable, and sing every song at the top of my lungs. NOT pretty even to me!

I had very little furniture. In my bedroom, I had an extra long twin bed, a big black hope chest, and a small chest of drawers. I used the hope chest as a bedside table in addition to storing my sweats and such. I worked second shift at the time. When I came home I would take my stainless steel S&W 357 magnum revolver out of its holster and place it beside my bed on the chest facing the exterior wall toward my balcony. The hope chest also held my hat, wallet, and a windup style alarm clock with the on-off button on the back.

Due to the upheaval in my life, my sleeping and eating habits were a little off. I wasn’t eating and I would sit up until the radio stations would go off the air (OK, I am telling my age. Things haven’t always been 24 hours a day.) One night, I got off work about two and didn’t attempt to go to bed until 4 or so. I forgot that I had to be in court at 7AM the following morning! When I realized that I had to get up so early, I began to worry that I would oversleep. I called the third shift dispatcher and asked for a wake-up call at 5:30. I set my alarm for 5:15. The call from dispatch was a backup in case I turned off my alarm (no snooze, it was a windup) and fell back to sleep. I went to sleep.

I was in deep R.E.M. sleep when the alarm sounded. I rolled over, mashed the button on the back of the clock, and went soundly back to sleep. I was on my left side facing the hope chest. I started smelling something unusual….it didn’t fit into my dream….what is that smell?

I opened one eye and looked toward the clock…5:20. I closed my eye. That smell…what was it? I knew that I should recognize it but I couldn’t place it. Half asleep..I kept thinking about the smell. GUNPOWDER! Why do I smell gunpowder? I opened one eye back up and looked past the clock. I saw a large black circle on my wall with a hole in the middle of it. Closed my eye …opened both eyes…looked again …it was still there.

Oh SHIT! I jumped out of bed realizing that I had just shot a hole through my bedroom wall …. the wall between my bedroom and my balcony. The balcony that faced the grassy knoll, the balcony that looked up the hill toward other apartments! I literally ran out of my bedroom, wearing next to nothing, through my living room and out onto my balcony. I looked all around searching for bodies laying on the grass. Nothing, no one out. OK, that was a good sign. I turned and looked at the wall and saw a much larger blackened hole. Damn ….. what if I shot into an apartment?

I ran back inside. What should I do? I slowed my breathing and picked up the phone. I dialed dispatch.

Dispatch: ** PD, how may I help you?

Me: Ummm, it’s A*****, I am up already so no need for that wake up call. [deep breath] By the way, have you guys gotten any calls about gunshots in my neighborhood this morning? [holding breath]

Dispatch: No, it was a quiet night and nothing like that has come in.

Me: [sighing] Oh, Ok, I must have heard a car backfire, never mind.

I hung up the phone, sat on the couch and started shaking. Where did the bullet go?

I ran into the bedroom, dropped to my knees, and looked out of the hole. All I could see was my grill that sat on the balcony. It had a nice new hole right in the side of it. I put on some clothes and went back outside. I looked around. I still didn’t see any bodies so I turned to look at the grill.

Did you ever see that hotdog commercial, I think it was B*llp*rk Franks, that “plump when you cook them?” In the commercial, it showed the hotdogs punched out the side of the grill as they were cooked and “plumped.” No hole, just the metal stretched in the shape of the hotdog. That was what I saw when I looked at the side of my grill. The bullet had enough velocity to go through an exterior wall, through the side of the grill, but not enough to go through the other side. I opened it and fished around in the ashes and found the bullet. I still have it in my jewelry box. I kept it to remind me of how important gun safety is.

Relieved, I went back inside. I went back in the bedroom to try to figure out how I shot a hole in my wall. Apparently, when the alarm sounded, I reached to mash the button on the back. Instead of grabbing the clock, I grabbed the trigger of my gun and squeezed. I still to this day cannot understand why the sound didn’t awaken me. Have you ever fired a 357 less than two feet from your face in a closed space? It is very loud! Deafeningly loud! The smell awakened me…not the noise! Go figure.

Ok, it was time to get to court. I jumped into the shower and then slung on all the accoutrements of the job. I quickly cleaned my gun, reloaded, and hauled ass to court.

When I got back home, I stuffed the hole with newspaper and put duck tape over it on the outside. The building was gray, who would notice? I covered over the hole inside with lots of toothpaste. I think it took a whole tube before it looked solid enough to pass for sheetrock. When I moved, it was still fixed like that. I never bothered to patch it properly.

I am very thankful that I was always careful to point my gun to the outside and that no one was outside at the time. I never slept with my gun within arms reach of my bed again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It Has Begun!

My soon to be 79 year old mom fell and broke her shoulder last summer while she was visiting my cousin in Seattle. It was her right shoulder and she is right handed. Although, she has recovered, she has lost a great deal of use of her arm and hand. She is a very independent control freak but even she has admitted that she can no longer take care of her 4 acre yard full of flowers and a garden. So..the hunt for a house began several months ago. She found one two miles from my house and the buying process began.

Monday night, my mom drove up to my house to spend the night before the closing. She brought her new cell phone and I spent half the night entering numbers into the phone. We also had to get her to pick out a tone that she could hear. She said that the best show to watch on TV was the off button while she sat in my normal place on the couch.

Mom needed to put her van in the shop to have the air conditioner repaired while she was here. She never asked me to take off work to go with her to her closing but I decided to anyway. The plan for the day was to drop the van off at the shop, pick up Sharon’s car that she had left in town, and go get breakfast. We were going to meet a man at the new house to get an estimate on refinishing the hardwood floors and then a plumber was meeting us to give her an estimate on remodeling the bathroom. After lunch, we were going to the 1:30 closing. On the way to the shop, mom tells me that she is not sure what the amount to write on the check nor to whom it should be made out. She said that she tried to call her realtor but had to leave a voice mail.

We got to the shop and found that the owner had a doctor’s appointment and would not be in until Wednesday. This really did not present a problem because my mom had already asked to borrow my truck for a few days. I drive a vehicle that gets much better gas mileage for the most part so not having her van was not an issue.

Mom: Well, maybe I should bring it back some other time.

Me: Mr. H will be back tomorrow. You cannot drive it when you can’t turn off the heat, you’ll have a stroke.

Mom: But Mr. H isn’t here so I can’t get back this afternoon.

Me: I thought you were borrowing my truck anyway.

Mom: It’s just not what I planned.

Me: [sighing] What do you want to do?

Mom: I guess we’ll leave it if you think it will be OK.

So, we leave the truck at the shop that was open for business even though Mr. H wasn’t there and headed to breakfast. Mom’s cell rang, it was her realtor. They were just chatting away so I told her to ask about the check. She ignored me. They talk a while longer; I suggest that she ask about the check again. She gave me the ‘I know what I am doing look’ and said, “I already know about the check.” She had just told me that she didn’t so I asked if I could have her cell phone. Not only did I find out the amount and to whom the check should be addresses but also that it had to be a bank draft! Ok…add run by the bank before meeting the floor guy.

It was only 8:15 by this time and my mom was pouting because I made her feel “inadequate.” I am not a morning person, not grouchy; it is just that I don’t function on all cylinders before 9 or so. Not the best start for my ‘day off.’

We ordered breakfast and I smoothed out her hurt feelings. We headed toward the bank that I use to see about obtaining a bank draft. The bank opened at 9 and we arrived shortly thereafter. Well, my mom’s bank does not have a branch anywhere within an hour’s drive of us and my bank will not do the transaction. They suggested that we have mom’s bank wire the money to my bank, no guarantee that it would get there before her 1:30 closing, and they could issue the check in my name, etc. My mom is starting to panic and my stress level isn’t exactly low. I was pretty irritated at the realtor for not telling mom earlier…like before she left home.

We went to another bank in town and they were great. They wouldn’t issue the check but they found a bank about 30 minutes away that was affiliated that would. While they were calling, I left mom at the bank and ran to the realtor’s office to pick up a key to the house. So, at 10:25 we left the bank and flew to the house to meet the flooring guy. He was prompt and they agreed on a price and date. He left just as the plumber arrived. They talked and talked and decided on a plan. It was about 11:35 when the plumber left. I rushed mom out the door to get in the car and it wouldn’t unlock! WTF, the keyless entry malfunctioned. It would not do anything. So, I had to unlock the door with the key which promptly set off the alarm! Welcome to the neighborhood. Hope no one works 3rd shift. I got the alarm off and off we go to the bank across the river. The bank issued the check, we ran through a drive thru, and arrived at the closing with 10 minutes to spare.

The closing started 30 minutes late but went off uneventfully. I took mom to my house, emptied out the bed of the truck, packed up her dog and sent her home. I emptied the trash and litter box, changed into gym clothes, and went back to town for my 4 PM workout. On the way, I stopped to let someone test drive Sharon’s car.

When I arrived at the gym, I told my trainer to work me to death so I could work off some stress. She took me at my word..I can barely move today!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Front Desk

One of the shit jobs that rolls around at the police department from time to time is working the front desk. It is a most hated job because you would stay incredibly busy and you are stuck inside for an entire shift. You sit at a desk separated from the public by bullet proof glass so that you can take reports and or complaints from walk-ins, and fill out the paperwork for bonds. There is a phone on the desk that makes you cringe when it rings because you know it is someone that the dispatchers could not satisfy. Most of the time, desk duty is given to officers that are temporarily on light duty due to injuries. I always thought that the powers that be believe that desk duty was good medicine and it promoted rapid healing.

One day on day shift, Tommy G. was assigned to the desk. He was not a happy man. Tommy could only be described as a unique individual. He was short for a man and his gut hung so far over his waistband that you couldn’t see the buckle on his gun belt. What little hair he had was greasy and graying. He perpetually had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth or jammed between his thumb and index finger like someone would hold a joint. The smoking issue was one of the reasons that he was so unhappy about the assignment, he couldn’t smoke in the building or out front. That meant that he could only have a smoke break when a unit came in with an arrest or to do reports which on a Saturday morning wasn’t often.

Tommy had a gravelly voice that was plain grating and he talked loudly! When he was on patrol, he didn’t do much patrolling. He would come in to squad meeting in the morning and as soon as he hit the street, he would go home. He would remove his gun belt, sign onto his computer, and stay there until he absolutely had to leave on a call. He would try anything to get out of a call. He was divorced and dated some less than classy women. Tommy bragged that he could speak Spanish enough to take a report or make an arrest.

I had stopped by the office to drop off some reports when I heard Tommy greet someone coming in the door of the police department. No one said anything back to him so I glanced through the door to see who had come in. There was a Hispanic couple standing there talking to each other in Spanish.

Tommy: [in a lazy, non-interested voice] Need help?

Couple: [rather excitedly] Necesito ambulancia.

Tommy: [raising his voice] You need sumpthin, you gotta tell me.

Couple looking at each other confused.

Couple: [frustrated] Necesito ambulancia.

Tommy: [yelling louder] Oh, no Englisho! Needo helpo?

WTF? His “Spanish” consisted of saying everything in English with an “o” added to the end of each word in a very loud voice because talking louder helps people understand in a language they don’t speak! ROFLMAO, what a dweeb!

Fortunately, an officer that actually spoke Spanish happened in the door and got the poor people an ambulance. I don’t believe that they were amused!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Cactus Club Series, Part 2

During that time that the city was dry, I sometimes got a break from riding with Santa’s Helper. One such night, I got partnered up with Mike H. Mike was a couple of years older than me and like me was divorced. Unlike me, who was once divorced, Mike H. was on his fourth divorce. He had a steady girlfriend at the time and he told me that he wanted me to meet her.

I really liked Mike H. but he had the most abrasive personality that I believe I have ever run across. He pissed off everyone he talked to! It didn’t matter if they were a victim, a suspect, or someone asking for directions, he would rub them the wrong way within minutes of coming into contact with them. I would kid him frequently that this was why he couldn’t keep a wife. One day I actually told him that he had an abrasive personality. He didn’t know what the word meant so I explained that sharing space with him was like having your skin rubbed with a Brillo pad. He thought that was the funniest thing he had ever heard. He was very proud of this personality trait so I dubbed him Brillo Billy. The name stuck. I believe that some people would not know who I was talking about if I called him Mike H., they only knew him as Brillo Billy.

So Brillo Billy and I left out on patrol one Saturday afternoon together. As usual, he was chain smoking and drinking coffee in the car. This was not the best combination for fresh breath when closed up in a car for 8 hours together, frankly, his breath was rather foul. He started talking about his girlfriend and how great she was. I was trying to figure why any woman would agree to date a guy whose marriage record was a train wreck and whose breath was so very foul, not to mention his rather obnoxious personality. He decided to drive by her apartment building so that I could meet her.

We pulled up to her building and she was outside getting a laundry basket out of the back of her car. She was average looking and dressed normally. I was really impressed that she actually gave him the time of day until she spoke. She did not have a tooth in her head, no dentures, nothing but pink gums! We talked a few minutes and then we had to go to take some type of report. I didn’t mean to be rude but I had to ask about her teeth or lack thereof. Before he thought, he blurted out that he loved a woman with no teeth because…well, use your imagination…too gross to mention here! I told him that I could not wait to tell the guys about his criteria for selecting women.

Later that night, we went to a club down the street from the Cactus Club that catered to a teen-early 20's crowd. There was no one in the parking lot so we decided to do a walk through inside. The bouncers did not do as good a job of keeping alcohol out of the club as the ones at the Cactus Club. They had some pretty good 80’s rock playing and the dance floor was full. We worked our way through the crowd looking and smelling for violations.

The hair regulation when I was hired was the same for men and women. Our hair could not touch the tops of our ears nor our collar and it had to be tapered, not blocked. I was tall, thin, muscular, had short hair, and wore a bullet proof vest so I was often mistaken for a very young boy by older people. They were not used to women being officers so they just assumed.

We were threading our way through the crowd and this girl about 18 or 19 attached herself to my left arm. She started begging for me to dance with her. I told her no thanks and she kept on. She was literally hanging all over me. I was thinking that she thought that I was a guy so I told her that it wouldn't look right dancing in uniform. She started telling me to take the night off and come back and dance with her. I looked over her shoulder and saw Brillo Billy laughing so hard that he was about to wet himself. My face turned scarlet and I started trying to disengage myself from her. By then, I was starting to stutter I was so taken off guard. She started talking all kinds of trash which led me to believe that she KNEW I wasn’t a guy. That was worse than mistaken identity!

Brillo Billy finally saved me when he said that we had a call. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could. He was cackling! When we got into the car, he struck up a deal. He said that he would never tell a soul that a girl hit on me if I would keep his toothless preference to myself. I thought it was a bang-up deal and as a far as I know, neither of us ever told a soul.... well, until now.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Teeth are for Chewing

Before the advent of the mega convenience stores, we had several little mom and pop grocery stores. One sat on the southeast corner of the intersection of a major highway and the road that went to the local hospital. It was a small long narrow building that had about five parking spaces out front. Nestled up beside the store was a very small, second generation Mackey Dees. The owner of the store was very police friendly so it was a several time a shift stop when time permitted. The Mackey Dees was one of the local teen hang-outs so in the evenings, the parking lot was packed.

One evening, I was still riding with Santa’s Helper and we got a call to check a guy passed out in front of the store. It was about 8PM and a rather slow night in the early summer, short sleeve weather. When we pulled up, there was a 60ish skinny white guy lying on the ground between the parking spots and the front wall of the building. He was not a local so we approached with caution. You could smell the Bay Rum aftershave that he had been drinking a good five feet away.

We tried to get his name and such from him once we got him awake but he was not being cooperative. The owner of the store came out and asked us to remove him from his property. He said that people wouldn’t come in while he was there. It was a reasonable request so we started the removal procedure. Step one was to identify him to see if there were any warrants on him. He had no identification and was not forthcoming with his name so that was somewhat frustrating. We told him to get up and he refused, so that was frustrating also. Santa’s Helper was not the most patient person so once he had had enough of this guy’s fun and games, he decided that it was time to go to jail for public drunkenness, a slightly different charge that public intoxication.

We each grabbed up under an arm and heaved him to his feet. He was a dishrag until his feet hit the ground, then he stiffened up like a board. He held his arms out at about a 30 degree angle from his body, back straight, knees and elbows locked. I don’t know what this skinny old man did for a living but I was thinking a roofer or something labor intensive. He didn’t look muscular just skinny but looks can be deceiving. We started to struggle with him, trying to get his hands behind him so we could cuff him.

Now understand, Santa’s Helper was no small man and I was very strong then but we were having trouble, his arms wouldn’t bend. Apparently, the kids in Mackey Dees were bored and one of them had noticed the dance going on in front of the grocery store. A few had come out and were standing in the parking lot watching. We finally got his hands behind him and cuffed. We half drug him to the car and opened the door to place him inside. He wouldn’t bend! We needed to fold him in the middle to get him in the car, nope…not doing it!

Santa’s Helper grabbed at his legs and I grabbed around his neck with the intention of placing him in a choke hold. The next thing I knew, this son of a bitch had clamped down on my left forearm with all of his choppers! He was like a snapping turtle! He would not let go and it hurt! I was screaming at him to let go and I reached back to my right hip pocket. In that pocket was a 7 inch spoon shaped lead lined leather slapjack. It was legal to carry then and the only guideline that we had was not to hit someone in the head with them. I had never used it but I am pretty sure that my plan was to hit him in the head so he would let go.

As my hand closed around my slapjack, Santa’s Helper grabbed my hand.
Me: “What?!!?”
SH: [very quietly] “Look over your shoulder.”

All of Mackey Dees, employees and all, had emptied out into the parking lot to watch.

SH: “Too many witnesses.”

I released my slapjack and took the flat side of my hand between my thumb and index finger and smashed it into the underside of his nose at the base of his nostrils. He let go from the shock and I completed my choke hold. As he went limp, Santa’s Helper grabbed his legs and shoved them on the back seat. He ran around, opened the car door, and yanked him into the car feet first. I crammed his upper body in the car and slammed the door. A cheer went up from the Mackey Dees crowd.

I looked down and saw the perfect outline of his teeth in my forearm. It was bruising and swelling quickly but thankfully, no broken skin. We jumped into the car and started towards the jail. The guy started kicking the back windows and managed to break one of them about a block from city hall. We drove down the ramp into the basement where we unloaded prisoners. Just as we came to a stop, the elevator door opened and the shift Lieutenant stepped out. He told me to go upstairs and clean up my arm. He said that he would help Santa’s Helper with the prisoner.

I got on the elevator and as the doors closed, I saw the Lieutenant bounce the guy’s head off the trunk of the car. I never went up to booking. I did not want to know what I was powerless to change. I can just about bet that he never bit anyone again!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Little Miss Angry Teen

The second year that I was a teacher, a large majority of the student body knew me as a police officer. I had been a DARE officer in many of their elementary schools; all of their middle schools; and a few of their 10th grade health classes. Kids were still asking me if I was working undercover in the school. I had arrested a few of them and many of their relatives. I had a reputation of being strict but fair.

A new girl was placed in my Algebra 1A class a couple of months into the school year. She was short, stocky, street smart, angry, and in a nut shell, education was not her greatest concern. Usually, I can connect with this type child. I have been in their homes and know the horrors of their lives so I don't sweat the small stuff. I set parameters and define consequences of going outside those parameters. If they mess up, they suffer the consequences. After they serve their sentence, I treat them as if they had never had an infraction.

I pride myself on having this ability. In fact, when I took over the high crime unit, the ‘boys’ tried me by defying an order and I followed through just like I told them I would. After, I acted like it never happened. One of my guys, RA that had been in the military, told a friend of mine that I was the best supervisor he had ever had because of this trait. I was honored at the compliment.

Back to the girl, she got into trouble a lot and was in and out of in-school suspension. I would take the time to go see her and check to see if she understood the assignment that I sent her. She actually wasn’t that far behind in math, not like most of the others in that class. Her behavior just got in the way of her learning.

One day, I noticed that she was writing a note instead of paying attention in class. When that happens, I float around the room until I can come up behind the transgressor. I remove the note from their desk and put it in my pocket. Later, when students are otherwise engaged, I read it. If it is just kid stuff, I give it back at the end of class and warn the student not to write notes in class. If it has inappropriate content, I send the note to the assistant principal to handle in whatever manner needed.

I float up behind her, reach down and pick up the note. Like a cat after a toy, she reached out and snatched the note from my hand! In the process, her nails clawed a great deal of skin off the back of my hand. My class froze …..watching…..waiting for my reaction. It all happened in a flash but it felt like slow motion….. I reached toward her … my mind, I was planning how I would snatch her out of her desk, body-slam her in the floor, cuff her…WAIT…MENTAL BRAKES APPLIED!

I froze …. TEACHER…..TEACHER…chill, think…..

I knelt down by her desk and in a very still quiet chilling voice, I said, “Don’t you ever touch me again. Get up quietly and follow me to the office. Do not say one word.” The look in my eyes and on my face must have meant something because she did exactly what I told her to do. I turned her over to the assistant principal who acquired the other half of her note without incident. I returned to my room. Everyone was diligently working, not normal behavior for teenagers when a teacher has to leave them unattended.

She came back to class after several days of in-school suspension. One of the hardest things that I ever did was to treat her as if the whole thing never happened but I did. She had good days occasionally, but mostly she was still that angry young girl. She never responded to my attempts to form some type of teacher – student relationship.

We made it through the semester and she did not return after the Christmas break. She got kicked out of chorus and they changed her schedule. She went to someone else’s math class. I would speak when I passed her in the hall but she never responded. She dropped out of school at the end of the year.

I was shopping one afternoon about a year later when I hear someone yell, Ms A. This is not uncommon so I turned to see who was calling me. I got hit with a bear hug. It was little miss angry teen! She excitedly told me that she had a job and liked it. School just wasn’t for her so she left. She said that she might try to get her GED one day. As we parted company, she turned and said, “You know you were my favorite teacher. Thanks.” She walked off and a tear rolled down my face.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

10 Odd Habits I Kept from Police Work

1. I will not sit with my back to the door of a restaurant unless I am eating with other officers. Then, I verbally tell them that they have my back.

2. I am overly cautious about anything with an account number on it. I shred it all and till it in my garden.

3. I have dead bolts in all my doors and the doors with glass can’t have a thumb lock. They must lock with a key only.

4. I don't put my seatbelt on when backing out of a parking space until after I put my car in drive.

5. I watch people’s hands. Hands can hurt you.

6. I look at tags on passing cars to see if they are expired and silently read the letters military style, alpha, baker, charlie, delta, etc.

7. I will not put anything in the trunk of a car unless I am leaving when in the view of the public.

8. I have a bad habit of driving in the left lane.

9. I rarely go the same route twice, it’s all about efficient movement based on traffic patterns.

10. I will not put any mail with checks or account numbers in our mailbox on the street. I take them to the post office and personally hand them to a postal worker.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Cactus Club Series, Part 1

Back when I was still riding with Santa’s Helper, our city was dry [no legal alcohol sales]. The joke was that we were the wettest dry city around. We had several dance clubs that sold mixers and they would be packed on the weekends. One in particular was in a little strip mall that was a great challenge. It sat on a triangular piece of property that was bordered by city streets. On the south side of the club was a retaining wall that was a good 25 feet tall. A gas station, not a convenience store, was above the wall. On the southwest side was a 10 foot chain length fence that surrounded one of the most run down low income single story apartments that we had in the city. The apartments were so old that they were heated only by pot bellied coal burning stoves. They only had bare bulb ceiling lights that you turned on by pulling a string. They still had ice boxes; you know the ones that you put a block of ice in to keep a few things cool. On the north side of the strip mall was a car repair garage. It was hard to get into the parking lot without being seen. We would drive up blacked out and swoop down upon the drunk and distracted. If no one was standing around, we would walk around checking in cars to see what we could flush out.

The bootleggers would get there just before dark, back into a dark spot in the back parking lot so that customers could buy something tasty to put in their chasers. The bouncers wouldn’t let the customers bring their drinks back into the club because we would close them down if we found any prohibited beverages inside. They allowed people to come and go freely after they paid their cover charge but they had to stay outside to drink whatever they bought from the bootleggers. The bootleggers were our real goal, trying to catch them selling out of their trunks. If we could catch them, we could make a bootlegging charge and get a warrant to search their houses.

Santa’s Helper and I worked the hell out of the club parking lots. We made 20 or 30 arrests per weekend, sometimes more. We would cruise in and catch people drinking alcohol by their cars and arrest them for IPPL [illegal possession of prohibited liquor]. The IPPL’s were just for the fun of the game, a game that both sides played. Back then, most people respected police officers. They might fight you to try to get away or run, but not attack you just to hurt you. Once you caught them, they were caught. They would go fairly peacefully to jail, pay their bond, and get a ride back to the club to complete their night.

It wasn’t SOP to handcuff anyone unless they put up a fight. We would take their drinks, usually in plastic cups, smell them, and place them under arrest if even a hint of alcohol could be detected. Trying to keep up with which cup of what belonged to which arrest was a real challenge. Many times we would arrest so many at one time that we would have to call other units to help us transport them to jail. We had standard bench seats in the back then, not the plastic form molded ones that we have now. We would cram as many people in the back as we could possibly fit before we actually transported them to jail. The drunkest or mouthiest of the bunch would get cuffs but not the rest. This was contrary to my academy training but Santa’s Helper was the boss and he was as old school as they come.

One night, we did a round up at this particular club at least four times. We had so much confiscated liquor from our arrests that the Sgt. was cussing that he was running out of room in the evidence locker. It wasn’t quite 10 PM, so we decided to make one last sweep of the parking lot. The Sgt. wanted us to stay and start writing all the arrest reports. Santa’s Helper was having so much fun; he talked the Sgt. into letting us make one final round-up.

We turned off all our lights about a quarter mile north of the club. As we rolled into the lot, a few people dropped their drinks in the lot and went back inside. We had been there so often that night, they expected us. No one was milling around in the lot. We started walking between the cars that were parked on the north side of the mall, shining our lights into the interiors hoping to catch some unsuspecting people drinking. I was checking one side and Santa's Helper was checking the cars closest to the building.

I heard him speak to someone so I walked over where he was shining his light in the back seat of a late 70’s model Cadillac 4D. This guy was humping this woman for all he was worth. As I walked up, I heard the following conversation:

SH: Get out of the car.

Guy: Please officer, please let me finish! [he never broke stride]

SH: Why should I, partner?

Guy: I’m almost there, don’t make me stop.

Girl: [very shrill voice] Who are you talking to? Get on with it already!

Guy: Police …just give me a couple more minutes!

SH: [shines his flashlight in the woman’s face]

Guy: If you let me finish, you can have her when I’m done! [still humping]

SH: Hell no buddy, you got a two-bagger in there!

Girl: {Scrambling to get out from under the guy, screaming] What the hell did he say? Get your scrawny ass off me you asshole. I can’t believe you just told him that you mother fucker! Go fuck yourself, you too motherfucker! [directed at SH]

She kept screaming at them both. I just stood back in the shadows laughing as she pulled her dress back down. She started wailing on the guy as she got out of the car, cussing him for all she was worth. Then, she started wailing on my partner who was laughing so hard that he was crying. That just made her madder! He easily held her away from him so her hits didn’t really make contact.

Then I hear the stupid guy in the car CRYING! He is blubbering that he was almost done, he just needed a couple of more minutes, why him. Drunks! We arrested both for public intoxication. On the way to jail he was crying and begging for her to help him finish and she was cussing him for all she was worth. It wasn’t very funny by the time we drove the 5 very long miles to the jail. It was just disgusting.

Tuesday's Post

Blogger wouldn't let me sign on and post yesterday, sorry guys.

Monday, February 26, 2007


When I first became a teacher, I inherited my classroom from a pack rat. I am surprised that the room wasn't overrun with roaches and rats because of all the paper that she had stacked everywhere. I also inherited an overhead projector cart that was so low that I had to sit to use it. Math teachers use the overhead all day long every day! Our hands are usually stained from the markers by the end of the day from writing and wiping all day long.

Given that I had to sit to use the overhead, I got all kinds of crotch shots. Parents need to teach their girls to keep their legs together while they are sitting especially when wearing short skirts. It became such a common thing that I quit even noticing it. If I was walking around the room, I would see the tops of their thongs and the cracks of their asses. If I was sitting, it would be crotch shots. Before you get the wrong idea, let me tell you in no uncertain terms that it was NOT pretty! It was just the style and unlike me, many of today’s young girls do not care if what they are showing is flattering or not. They just like to show their underwear.

One day, I was teaching a geometry class. I was showing the steps for a proof so I was asking a lot of questions as I went through it. There was one freshman young man, C-boy, in the class whose brother I had taught the year before. The brother was a pain in the rear! He had some learning problems but additionally, he just put forth absolutely no effort. He was also disruptive. Although the brothers looked alike and had similar learning disabilities, the freshman was a joy to have as a student. He has aspirations of becoming a doctor and given his work ethic, I believe that he will succeed.

So, I am working this proof and asking what they thought the next step would be. Someone offered a suggestion and I asked why that it would be appropriate. C-boy started giving an explanation and I looked up at him as he talked. I got assaulted by a crotch shot, his! He was wearing very baggy shorts and obviously no drawers! He was commando with baggy shorts! Sitting with his legs sprawled as wide as they would go without unhinging his hips. I saw all he had to offer. Crap! It startled me.

I quickly looked down and started writing. We went on and I did not look his way till nearly the end of class when he asked if a different way would work. I hesitantly looked his way, damn; he was all but hanging out of his shorts. I got so flustered that I could sit there no longer! I got up and walked to the back of the class and finished the period teaching from there. I made another student go up and finish the proof as we talked about it. All I could do was chant TMI, TMI to myself!

I have never been so glad for a school year to end! I am lucky to have been given some blue tooth technology now that allows me to walk around the room and write on a pad which is projected on the screen. No more sitting in front of the class and no more crotch shots!

Did You Like T*Y Story?

When I first started teaching, there was a science teacher, PT, who was a walking party. She was in her early 30's, very thin, and always dressed in black. She had long dark hair so it was a good color for her. She had a piercing laugh that you could hear down the hall. She was married and had two boys, one was a high school student and the other was in elementary school. I was told that she was a good teacher but she had a tendency to favor the boys in her class. I never heard that she did anything inappropriate; she just acknowledged them over the girls in the class.

PT divided her biology class into groups of four and had them do a video to promote lab safety. Kids can be very creative and all of the groups did a great job with the assignment. One group was made up of big strapping football players. They did a video using the characters from the movie, T*y Story, which was her younger son’s favorite movie at the time.

Their characters in their video were sitting on a couch having a conversation about lab safety with a life size T*y Story character. It was very cute and PT was impressed. She was thrilled about their choice of characters and said that she would be taking that video home to show her boy. After the group finished, she turned to them, a group of senior football players, and inquired, “Where did you get such a big Woody?”

The boys froze, their minds were going 90 to nothing trying to figure out how to respond to the question. Others in the class were snickering. It suddenly dawned on PT what she had asked. She left her class quickly and walked into the lab between her and another female science teacher’s, AC, classroom. She knocked on AC’s door and motioned for her to come into the lab.

AC: What is it?

PT: I can’t believe what I just did!

AC: What, I have a class?

PT: You know the videos that my kids have been making? You know the movie, T*o Story? It’s my son’s favorite.

AC: OK, I have to get back to my class. What is it?

PT: I just asked one of the group of football players, in front of my whole class, where he got such a big woodie!

AC: Bahahahahah! No you didn’t. Bahahahahah!

PT: What am I going to do?

AC: Did he say from his dad’s side of the family? [giggling]

PT: You’re not helping!

AC: Who was it?

PT: Mr. [principal]’s son!

AC: LOL, oh how funny.

PT: I can’t go back in there and face them!

[Kids laughing can be heard from the next room]

AC: You have to, just don’t do a crotch glance when you go back in! HaHa

PT was saved by the bell about then but you can imagine how much fun we had with that during lunch!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Things that make you go bahahaha!

Yesterday, I was traveling back from the high school basketball sub state playoffs when I got stopped by a traffic light. A truck pulled up beside me. It had loud mufflers, glass packs I believe they call them, so I looked over at the truck. It was a maroon Chevy pickup. It sported very large mudder tires and you would need a step ladder to get in the thing. The driver was white, in his twenties, with a short beard in much need of a trim. He was wearing a John Deere ball cap and a grey long sleeve t-shirt pushed up to his elbows. There was an empty shotgun rack in his back window and he had a picture of a deer head with a sign that said, "Size does matter" plastered to that window. Country music was blaring. I was thinking, can you possible avertise any more that you are a red neck?

The light turned green and he pulled away from me. Plastered to his back bumper was a triangle shaped bumper stick that read, "I learned from lesbians." I cracked up!

Friday, February 23, 2007

What a Cluster F*ck, Part 3

If you haven't read Parts 1 and 2 yet, please do so.

We went screaming out from around the back of the hotel in that POS van hoping to see the bad guy’s car. No such luck! They had gotten on the highway and lost us. Fuck! I am thinking, what the hell have I gotten myself into? I have been a narc for less that 8 hours and I have been in a shooting incident, participated in a screwed up buy-bust, and lost the bad guys. Oh yeah, lost the dope too!

I am kneeling between the front bucket seats, scanning all over the place looking for the car. I tune in to BH who is issuing a string of profanity non-stop. I am not sure he paused for a breath. I have never heard anything quite like it and I have heard some major cussing before. GS is driving, cursing under his breath. Unremembered at the time, BH had a voice activated recorder on him, recording the whole conversation! The following banter ensued over the cursing and radio traffic:

Me: Did they get away with the dope?

GS: What do you fucking think!?

BH: They’re GD gone aren’t they?

Me: Uh, are we going to be in trouble?

BH: Let’s see Einstein, we were a party in selling a great big fucking amount of illegal drugs. Son of a bitch! BP could have told us he couldn’t see. He coulda fucking killed us.

Me: But we didn’t mean too! Wasn’t he supposed to block the car in?

GS: Get your fucking head out of you ass! We are screwed! We are no different from anyone else if that crap hits the street.

Me: You don’t have to be an ass! It’s not like I have ever done anything like this before!

BH: Oh fuck, we’re fucking dealers. Son of a bitch, we’re going to jail. Motherfucker!

GS: What the fuck was Cool Joe thinking; shooting at a moving car like he’s in fucking Hollywood !

BH: It didn’t fucking help that JH decided to join him.

Me: I didn’t think we had PC (probable cause) to do any shooting.

GS and BH: Shut the fuck up! You’re not helping!

Me: Do you want me to tell you if I see the car?

GS: You see the damn car?

Me: I think I saw it in that car lot.

GS does a two wheeled u-turn and pulled into the lot. There was the car with a big ass bullet hole in the passenger side door! Empty! I am not sure if we were upset that it was empty or relieved that we didn’t find an injured or dead bad guy inside. We ran up to the open bay and told the employees that we were looking for two guys that dumped the car in their lot. They said that they saw two guys running across their lot toward the car lot next door. Instead of running back to the van, we took off running across the car lot toward the next lot. They hollered at us and said that one guy was running funny, limping, like he had a hurt leg.

Mother fuck! We figured that he was shot. This was not going well at all! We were running full tilt across the asphalt when lo and behold… brand new, never been fired, straight out of the box the previous day, S&W 9mm semi auto goes skidding across the pavement, passing us! My brand new shoulder holster’s velcr* keepers had released allowing my ‘back-up’ weapon to fly out. BH never broke stride as he deadpanned, “You might need that!”

I never broke stride as I reached down and scooped it up. Now I was running with a loaded weapon in my hand that had been treated rather harshly, not knowing if it was damaged. Knowing that having it in my hand was not the safest thing that I could do while running, but I had no where to put it. GS glanced my way, seeing what I had in my hand, said, “You shoot me with that thing, and I’ll kill you!”

We got to the other lot and started checking parked cars, not much fun because they can see and hear us before we could see or hear them. All three of us were breathing so hard between the running and the adrenaline that there wasn’t a chance in hell of sneaking up on someone. We found the guys hiding in cars waiting for repairs. As soon as they were cuffed, we started checking for the gunshot injuries. No injuries. What the fuck? Why were they limping?

GS and BH started patting them down for weapons and discovered that the limping one had a fucking wooden leg! We almost let a guy with a wooden leg out run us! The officer that almost drove into the pool, radioed that he had found our ‘package’ intact in the ditch by the first car lot.

Me: Are we OK now?

GS and BH just looked at me.

When we got back to the station and found that BH had a tape recording of the whole incident, we had to listen to it. LOL, I sounded like an inquisitive kid and they sounded like freaked out impatient parents that were hanging on to the end of their rope. I do believe that that recording got accidentally destroyed after it was played many times.

I examined my 9mm, it was trashed! We almost couldn’t get it unloaded. Later, we took it to the range to see if it would fire. It would but wouldn’t quit firing until the magazine was empty. Don’t believe that it is suppose to work like that. I never carried it again. I traded it in on a sturdier Beretta.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What a Cluster F*ck, Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1 yet, please do so.

Everything was set and we got the call that the bad guy would be at the meet in about an hour. We all headed out and started loading into the van. BP got behind the wheel with JH riding shotgun. The rest of us got into the back…you know, where there is no place to sit and there are metal posts sticking up in the air. The shag carpet was so nasty that it made me gag and we had to kneel on it. We rocked on our heels as we headed to the hotel. BP was not the smoothest driver and we got slung around at every light and turn.

Once we arrived at the hotel, BP backed into a parking space on the back side of the hotel, shut off the motor and we waited. The patrol cars were a short distance away waiting on the highway to be called in. We waited and waited, they were late. My legs were cramping from being in a squatted position for so long. People were sweating because we couldn’t run the air so that added to the funky smell. Stake outs look like so much more fun on TV. I am squatting there thinking, “What the hell have I done? This sucks.” The look out sends out the transmission that the bad guys were pulling in. He gave us the description of the car and told us that there were two occupants.

You could feel the change in the van even though you couldn’t see it. The air crackled with adrenaline and testosterone. We all rocked on the balls of our feet, got better grips on our weapons. I was to be first out. JH was to jump out of the passenger door and yank open the sliding door for us. My job was to handcuff the driver as soon as someone dragged him out. The others were to follow right behind. The person behind me had his hand on my left shoulder. Each person had their hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them. When we started moving, we were to move as a unit fanning out as we exited the van to our designated jobs.

Game time! We got the signal to move in. The bad guys were inside and were finalizing the deal. BP started the van, slammed it in drive, and floored it. We all lurched backwards and starting fighting for balance. He pulled in behind the car; he was supposed to get within a foot of his bumper if not touching it. He slammed on his brakes throwing us all forward as he stopped a good car length behind the bad guys car. We ram into each other, legs, arms, guns all wrapped up in a knot. Instead of being out first, I was now smashed into that nasty smelly carpet with a good 300 pounds of flailing, pissed police on top of me and a shotgun whacking me in the side of the head.

JH cussed at BP, telling him to block the fucking car, block the damn car. BP screams back saying he thought he was blocking the son of a bitch, he forgot his glasses! We are trying our best to untangle ourselves and get out of the van. We are screaming for JH to get the door open; meanwhile the bad guys have run out of the hotel and are getting in their car. JH jerks the door open and we pile out, reaching for equipment to make sure it is still in place. JH and BP also pile out.

The police cars were coming around the ends of the buildings to get into place to block both exits. We are now on foot running toward the car that was backing out of its parking place. They had plenty of space to back up! They screeched out, burning rubber and fish-tailing as they picked up speed. Like morons, we started running after them as if we could outrun them or something. About halfway to the end of the building, it began to dawn on us that we needed wheels! Just as GS, the veteran, BH, and I turned around to run back to the van, Joe Cool pulls out his 45 mag and pops off two rounds at the escaping car. It sounds like a cannon going off. JH already had his gun in his hand, startled by the sudden explosion; pops off a couple of rounds himself. The patrol car that was in the line of fire decided to get the hell out of Dodge. He floored it, jumping the curb and almost driving into the pool. As we were running full tilt back to the van, GS says, “Don’t you even think of shooting!” to me and I replied, “No worry!” as if we were sitting in a coffee shop eating donuts. The bad guys drove around the backend of the patrol car, leaving the area with the dope that we just sold them! Can you say we are fucked!?

GS jumped behind the wheel, BH in the passenger seat, and me in the back of the van as we speed out of the parking lot to try to catch them. Tomorrow, the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What a Cluster F*ck! Part 1

In order to understand the full magnitude of this story, I must set the stage and introduce you to the players. Anyone who watches TV knows that police officers work undercover and try to purchase drugs from dealers. It is called a buy-bust. Police officers also pretend to be dealers so that they can sell quantity of drugs to potential buyers and then arrest them for the purchase. That process is called a reverse buy. A reverse buy is done in a very controlled environment so that the buyer never gets away with the drugs. The best laid plans....

This story takes place in the late 80’s after I had been an officer almost ten years. We were still carrying revolvers as our duty weapons although most officers unofficially carried semiautomatics as back-up weapons. A revolver holds 5 or 6 bullets depending on the model. You carried extra ammo in little round plastic boxes called speed loaders, in leather dump pouches, and loose in your pocket. The department had very little in the way of guidelines other than it had to be a revolver. Each officer bought their own revolver so there was a plethora of brands and sizes. They ranged from 2” snub nose 38 caliber, 5 shots to 6” 44 magnums that carried 6 bullets. I even remember one guy carrying an 8” something. That damn thing was longer than his night stick! He had to wear a swivel holster so he could actually sit in a car.

The county drug unit had two members, BP and JH. BP is a tall teddy bear of a guy, strong enough to hang on without effort if he got his hands on you but not in the best of condition. He was definitely old school. He always wore jeans and some type of sloppy button-up shirt. He carried a snub nose 38 S&W revolver in a hip holster. BP had been a deputy for a good 25 years, 20 of which he had been a narcotics officer. His partner, JH, was fairly short with a barrel chest. He was much more clean-cut than BP and had only been in the unit a couple of years. He was a property crimes investigator before being moved to narcotics and he probably could not have won any road races either. Being new, he was still learning the ropes and it wasn’t a natural fit. He carried a 4” S&W 357 in a shoulder holster.

The northern part of the state had a drug task force made up of officers on loan from various departments throughout the state. It was a varied mix of personalities, mostly of the ‘hotdog’ variety. One, I will refer to as Joe Cool. Joe Cool worked for several departments in the state, kept getting in borderline trouble, and would move on before the shit got too deep. He was the only officer attached to the task force that was getting a check from the state; everyone else got paid by their respective departments. Joe Cool put the HOT in hotdog and he carried a 6” 44 magnum 6-shot revolver in a shoulder holster. It was a great deal of gun to conceal. He always wore cowboy boots no matter what kind of detail he was on. There were three other task force guys on this particular detail.

Until the day before this incident, our unit was made up of a Sergeant and one investigator, both males. I was in school and needed the flexibility of the narcotics unit so that I could accommodate my school schedule. The department wanted to expand the unit to three officers so I put in for the position. We had never had a female investigator or narcotics officer and the sergeant of the unit made no bones about not wanting the first one. The chief decided that I should be added to the unit so to pacify the sergeant, he added two, my friend BH and me. BH had been in the unit several years earlier so he had a very short learning curve. I on the other hand had only patrol experience so my learning curve was fairly steep not to mention the hostility that I was facing.

After hearing that I was going in the unit also, BH suggested that the bad guys had better firepower so I needed to get a backup. I went to the local gun shop not knowing anything about semiautomatics. I decided on a S&W 9mm, 4” barrel, blue steel model. My S&W model 15 bull barrel revolver had served me admirably over the years so I assumed that the semiautomatic was a quality piece. I paid the $300 or so dollars, bought a shoulder holster with velcr* fasteners. I bought some good ammo and an extra magazine. I was ready!

I reported to the sergeant on my first day. He said to get saddled up, we had a detail that we were running with the county and the task force. We would be doing a reverse buy. I had no idea what that was and had to get BH off by himself so I could get the short version. We headed over to the county to get the game plan for the festivities.

The game plan was that undercover officers unknown to us would be in a hotel room. My sergeant would be in the next room recording what was said and watching through a keyhole lens that had been drilled through the wall. BP would be driving the van that the rest of us would be riding in. Now let me describe this van. It was a late 70's customized van with captain’s chairs, a pedestal type table, and shag carpet. It was acquired from a seizure on a transporting case a few years back. It stunk to high heaven and it was a POS (piece of shit)! It did not take us long to realize that three of us, JH, and Joe Cool with all our loaded shotguns, radios, and such would not fit in the back of the van around all of the furniture. So, we removed the furniture leaving the round posts that held them bolted to the floor.

We were to drive down to this motel and wait for my sergeant to give us the sign. The bad guys were supposed to come to the motel to buy a quantity of smoke. The rooms were on the back of the hotel. A narrow driveway circled the t-shaped building. Two uniformed marked units were to block both sides of the driveway and we were to pull up behind the bad guy's car so that he could not get out of his parking place. He would come out, get in his car, we would jump out and arrest him or them.

It did not go down quite like that, part 2 to follow tomorrow.