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April 29, 2004

To Protect and Serve?

This is not the most timely of posts, but it is something that has been festering in my brain for the last week and it is really bugging me...

Last Thursday, I received a call from my wife that started out, "I had to call the cops..." Not a good way for any call to start out with, but she was very right in doing so.

When she was getting ready to pull into the driveway that day after picking Noah up, she noticed that there was this guy standing in front of our house. Not just standing in front of the house, but leaning up against the garage door.

Oh, yeah. And he was wearing a ski mask.

Misty decided not to turn into the driveway, keep driving past and call the police. Instead of calling 911, she called the non-emergency number. She let the dispatcher know that there was a guy in a ski mask standing in front of the garage doors and that she would really like someone to come over and take a look. She kept driving past the house and on the third or fourth time, the guy must have gotten a little spooked and started to walk off.

By this time, she was on the phone with me and she was telling me that he was walking around waving his arms in the air. She said that he looked a little crazy. I was getting close to the subdivision, so I decided to try and see where this guy was. I told Misty to go ahead and go home. As I came up on the guy, he was still wearing the mask and waving his arms around. He was also about 2 blocks from the local grade school and there were a bunch of kids playing outside in the park next to it.

That made me a little nervous, so I called 911 and told them that I was calling in reference to a previous call and told them that this guy was getting pretty close to the school and that they might want to get moving. At that point, since he was a good distance away from our house, I went ahead and went home.

Here is where I get a little pissed off...

A few minutes later, one of Overland Park's best called Misty and filled her in on the details. The man was from India and was visiting some family and wasn't used to the weather in Kansas. That day, it was in the low 60s and it had rained a little bit off and on throughout the day. Overall, the cop said everything was under control. Then he asked Misty if the guy had done anything to make her nervous. I didn't get to see her face at that point, but I think she was falbbergasted. I don't know how she responded, but I want to respond to good old Deputy Fife now...

There was a person standing in front of my house that shouldn't have been there. Not just in front of my house, but up against my house. I don't care who you are... that should be enough for any person, especially a woman with a child in tow, want someone else around before they investigate what is going on.

Once the person noticed that he was being watched, he started to walk around waving his arms in the air. Once again, I would at least get out of this guy's way if I saw him coming my way. I can do that... I was bigger than he was. I can't say the same about Misty or the kids hanging out around the school.

Last, but nowhere near least, the guy was wearing a freaking mask! Hey, Deputy Fife... If this guy was walking around your house, you would have said something. Especially when it is 60 degrees outside.

It was out of place. Completely out of place. I'm sorry that you had to get out of your car and off your donut eating ass to take care of the situation, but this situation would have made anyone nervous.

That was a damn fine piece of police work.

"All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl." - Charlie Chaplin (1889 - 1977)

April 19, 2004

Can you hear me now?

I am a pretty hard core cell phone user. I take calls in the office. I take calls in the car. I take calls at home.

Aside from the normal places, like movie theaters and hospitals, there are two places, though, that I refuse to take calls.

I will never take a call while I am in the can. Especially in a public bathroom. Today, I was in the bathroom at work and a guy in a stall was having a conversation while he was sitting on the john. That really bugs me. I don't care how important you are, the guy on the other end of the phone really doesn't want to talk to you while you are pushing one out. I have always wondered what you do when you are finishing up. Even if you manage to convince the person on the other end that you aren't in the bathroom, do you flush? Do you wash your hands? The person on the other end will be able to hear those things. I don't know... maybe you just don't care. Either way, it is a little odd to me.

The second place I won't take a call is in line at a store. For some reason, it really bugs me to sit there and listen to someone discuss whatever they are going to discuss while waiting in line right behind me. Yes, you are important. But no one around here really gives a crap.

"All phone calls are obscene." - Karen Elizabeth Gordon