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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

from I Guess He'd Rather... to I Know

Day 825, Session 138:
Monday September 22nd - Walking around Jewel singing along and drawing strange looks.
First song: I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado by John Denver
Last full song: I Know by Barenaked Ladies
Progress: 2132-2148 of 6088
Total Songs Heard: 1766

Warning: The following post contains (more) adult language (than you'll usually find here).

Opening statement: Although the song and story featured today may indicate a dislike for the police, that is not the case. Except for the two mentioned below, I have no problem with the real police (I don't count dayton campus security as the real police.) The jerks that give you parking tickets in Chicago are not the police, but the Department of Revenue. If there were a song about how much I hated the Department of Revenue, I'd agree with it. Back to the cops... I generally like them. I've been on an improv team with a cop. I performed a cop's wedding. So 99% of the time me and cops get along great. But this one time...

A little research on the web tells me that it was November 2nd, 2001. It was a Friday night. It had been a long day at work, so while Kaylor (my roommate) and The Girlfriend and a few others had already headed out for the evenings festivities, I decided to stay home for a while and rest up. I probably wouldn't have gone out at all, but we were heading over to IO to catch a midnight show featuring one of the The Girlfriend's friends from high school.

I changed into the most expensive piece of clothing I owned: a shirt from Tank's Bar in Dayton. (The shirt was so expensive because it was your reward for drinking your way around the world of their imported beer selection. 45 beers at around $4.50 a pop... you're right around $200 (I didn't own a suit.)) The shirt featured flags of various countries from around the world running down the sleeves. Around 11 I headed out the door.

It was a cool-ish night so I stuck my hands in my pockets to keep warm and walked with a bit of pace. I was about half a block from my apartment when a car came roaring up behind me and screeched to a stop half up on the curb. I turned around to look as a guy jumped out of the car and yelled, "Hey you, get the fuck over here!"

I decided I most certainly was not going to go join that gentleman and turned around to continue walking. At this point a second guy jumped out of the passenger side and yelled, "Where the fuck do you think you're going?"

At this point I turned around again and noticed that both guys who had jumped out of the car were pointing guns at me.

These are the thoughts that go through your head when you have two guns pointed at you:

"Should I yell for help? Wait, I read somewhere that people don't pay attention if you yell help. I think maybe I'm supposed to yell 'fire!'"
"If I run, I at least have a chance to get away. If I go to the car they can grab me and throw me in."
"Should I run straight down the street because that would be the fastest way to get to a more populated street or attempt to cut between houses because that would provide more cover?"
"While I run, is there a way I can make one part of my body an easier target? I've heard getting shot in the shoulder or the butt isn't too bad. How can I run in a way that makes my shoulder look like an inviting target?"
"Thank goodness my health insurance went into effect immediately, getting shot will involve a lot of medical bills."

As all these thoughts go through my head, I continue standing there facing these two guys with my hands in my pockets. Meanwhile, the two guys continue to scream every obscenity in the book at me. In fact, they are screaming over each other so much that it takes me several more seconds to figure out that they're instructing me to, "Take your fucking hands out of your fucking pockets and put them on the fucking car asshole!"

Finally, it occurs to me that these guys must be cops. Plain clothes cops. In an unmarked car. Who didn't actually identify themselves as the police before they pulled their guns. Who, come to think of it, still haven't clearly identified themselves.

Now I'm mad. The adrenaline that was released when I saw the guns has turned that anger into something closer to rage. If I hadn't managed to keep my head long enough to pull my hands out of my pockets slowly, I might not be here today to type up this story. As soon as my hands were out of my pockets though, I decided it was time to yell back.

"Show me a motherfucking badge!" I yell as loudly as I can. I continue to yell this as loudly as I can, over and over, as I work my way slowly over to their car. They never do show me a badge, but at this point I'm sure if they were going to rob me they'd be quicker about it. They still have their guns on me.

I put my hands on the car. At this point the fat one (in my mind he immediately becomes Sipowicz) asks me, "Why did you have your hands in your motherfucking pockets? Where do you live?"

"Right over there," I answered. "I'd point at it, but that would require me taking my hands off the car."

"Do you have anything stupid in your pockets?" the other one asks as he prepares to frisk me.

"That depends on your feelings about Altoids." I reply.

As skinnier cop pulls out all the stupid stuff in my pockets (keys, wallet, and yes Altoids) Sipowicz asks, "Why didn't you come over when we told you? You could have got shot."

"Why didn't you identify yourselves as police?" I reply. He doesn't answer.

Non-Sipowicz gets on the radio, "We've got a Caucasian male in a long sleeve shirt with writings on the sleeve around the area of that home invasion."

Radio: "We're looking for a hispanic male in a plain green sweatshirt."

Cops: *silence*

Me: "Well that doesn't sound like me."

Sipowicz: "You can go. Next time don't walk with your hands in your pockets."

Me: "Next time identify yourselves before you pull your guns. I want your names and your badge numbers."

Sipowicz (heading back to the car:) "You're not going to get that."

Me: "Well how about a motherfucking apology you assholes!"

I didn't get that either.

I Hate Cops - Wally Pleasant


Sara said...

All that and he never shared his thoughts on Altoids?


Jay said...

Disturbing story. Sounds like you have a Section 1983 claim for violation of your 4th Amendment rights.

Perhaps you should contact your local Lionel Hutz.

Mike said...

You did it wrong. If you hadn't gotten all fancy and instead put on a wife-beater and cutoff jean shorts we'd have been watching your blurred out face on COPS: Chicago.

Good storytelling, though. Glad you lived to tell the tale!

Kaylor said...

I recall that the only reason you agreed to come out that night was because I was going to buy your beer....and 7 years later, with a perfect chance to give me a shout out on your blog for my extreme generosity, I get tagged anonymously as "the roommate?!"

...come to think of it, why do you always walk with your hands in your pockets, what are you hiding in there....

Bob said...

You may need to update your story for clarity on the pockets bit. If you had them in your back pockets, they may have confused you with someone line dancing on the sidewalks of Chicago. That's a public nuisance and needs to be stopped. They're everywhere and they usually travel with a fiddle player too. If his name's Johnny, then the one dancing might just be the devil, but I digress.

matt said...

Sara - They were wintergreen! Totally different from the standard peppermint, how can there be no opinion?

Jay - This is why I needed to know more lawyer type people when it happened. I could have filed suit and became king the of Chicago PD.

Mike - I'm just glad nothing happened to the fancy shirt. I can't afford to replace it right now.

Kaylor - anonymous tagging corrected. Hands go in my pockets so I have the appropriate hunched over posture while walking. One day, if I'm lucky, I'll have a hump.

Bob - front pockets! although I'm sure if I had them in my back pockets the cops would have mistaken my sneakers for cowboy boots and they would have felt the need to stop me.