Monday, February 4, 2008
A Shitty Situation (Chapter 5)
As I walked by, I tried to figure out what was happening. I feel my feet wanting to slow down, but my instincts were wanting me to keep going. My curiosity was the culprit. It overwhelmed my instinct to mind my own business. Three officers standing around with two horses and police car were all looking at something that the cop car was obscuring. There was also a woman standing there looking at the officers with deep concern. Were they going to arrest her? Or was she simply having conversation with the officers as fellow neighborhood members?
Walking around the police car, I could see a rather large pile of feces, which undeniably came from one of the horses. That's what the cops were looking at?
"Well, Reggie, that shit ain't gonna clean itself", one officer said as he looked at another younger officer.
The younger officer standing with his horse looked up at the older cop, and with a grin said, "I suppose I have to clean your horse's shit because I'm the rookie?"
"Damn straight", the older one responded. "Lord knows I've cleaned my fair share of shit. Besides, you need more practice caring for your horse, and we ain't gonna stand around waiting for your horse to shit."
"Well, I need something to pick it up with", the rookie responds as he digs through a trash can and pulls out a piece of cardboard roughly the size of a pizza box. He then ripped the cardboard piece in half and started to try to scoop up the pile onto one piece while using the other to push it on.
I was overwhelmed with the humor of the situation. The mysterious woman's bewildered look on her face made more sense now. She couldn't believe that these cops were making the rookie pick it up, as if he was an intern "eatin' shit" in order to eventually become an equal with his co-workers. Clearly, he wasn't an equal. There was definitely a hierarchy involved in these cops' relationships with each other.
I had to say something. I asked jokingly, "Is that a police-issued shit scooper?"
The two older officers laughed, but the rookie didn't find it humorous as he scooped the feces. The rookie stood up and looked at me with an aggressive glare and said, "Back off, sir. This is police business. Don't make me have to pick up more shit around here". He stared at me with a threatening manor.
The older cop on the horse yelled, "Hey, Reggie, have a little respect. Don't take out your frustrations of shit scooping out on this fine gentleman."
"I was only trying to lighten the shitty situation", I said with a giggle. The two older cops appreciated my sense of humor, but the rookie became more combative. I started thinking about what would have happened if the two older cops weren't around. Would he have tried to arrest me for interfering with a "police matter"?
The older cop stated, "Reggie, if you can't take a joke, how the hell are you ever going to be able to handle being an officer?"
The rookie didn't respond. He realized he wasn't going to win the argument. He continued to toss feces into the trash can on the sidewalk.
The older cop said, "Man, a bum is definitely going to get a surprise digging through that trash can." All the officers laughed, but the woman stood there still with that bewildered look.
"Am I under arrest?", shes asked as she looked at the older cop on his horse.
"Why, are you guilty of something?", he responded.
"You were the one stopping me. I have things to do and don't have time watching you guys scoop up shit", she responds sarcastically. She took another drag from her cigarette, and then dropped it and stomped on it.
The older cop looked at the flattened butt and said, "Your not gonna leave that butt there are you?" He then looks at the rookie and asks with a smirk, "Reggie, what's the fine for littering?"
"500 bucks", the rookie responds with a sneer.
The older cop pulled out a ticket book and proceeded to write her a ticket. I couldn't believe how these cops were harassing this woman. I rolled my eyes in disgust, as my instinct to mind my own business came back strong. My curiosity had been satisfied, so I continued on my journey to Kell's, an Irish pub, to quench my peculiar thirst.