I was on my way to pick up baby today from daycare (yes, still hating having to take her there on days I don't have clients, but when I'm in school she'll have to be there four days and so I feel it's best to get her into a routine, which is killing me, but they pretty much make you take them three days anyway so I am and occasionally do a bit of cleaning while she's playing with her little friends, and the odd load of laundry). I drove down the alley to 4th Street. This is where my seemingly normal day turned into CHiPs, but instead of the California Highway Patrol on motorcycles I got the Covington Hoodlum Patrol in cop cars.
I saw two men walking down the sidewalk. I paused for a moment to assess whether or not they were too close for me to pull out and if the oncoming traffic from Newport would t-bone me if I tried to beat the two...let's call them "sidewalk philosophers." You know who I mean. Men who walk like they're late to an important board meeting, but who look like they're dressed for an episode of MTV's TRL Live from Spring Break Panama City. They're always yammering on about something so loud that you can hear them from inside your apartment or inside your car with the windows up and the radio on and they're always talking about 'the man'. One guy was shirtless with a cowboy hat on and the other was much shorter than he and desperately trying to keep up. Both looked a tad...hammered. It was 3 p.m. after all and I'm pretty sure that is 5 o'clock Covington time.
Right as I decided to pull out and make a go for it, a white car raced into my lane out of nowhere and pulled over. It registered with me a few seconds before that it was an unmarked police car. Why I was able to make this out when I can't spot a marked police car clocking people on the side of the highway until I'm past it is one of those little mysteries of life that will go forever unsolved, like why you can only drink a whole can of soft drink if it's poured over ice or why you still have your coupons in your hand when you're unloading the groceries into the car.
Here's where my role as Woman in Jeep Cherokee makes its debut.
A female copper jumps out of the cruiser and yells to the two men walking down the street. I hear the cowboy say to his sidekick that they should keep walking. She screams at them to STOP WHERE YOU ARE! Okay. It's like a trick. Whatever you do don't move, which of course you'll do like when you try to be quiet and instead end up knocking down everything in your wake. This guy even sneezes and she's going to riddle him with bullets. You could tell. She had that I speak cop speak thing down pat.
The cowboy tells her something and points to another shirtless dude walking across the street. She backs up and screams again DON'T YOU MOVE! I, of course, stayed right where I was. Of course, she wasn't talking to me but at this point who can keep it all straight?
He went to walk away and she yelled SIT DOWN NOW OR I'LL... and I missed that last part. Let's just pretend she said "...OR I'LL TASER YOUR ASS" which of course is interpreted as this will make the news and then I'll win a million dollars in a well-publicized lawsuit by the cowboy. The "perp" followed his orders and sat down, pulling his sidekick down with him. (Isn't that always the way?)
(I would just like to stop here and remind everyone that a few years ago when someone broke out my car window in front of THE JAIL and robbed me--I like to say burgled but it doesn't work here--of my things I called the police to file a report. After twenty minutes and no one showing up, I called back and they semi-politely asked me if I could meet them at the police station. And a few months ago when my catalytic converter was sawed off, the cop walked to my place. Glad to see they're letting them drive now. Or...am I? Guess you have to be a shirtless man in jeans hanging below your boxers to get a quick vehicular response up in this joint.)
The lady copper backed up and got on her radio. Two seconds later another cop comes speeding down the alley where it breaks across the street from where I am. She points to the other shirtless dude and the new copper jumps out and starts walking toward him with his hand on his gun.
It was at that moment I told myself...um...keep driving, dumbass.