Feb 19, 2006

Mommy Dearest

Sometimes, because I am a Police Officer, people assume that I should be the one to deal with their distasteful problems.

Last summer my wife and I were invited to a wedding.  The bride was a friend of our daughter; both the bride and her fiance were great kids, and we were happy to see them together.  The bride was originally from Montana, and her mother still lived there.  Mom got a ride to our city from some other people we knew, then checked herself into a hotel. 

We thought it was a bit odd when the folks who drove mom to town asked us if we would pick her up from her motel and bring her to the wedding, which was going to be in a church, 35 minutes from town.  It was no problem, so about 45 minutes before the ceremony, we stopped by the Motel 6 and picked mom up.  On the way to the church, mom started to tell us what an awful and hateful daughter she had, and how she was going to tell everyone what a horrible person she was.  She was, in fact, going to try to stop the ceremony in order to embarrass her daughter. 

It was soon apparent that we were dealing with someone suffering from what mental health professionals would diagnose as 'flippin' nuts', 'cuckoo', or just 'bananas.'  I asked her why she would travel all this way to hurt her daughter; she said it was her "motherly responsibility."  My wife, who was sitting in the back seat, came as close as she ever has to wanting to scratch someone's eyes out (even more than the time I forgot our anniversary.) 

Well, I figured that if the bride's mom was going to go bust up the wedding of these two nice kids, she could darned well find her own ride.  I turned around and started to drive her back to town, but she soon insisted that I drop her off at a mini mart by the side of the road.  As soon as she was out of the car, I asked if she wanted me to wait until she got another ride or a taxi; she said no, then started in on the freaky "I hate my daughter" stuff, so I rolled up the window and drove off while she was still ranting.  My family made it to the wedding near the end, noticing that mom walked in (she must have hitched a ride) just as the pastor was saying, "You may kiss the bride." 

After the wedding, several people, including the bride and the pastor, thanked us for abandoning mom so she could not disturb the ceremony.  My wife and I later found out that everyone but us knew that mommy was a fruit loop, and thought that having "The Cop" drive her to the wedding might fix the problem with this nutty lady.  Well... I guess they were right, however anyone could have made a decision not to drive this kook to the wedding. 

Well, I think that mom is feeling more loving toward daughter; she now hates me.  I got a letter threatening to sue me for not allowing her to make a fool of herself and ruining her daughter's wedding; that letter went to wrap fish.  A day after that, my chief called me into his office.  He showed me another letter from mom, who wrote telling him that I had threatened to assault her, kidnap her, and almost allowed her to be raped.  I started to explain, feeling a bit hot, when he put up his hand and said, "Is this lady a crazy nut case or what?"  No more explanation needed.

Anyone know a mass-murderer or bank robber that got off because of our weak justice system?  I know someone we can fix them up with... she's good looking in a late-40s-Lizzy Bordon kind of way, and I hear she's available. 

Feb 15, 2006

The Other Wreck

Ever since I wrote "Superbowl Sunday", my wife and kids have been bugging me to write about the other times there have been wrecks in front of my house.  I hesitate to do this, not because it isn't entertaining (I find most things entertaining), but because it might be the story that will finally make all of you out there reading this stuff say, "OK, now I KNOW he's making this stuff up!"  Well, they have finally convinced me to take that risk... here goes.

The story begins with a hideously green Ford Crown Vic detective car.  It was a car that was pushed on me by my (then) Sargent Tim; I'm not sure what I did to tick him off, but he gave me this car. 

It was, like all the other Detective cars, a retired black and white, which had a new paint job.  However something had gone very wrong with the green color.  It was not a friendly, forest green, or even a pea green; it was an awful green mix, somewhere between John Deere and anthrax.  People would stop, point and stare at it, the color was so ugly.  I pulled up to the jail once, and a con, after being bailed out of jail, yelled at me, "Somebody must hate you at the station, to get that color of car!"  It was the sort of color that made going to work a personal hell.  Yup, me and Kermit... it ain't easy being green.

Then, one day our fleet guy Keith came to me and said, "The Pickle (what everyone had started to call the car) is being auctioned next week; here's a new one."  Then he hands me the keys to a newly painted blue car; I almost wept; it was too good to be true.  The Pickle was gone; I now drove a real color, not a disease.  I took my new (used) blue car to the car wash, then parked it proudly in front of my house.  The neighbors even came out and remarked, "Did they finally burn that horrible green car?"  I can only hope they did.

Just two nights later, I was fast asleep in bed when my lovely wife whispered in my ear, "DAVE GET UP!  SOMEONE HAS CRASHED OUT FRONT!"  I staggered out of bed and looked out the front window; there was a white truck up on my lawn; it had just smashed the right front corner of my new, blue police car!  NOOOOOOOO!  The only extra car in the fleet at that time was the PICKLE!  Then, the driver of the pickup threw it into reverse and started to back up.  There was a great deal of damage to his left front wheel,it would not roll, but he got it going until it was back on the roadway.  He then floored it and started to limp the truck away, obviously intent on getting out of there.  I was furious!  This guy had just hit my new police car!  I'm going to have to go back to driving the Pickle, and now he was trying to get away!  What nerve! 

I grabbed my keys and ran out to the police car; all that was damaged was the right corner of the bumper, the headlight, and turn signal.  I jumped in, started the car, and went after the hit and run driver.  I got on the car radio and called in my pursuit.  The truck could only do about 20 mph on the broken front wheel, so it was easy to catch up.  The driver pulled into what later proved to be his driveway and I bailed out in order to catch him before he could run into a house.  I didn't need to bother, he was dead drunk, and just sat in the car. 

I went up to the driver's window and said to him, "How you doing?"  "Not too good," was all he could get out.  Yup, not too good... that pretty much summed it up for both of us.  He was to be arrested, go to jail, lose his license and probably his job; where as I now had to go back to work and drive that ugly green car again. 

While I stood there in self pity, Officer Mike pulled up.  "Dude, don't you have any shoes?"  Well, no... I didn't.  I started the chase wearing only a tee shirt and some pajama bottoms.  The Sargent arrived to take pictures of the damage to the cars, and of course pictures of me, standing there in my PJs.  Usually a chase and arrest perk up my spirits, but not that day; I had to drive the Pickle for another two months. 

I'm better now; I have a dark blue Impala.  But wherever that driver is today, I hope he has kept clear of the booze; for the tragedy of drinking and driving comes in many forms... and colors.

Feb 14, 2006

The Other Suspect

Well, spent the afternoon testifying in a murder trial.  The story goes something like: man finds out his wife is cheating on him; then man finds wife's boyfriend; man proceeds to ventilate boyfriend with a .38.  Actually a very touching love story, being that it's Valentine's Day and all; however, I think it would have been better if the man just punched the boyfriend in the nose, but I guess I'm not a romantic. 

It all started a year or so ago.  I had been up all night investigating a shooting (victim was not quite dead), where some kid, sporting a red sweatshirt, took umbrage to another kid wearing a blue bandana.  The kids probably broke out into a chorus line dance of "Jets and Sharks" from Westside Story.  It ended with 'da homie break'n out a duece-duece and bust'n a cap on da slob.'  Oxford Rules would translate: "An individual pulled a .22 caliber automatic and shot an opposing gang member."  Anyway, we were not getting very far with the investigation; it was 8:00 in the morning and we were all tired. 

A front lobby clerk came running back to me holding a sack.  He handed it to me and said, "There is a guy standing out front who said he shot someone; he told me this is the gun, and he is here to turn himself in!"  Oh boy!  the "bust'n a cap homie" walked right to us!  Obviously this kid was intimidated by our relentless pursuit over the past few hours, frightened beyond all reason by the skill and professionalism of lead investigator, Detective Dave! 

I locked up the gun and went out to arrest the kid; however, no one was in the lobby except an older (50's) man.  I looked at the clerk, who was trying to hide behind a pillar.  He whispered, "That's him," indicating the older guy.  I shook him down and took him back to find out what went on. 

It turns out that this was just some guy who shot his wife's boyfriend, but in a different city.  That city had an arrest warrant for him, but he decided to turn himself in at our PD, not because we impressed him, but because his sister lived nearby and he wanted to drop off his car at her place before he went to jail.  So much for skill and investigatory prowess. 

We never did solve the gang shooting, maybe the kid was TOO frightened by the skill and....  never mind.

Feb 12, 2006

Your Questions Answered

In reading your comments about recent blog entries, I have noticed that many of you have pressing questions.  Although I can't answer the good ones like, 'how do I make money in the Stock Market?' Or, 'why do people have 10 fingers but only 2 nostrils?'  However, I can help with those questions about myself and my work.

"The Tomb"

I've never seen them scream on CSI. She must have cheated on the test.
Comment from

Actually Screamin, I think Kristin is so flippin' smart, she wrote the test.  I have to bring these little "events" into her work in order to keep her humble.  Oh ya, and it's funny, too.

"Back At The Morgue"

Does the doc really talk to the stiff? http://journals.aol.com/shayshaydc/Golfaholic

Well, if he didn't and I made that up, I would be a great writer and would probably make the "Oprah" book list.  But I just am not that creative... he talks to the stiffs.

"The Rookie"

Ok, so now what pranks do you play on the new rookies then????
Comment from

To tell you the truth, I have no idea.  I don't deal much with rookies; whenever I have to talk to them at crime scenes, they are so nervous they look as if they are going to wet themselves. 

I used to own a Fiat 124 Spyder - is that what you have?
Comment from

OK, this question is way off the topic, but yes, I do own a 1975 Fiat 124 Sport Spider convertible.  I call it my poor man's Ferrari (OK... total destitute man's Ferrari). 

1983? I wonder if those succubi would look better to you now.
Remo sent me.
Comment from

I would imagine that they are all dead now, you need a liver to live to be 60.  Oh, you mean would they (then) look better to me (now); if I live to be 110 I don't think that a cigarette hanging out of a piece of burbon-flavored  jerky will be sexy.   BTW, say hi to Remo... I always like his comments.

"That's not funny, I'm hungry"

 ...Women are dazzled by shiny objects. Comment from screaminremo303

This one has been ho-hum on the rocks and minerals, but she LOVES the chocolate!

"Back to work"

No cornrows? No braids?   screaminremo303

Been there done that when I was a college student in Southern California in the late 70's;          yup... I were a hippy.

"Starbucks, good coffee problem customers"

...but seriously what does the verse say in the bible?  dragonrose3911

"And David ... took a stone and slung it, and struck (Goliath) on his forehead.  And the stone sank into his forehead..." 


I hope that this has answered all of those burning questions you had.  Please keep those comments coming, they do make my day to read them.  Also, back to work tomorrow, and I am sure there will be funny stuff happening to report to you. 


Feb 6, 2006

Superbowl Sunday

I was at home yesterday, pretty depressed over the Seahawks having the game taken from them by the refs.  I’m not bitter, nor will I be immolating myself soon; but it was a low time. 

As I wallowed on my sofa, my son ran in the door and said, “Dad, a car just crashed into a phone pole next door, I think the cops were chasing it!”  Now this is more like it!  A bit of excitement, just the thing to knock me out of a funk; and how considerate of some low-life to bring it right to my front door!  I needed three things in order to run outside and join the fun: first I needed a gun; I grabbed a .380, knowing that I may be poked fun at by my fellow officers who think that it is a sissy pistol, but it is light and easy to run with.  Next I needed a flashlight; my Surefire e2 would do nicely.  Lastly I needed some shoes; you can’t run after bad guys in your stocking feet; very difficult to run after someone crying “Ouch ouch ouch ouch” with every step through the gravel. The problem is that it took me a few minutes to find my shoes.  

While I was excavating through all the ladies' shoes in a closet that must have belonged to Amelda Marcos, my daughter (the volunteer Fire fighter) grabbed her EMT gear and ran out the door, hoping to save someone’s life.  My wife then started yelling at me to go get my daughter, whom she felt was going to be molested and killed by the bad guy.  I finally found my shoes and ran out just in time to see my daughter walking dejectedly back to the house, nobody bleeding or dying, not even a good hangnail to bandage.  I got to the car (which was pretzeled around a very sturdy phone pole) and saw an abandoned police car behind it; everyone had taken off running. 

That is the problem with modern vehicles and air bags; in the old days when you wrapped your car around a phone pole, you did not get out and run from the police, you stayed put, wedged somewhere between the dash and the windshield.  Nowadays guys are crashing right and left and able to pop out and do the ole’ felony two step.  

The suspect ended up being arrested two blocks away, turned out he was drunk and (probably) upset that the Seahawks had lost, and was driving around shooting out windows with a handgun (which was on the floor of the wrecked car).  So, at the end of it all, I didn’t get to have any fun, I had to pick up all my wife’s shoes, and I had to explain 27 times that I really was carrying a real gun.  

To top it all off, I got into work today and all the paperwork for the case was on my desk.  

Should have stayed on the sofa.

Feb 4, 2006


Evidence tech Kristen and I were processing the scene of a pretty brutal stabbing; there was blood everywhere.  We were in our white Tyvek jumpsuits, made very sheik and popular by CSI.  We don’t wear them at all scenes; but this scene had blood splashed everywhere, and the homeowners evidently used their furniture to clean up after a loose-boweled dog (at least I hope it was a dog).  Kristen was wading through it all, photographing everything; pools of blood, splashes/spatter/splatter/smears of blood, bloody fingerprints, bloody footprints, and a blood-soaked shirt; very professional and stoic about the whole thing.  

Then I opened a small door: beyond it was a dark stairway leading down.  Satanic and gang graffiti covered the walls.  Kristen did not look too excited about going down there; this was the perfect opportunity for me to tweak her a bit: I did my very best Vincent Price impression and said to her,

“You must enter... the... TOMB!” 

She took a few steps down.

“The TOMB... beware the forbidden TOMB!” 

She reached the bottom; there were some candles burning and a large leering skull drawn on one wall, quite a weird place.  

“You have violated the forbidden TOOOOOOMB!” 

Kristen was looking a little freaked out.  Heh heh, the Vincent Price voice does it every time.  Just as she was preparing to photograph the leering skull, out popped a mouse from a chair, which ran across the floor and noisily scritched up a wall into a hole.  Then two more mice went dodging around the floor.  Kristen screamed,

"AAAH!  I do NOT do mice!"

Dead bodies, pools of blood, dog poop- all of it Kristen could take; a little mouse just about made her lose it, and my vampire impression didn’t help.  

At least there wasn’t a bat; oh wait... we haven’t checked the attic yet...

Feb 2, 2006

Back at the morgue...

Went to an autopsy today.  Waved to the pathologist, said hi to the coroner, chose not to greet the guy on the stainless steel table.  I grabbed some candy off the coroner's secretary's desk (not too much... got to fit into that wetsuit come spring) then grabbed a Diet Pepsi and got ready to watch the show.  Today was another "equivocal death"; 20 year old guy who, other than daily pumping 100 bucks worth of cocaine into his grossly overweight body, was the picture of health. 

I looked the guy over pretty well; no trauma, nothing to indicate a violent death or injury; had a horrible tattoo of his gang name: "Pollo".  What a great name, very intimidating, it's translated "Chicken".  I suppose every gang has to have one; they must have run out of good gang names like "Clown" and "Puppet".  I wonder if Walt Disney was a gang-banger? 

Then Doctor R (forensic pathologist) whipped out the scalpel and sliced him down the middle.  I try to engage the doc in some conversation, you know... weather, sports, newest model of bone saw; but he is too busy talking to Mr. Chicken,

"Hey there, aren't you a fat one!" 

"Oh my, you sure have a pale liver!" 

"What were you eating; what is all this pink stuff?" 

"Let me just weigh your heart for a moment, if you don't mind."

It's the weirdest thing to listen to.

Sometimes I try to answer for the dead guy,

"Sorry about your shoes doc, next time I'll urinate BEFORE I die."  I thought that would get a laugh; instead the stiff gets an apology,

"Oh no, my fault, should have not have pushed on your bowel like that." 

The one-way conversation continues after I step out of the room for the skull-sawing (can't stand the smell of burning bone), but I can't hear the particulars; maybe doc's giving him stock quotes.

I probably should have nightmares about this sort of thing, but I don't.  I'm reminded of a Marine Sniper's response to a CNN reporter's question about what he feelswhen he shoots an insurgent: