National Night Out

by pjmcbride

…”giving crime and drugs a going-away party, to another part of town, for a few hours!” Or, as Rom said, “If you show up with a whole bunch of other people, you’ll be safe!” It reminded me of the “Take Back the Night” march I attended against rape (complete with a guy on the sidelines yelling, “WHO’D WANT TO RAPE YOU?!”), where, so help me, we actually yelled, “What do we want? No Rape!” (When do we not want it? Um, not now?) You notice how successful we were in ending rape. (The above views are no one’s but my own. Well, whose views did you think they were?)

But, as the newspaper reported, “The chance to interact with police officers was the chief attraction of the event.” Yes! Approach them slowly, avoiding any sudden movements–they startle easily.

“But! But!” Nick interrupts. “Am I in that book you’re working on? I am, right?”

“You certainly are!” I tell him. “You’re very respectful, and you do everything I say!”

We’ll let him chew on that for awhile–he seems to be having trouble swallowing it–and move on to…


An employee and the manager were sharing a break in the booth behind me, and the employee was doing most of the talking. Her transcript follows:

“I’m not really into sacred geometry. I like to keep it more scholarly, you know? But anyway, I try not to fight with girls, because I know I can beat them. I like to fight with guys. They’re always like, ‘Really?’ But I really mean it. A guy broke my hand once. But that’s OK, because it’s fun, y’know?”

I’m telling you this story because, well, you might want to think twice before you complain about your order.


Returning to my original topic, because I didn’t devote enough thought to organization beforehand…

A woman called in the other day, wanting to report an officer texting and talking on the phone while driving. I explained that officers have computers in their cars which give them valuable information. “Well, but he was talking on the phone, too,” she continued, reluctant to let go of her righteous indignation. “Ma’am, that might also have been relevant to the run he was on.” “But I know he wasn’t on a run,” she said triumphantly, “because he didn’t have his lights and siren on.” Really? Do people think they have those on every time we tell them to go do something? Haven’t I explained that whole prioritization concept before? (“Yes, as you travel the country giving instructional talks,” they snicker.)


I encountered Nick/Sam today, and after exchanging witty banter (“Well, Sam doesn’t talk very well,” Nick said, but hey, he can’t ride a bicycle–we all have different skills), they offered me a ride home. So we strode confidently out of the store to the north end of the lot where they usually park, only to realize that they’d parked on the other side (variety, spice of life, etc.), and we had to go slinking back across, to the amusement of onlookers. And I was no help, because I’d noticed they were parked in a different spot when I came in, and forgot to remind them. (“You did it on purpose,” Nick growls, but he is just sulled-up because he has to spend the night in his cage, for referring to his owner as a “wretched she-beast.”)


No one who has to work while they eat can be considered spoiled. The other night, I subsisted on cold burnt popcorn and an old banana.