This post hearkens back to the tried and true pet peeve. I’m sure some of you have kids. I’m sure some of your kids do some irritating child-like things. They constantly ask the same question over and over. They pick a random word and repeat it. A gazillion times. They forever interrupt your every waking moment. And…one of my favorites…they talk to you while you’re on the phone.
The Kid is 3 1/2. I love her. She’s amazing. The Little One is 8 months old, so she can’t do any of the above. Yet. We are trying like crazy to get her to mind her manners, be polite, don’t interrupt, etc. Like my Mom says, “You’re raising a little adult.” Amen…if only more people had done the same. Wait, what am I saying?!? I’d be out of a job!
At any rate, it stands to reason that we all like it when we can carry on a conversation without any unwanted and, quite frankly, pointless interruptions. Believe me, it’s worse when you’re in uniform. The culprit isn’t a child, either. Oh, no. Full grown adult. You know, the kind that should know better.
Case in point…
I’m sitting in my car talking to the Wife on my cell. I have not just jumped in the car in hot pursuit of anyone. I am neither huffing nor puffing. If I was more relaxed (other than the usual Threat Level Yellow Awareness, of course), I’d have been friggin’ asleep. I see a late model Mercedes drive toward me slowly (I’m in a cul-de-sac). I know damn well dude’s gonna ask something ridiculous. I was right. (Yes, it’s quite the heavy cross to bear…how well you know me!)
The guy continues past me and circles around. I continue my conversation with the Wife with a brief interjection of something to the effect of, “Hang on, honey, we’re about to be interrupted.” He pulls up alongside. Again, slowly.
**break** Let’s remember, I don’t work in South Central. Dude is an old white guy driving a fuckin’ Mercedes. I’m not overly concerned about him shooting me to make his bones with the local Crip set, okay? Back to it…
He pulls just along me and rolls down his passenger window. Only it was the wrong one. Eventually, he figured out those darn German controls and rolled down the right one.
MC (trying to be patient…failing miserably): *Sigh* Can I help you? (Still clutching obvious cell phone in my left hand, by the way).
INN (Ignorant Nosey Neighbor): I just pulled out of my house and saw you here.
MC: Uh-huh. (Resisting urge to point conspicuously at the phone)
INN: Well, I just left two young adults at my house. Is there anything I should know?
And here’s where your ‘ol buddy MC’s head about exploded. So many responses to that question. The only legitimate won’t-get-a-complaint one is, “No.” So that’s the one I went with. The others? So glad you asked:
1. Sir, I’m pretty sure there’s all kinds of shit you should know that you don’t. For example, you should know that’s it’s both rude and irritating to interrupt someone talking on the phone.
2. Two young adults, you say? You know they’re doing it on your bed right now, right?
3. Nah, I’m just making sure the rapist we’ve been looking for all night doesn’t show up on this one little court in a Town of over 40,000 people.
4. Only about a million things, sir. None of which I can be of assistance with.
5. No, but can I follow you to work and interrupt your phone call by asking you if there’s anything I should know?
6. Indeed there is, sir, but it appears your folks failed to teach you. Alas, it wasn’t my responsibility.
Here’s a lesson to you all. If you want to talk to a cop, go right ahead. Rest assured, however, that if there were something of importance you needed to be aware of, we’d tell you! If one of us happens to be sitting in a car outside your house or down your street and we appear to be talking on the phone or typing a report, we are most likely doing just that very thing! We are not spies. We do not excel at being uber-sneaky (particularly in full fucking uniform driving a big ‘ol American made black and freakin’ white car!) in the middle of the blessed day.
I understand it’s human nature, I do. I have the same urges when I see a cop on my street. But, I remind myself if they aren’t knocking on my door or stopping me to ask me questions, I really don’t give a shit what they’re doing. Curiosity is a strong urge. I get it. You know what’s a stronger urge? Self-preservation. Be happy we aren’t coming to talk to you. ‘Cause usually, it ain’t the best of news, now, is it?