Jan 28, 2006

The Rookie

My daughter and I were watching “Cops” the other day.  Now, you might ask, “Why is Dave watching Cops?” Well, watching the boys in blue chasing down bad guys never gets old; plus, it’s a bit of an ego booster to have my daughter turn to me all the time asking, “Did he do that right?  Would you have done it that way?  How would you use your nightstick, Dad?”  I would then spout some wisdom about running, chasing bad guys, and all the times I have done it.  

Then there was the episode of Cops that had a rookie police officer being subjected to a practical joke; my daughter asked, “Did they ever play a joke on you when you were a rookie?”  Ouch, there goes the boosted ego with just one memory:  

The year is 1983; Regan invades Granada, “Gandhi” wins the Oscar, but “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” is king; but most importantly... I get married to the lovely woman you see me holding in the previous post.  Also in that year, yours truly gets a job at the local PD, and is soon cutting a dashing figure in his new blue uniform.  Officer Eikenberry is my training officer, and one of the first things he does is take me into the local cowboy bar at noontime.  Now for those of you who do not live in the west (not including Southern California), a cowboy bar at noon is going to be a very depressing place.  It is filled with old (my age now), toothless, alcoholic women who were the epitome of “Rode hard, put away wet.”

We walk into the dank, smoky bar, and Officer Eikenberry gets everyone’s attention; “I am here to introduce to you one of our new officers; here he is- Officer Dave!”  Being new, I was more than happy to puff my chest out and strike a heroic smile in front of these citizens.  Just at about the time that the sparkle would be gleaming from my teeth, Officer Eikenberry announces to the drunken women, “And Officer Dave wanted you ladies in particular to know, today is his birthday!”  Huh?  Today was not my birthday; I turned to explain this mistake to my training officer, only to see him with a Cheshire cat grin on his face.  

It was then I noticed that the women were rising from their table and lurching towards me, like a scene from a bad Zombie movie; but instead of chanting, “Brainssss...” they took up they wail of “Birthday kissss...”  I thought about drawing my sidearm, but I’m not sure mere handgun ammunition would stop these succubuses’s from sucking my life away with their beer-laden breath.  I ended up ducking left and running out the front door, with everyone (but me) laughing, and Officer Eikenberry doubled over and hardly able to breathe.  

I got Officer Eikenberry back for that humiliation; oh ya, I got him good.  From that point on, whenever he ordered me to get him coffee, I gave him decaf.

PS:  The sour expression is obviously because this photo was taken AFTER Officer Eik's prank.

Jan 24, 2006

That's not funny... I'm hungry

I walked into work today and Detective Hammy hit me with what I would be hearing all day: "Glad to see your wife didn't kill you on the cruise!"  Detective after detective repeated the line, "So, ya made it back alive", "Glad you weren't murdered by the Mrs!" on and on and on; all of them thought they were sooooo funny. 

One lone temp employee did not mention it; saying, "Hey, we only had a burned body in a fatal fire while you were gone."  Perhaps that's why everyone was so fixated on joking that I was murdered by my wife; it comes from a lack of real death and mayhem around here. 

What a crummy day, not because there was not much work for me, not even because everyone was telling me the same joke all day; the real reason is because the stomach is used to unlimited cruise eating, but the brain says keep that 32 lbs off. 

Pass me another celery stick.

Jan 22, 2006

Back to Work

Well, 7 days in the Caribbean and I did not see a dead body; I was truly on vacation. 

However... Just a few thoughts I’d like to share:

First, it was discovered quickly that my wife and I are well below the average age of most of the other passengers.  Looking around us as we walked the decks, I felt as if we had been transported to a nursing home, complete with plenty of wheelchairs and racks of chilled prune juice.  The Mrs. and I took a shore excursion, where our tour group had to walk up a steep hill; I considered the average age of those on the tour with us and wondered how many of these people I would have to give mouth-to-mouth to at the same time.  Luckily, everyone was up to date with their medications and/or had their O2 bottles recently filled, so I did not have to challenge my perfect (perfectly dismal) record at CPR: 0 and 3. 

Next, used car dealers in the U S of A have nothing on the hucksters in Jamaica.  I was walking through an area of “Native Handicrafts,” (i.e. cheap wooden figures of some volcano god, manufactured in China) when this young man came up to me and started talking in that smooth, Jamaican accent about friendship and love and “No problem mon”.  The next few moments were sort of fuzzy, but ended with my last 5 bucks slipping into this young man’s hands as I was holding some wooden figurine that I normally would not have let my dog chew on.  Perhaps with some counseling and hypnotism, I can recall the exact chain of how that all happened. 

Then there is the food.  It seemed that the cooks, crew and staff here were paid by how many pounds of food they could shove into passengers during the week.  Now understand, the food was good, although a lot of it I could not even pronounce; muesli, florintine trattoria, veil au poivre; and by the way... "Pearls of the Sea" is just a fancy name for stinkin' fish eggs.   Thank goodness, there were areas on the ship where we could avoid all the foreign stuff and get some good old, back home American food, like: lasagna, nachos, fried rice, fish ‘n chips, latte’ with biscotti, and of course, shrimp sushi. 

Lastly, this cruise has helped me to correct a gross misunderstanding.  I foolishly thought that people who could afford a cruise would not be stupid; how wrong I was.  This morning I heard one of my fellow passengers ask, “Do you think the workers live on the ship?”  Maybe she saw a submarine, filled with bunks, following the ship that I somehow missed.  A cruise line’s employee told me of the following questions, which were actually asked of her by passengers: “Is that island completely surrounded by water?”  “What’s our present elevation?”  “Does this elevator go to the front of the ship, or the back?”  “Is the ship’s television satellite or cable?”  It seems that some cruise passengers are the same as everyone else, pretty dense... and of course I am NOT talking about any of my readers!

Well, it’s back to work for me, thanks for reading,


Jan 12, 2006

Starbucks: good coffee... problem customers

Detective Mendoza and I made it back OK, but there was an incident at a Starbucks that is noteworthy.

To begin- one of my fellow instructors from the state's Sniper School, a Sargent from King County SO, sent me a gift several months ago.  It was a sniper pin with a reference on it, "1 Samuel 17:49".  It was an awesome gift, and I wear it proudly on my fleece vest.  However, no one, in the months I've had it on, has ever asked me what it means; I guess they just assume it's just a chunk of yuppie shine.

On our way out of Stockton we stopped in at the local Starbucks.  For those of you NOT in the Pacific Northwest, Starbucks is the place where addictive stimulants are sold, not in "bindles", "8-balls" and "keys," but in "tall", "grande," and "vente".  Anyway, I step up to the counter and speak to the kid who cheerfully asks me what he can make for me.  I tell the young man (I think) the same as always, "Vente, sugar-free vanilla, extra-hot, skinny".  That's right... I know my latte' lingo. 

Anyway, the kid looks at the pin and does what no one else has ever done; he asks me, "What's the pin for?"  Now this kid looks to me as though his top crisis in life to this point has been deciding on how to spend his first paycheck: a "fur is dead" t-shirt, or a second stud in the eyebrow?  I matched the kid's smile and replied, "It honors a Biblical reference to the very first historically recorded fatal precision head shot." 

Poor kid, looked like he probably had to go home and get a fresh pair of hemp boxers. 

I bet he is, right this very moment, writing in an AOL Journal about his brush with death and the crazed, pin-wearing maniac who stood next to the biscotti and almost killed everyone in the Stockton Starbucks.  He is 411ing all his peeps, 'don't ax da dude 'bout da bling.'

Have a great weekend.

PS:  Taking my lovely wife Krissy on a Caribbean Cruise next week; don't expect too much in the journal. 

Jan 10, 2006

Another Yawner... (i.e. everything worked out great)

I seem to be making Detective Mendoza a bit nervous.  It seems that at every turn, every change of scenery, he makes a little comment.  Here is an example: I was driving the rental car a bit too aggressively over a bridge and he commented: "I bet if we plummeted off into the river, that would make a great entry for your blog, huh?  People would really laugh then wouldn't they!"  Darned if I wasn't thinking the same thing. 

He saw a police officer behind us and said, "Slow down; this is California; if they see the Latin guy first they will call for back up, that would be a cute little blog entry, right?" 

So we came to Stockton, California... we found everyone we needed to talk to right away, there have been no problems; it's a little scary. 

Well, we fly back home tomorrow, plenty of time for funny stuff, eh partner? He's watching Seinfield and not listening.

Jan 9, 2006

Back in the air... Part III

Well, Detective Mendoza and I went to the airport, armed and ready to start investigating as soon as we hit the ground.  We filled out the paperwork; BOTH of us said we were armed, and were ushered right thru security slick as a whistle; it was great!  We were told to come up to the final check-in gate 10 minutes before boarding, in order to be seated first.  So, the ground crew lady motioned us up early, and we went to the loading gate.  It was a full flight, and all the impatient people got up and lined up behind us; we were taken through the door and everyone else was told to sit down; it was like we were royalty!  After we had taken our seats in the plane, a stewardess walked by and made the comment, "Sitting together today?"  This evidently got to Mendoza, who realized that we were two guys, alone in a big plane right next to one another.  He got a worried look and said to the stewardess in all seriousness, "We're straight." 

It was a great flight (no crashes) and we were not confronted with any displays of stupidity.  This brought up the following thoughts:

1) The TSA guys we dealt with this time were fairly competent, showing a blend of professionalism and intelligence toward their job.  This made for a secure feeling, making me think that perhaps my last encounter with them was the exception, and that they are actually going to make our airports more secure.

2) What is funny about things going smoothly?  How can I keep you all entertained with "Competence"?  I need more "Ignorance", or even some nice "indifference" to keep the LOL's and ROFL's coming.  What is a writer to do....

Jan 8, 2006

Back in the Air (or... Have Gun Will Travel Part II)

Well, two days ago a lead in an investigation focused out of state.  Because the subject may be Spanish-speaking, I went to Detective Mendoza's desk and told him that we were on a flight for Sunday.  Now, may of you may recall the trouble with the TSA on "Have Gun Will Travel"


The first thing that Detective Mendoza said was, "I'm carrying a gun this time!"  Now I know that the TSA are doing their job to keep the skies safe; but because of  how bad they can make a trip go, I hope that their employment qualifications are more than 98.6 degrees F.  Speaking of how difficult they can make your trip... I sure hope none of them are regular readers to this column. 

Will advise on how the trip goes... especially the funny parts.

Jan 4, 2006

And The Winner Is....

Well, in spite of last week’s curry chicken, (that threatened to inflate my midsection) I am the winner of the Investigative Division’s “Biggest Loser” competition.  Two months ago I weighed in at 248 lbs; today it was 216; a total loss of 32 lbs! 

Now, I know that some guy named Billy Blanks came out with his “Billy’s Boot camp Workout,” so I was thinking, why not cash in myself?  Come out with my own weight loss secrets!  That’s right, for a mere $29.95, (plus shipping and handling) you too can get “Detective Dave’s Homicide Workout”.  Just think, you can pop in the tape and follow me as I do the things that helped me get in shape.  

Step one: we start with some light stretching in “Late Night Call-Out”.  In this portion you loosen up by stumbling around in the dark for 5 minutes, looking for your beeping cell phone, and then try on 4 pairs of your wife’s pants before finding yours, just like I do at 3:00am! 

Now you’re ready for some cardio in the fat-burning “Crime Scene”.  Keep that heart pumping while you bend down to pick up shell casings,reach up high to signal the rookie to bring some more coffee, then twist to see your partner slip in the pool of blood!  

After that comes the muscle-building weight training I like to call “Help The Coroner”.  This is where you squat to grab the body bag, lift and thrust it onto the gurney; feel the burn!  As you get stronger and stronger, the victims get fatter and fatter!  

Then we cool down with 5 minutes of “Press Release”; breathe in deeply, then slowly exhale by spouting platitudes and obfuscations about “Progress in the investigation”.  

After the doubtless successes, book deals, videos, DVDs and tours; I will need a “Part II” in all of this, and it will be all of my diet secrets in “Detective Dave’s Homicide Diet” video.  This will be an entire hour of bloody, violent crime scene video and full color autopsies; you just need to watch before each and every meal; the benefit should be obvious.  

After the smash success of my new workout and diet business, I may not have time to ever write in this blog again, so let me say, “Farewell” to all here and now.  

If you do read me again... that means that the video thing did not work out, and I’m still dog-paddling my sanity across a sea of confusion.


Jan 2, 2006

Dropping Like Flies

In the past 5 days there have been 3 homicides in our city.  Now, contrary to popular opinion, having lots of people die violently in your town is NOT good for business.  Sure, all of us detectives will be getting extra overtime in our checks; and the Coroner is going have to buy more rubber gloves for the autopsies; oh ya, the funeral homes will have extra business... but generally it’s bad. 

The first thing it’s bad for is marriage; with all of the 16-hour days, I don’t see my wife much; when I do come home, she’s asleep and I reactively outline her with chalk.  Next, it's bad for my diet; one night the Captain ordered out for pizza, which I can usually resist; however, for murder number two, it was catered Thai food; so the diet went down in flames, killed by some delicious curry chicken.  Finally, it’s bad on the sleep pattern: at about 2:30 am this morning, a bunch of loopy detectives (me included) watched the security monitor where Detective Jim was interrogating the murder suspect; due to sleep deprivation, all we could think about was how funny it was that the camera angle really showed Jim’s bald spot.  It was getting to Jim as well; 2 hours into the interview he was saying to the suspect repeatedly, “Tell me everything you don’t know!” 

Well, I’m three major reports behind, and I got another autopsy to watch tomorrow.  Hopefully the killing will stop long enough to:

1) Kiss my wife.

2) Lose some weight.

3) Get some sleep.

Good night....