An ugly job, but it’s a living

Humor at the expense of the less than bright

EarlHave you ever run across a true dumbass? I’m not talking about someone who is mentally deficient due to low IQ from defect or disease. We’re speaking of those who have the same general intellectual capacity as most of us, but they’ve never bothered to develop it beyond a level far below the populations’ mean.

These are people who said, “fuck potential, I’m going to have fun”. As a youth their mantra was “Why study when there’s weed to be smoked, copulating to get done, and so many hours of television to be viewed.” And as an adult it became, “Why work when I can get by, get high, get welfare and scam or steal to get what I need?”

Cops are plagued by the dumbasses of the planet. All too often I’ve had one in custody and found myself completely befuddled by their “logic”.

Hang on a second. Let me make sure I got this straight. You’re telling me that somebody threw a rock through the windshield of your parked car, but you don’t have a clue who it was?

Yes sir.

And, in order to get revenge, you filled the backseat of your car with chunks of concrete and set off driving around the city, throwing them through the windshields of cars belonging to random strangers?

Yes sir.

And that makes sense to you?

Well…yeah. Doesn’t it?

That’s dumbassery at its finest.

When confronted with examples of behavior caused by a deliberately self-stunted mental acumen, a police officer’s last line of defense is humor. After a million times explaining to imbeciles why their ways of doing things is the exact opposite of right and proper, the pleasure has been completely sucked out of the job. I started looking for humorous ways to accomplish the mission while keeping my frustration level somewhere below “I’d rather swallow my pistol than put up with one more day of this”.

It became an art form. Some artists work in oils or with clay, I painted with venomous sarcasm and sculpted in the medium of practical jokes.

One night a partner and I arrested a guy for holding weed for a record 13th time in a year. It was always a small amount, and he was usually bounced out onto the street with either probation or a 30-day sentence Usually just in time for us to catch him again- doing the same thing, usually in the same place. It got tiring, and one night we tried something creative – we threatened to revoke his fornication license if we caught him again.

What’s that mean man?

It means you’re too stupid to fuck, okay? We’ve got a responsibility to society to make sure that stupid people like you don’t reproduce. Imagine a planet of idiots standing around blowing weed and looking for a car stereo to boost. And I have to tell you that it’s our professional opinion that getting caught fourteen-fucking-times-in-a-row makes you the dumbest sumbitch we’ve seen in years.

Aw, Cerberus, man. You can’t do me like that. I’ve got a girlfriend, man.

Look Chano, me and my partner like you, even if you make hammers seem intelligent. You’ve almost always cooperated, except for that time we had to chase you three blocks and that other time you wanted to fight (how’s that scar looking?). So, since you’re an okay guy for a moron, we could maybe put in a good word for you and get you a masturbation permit, but I’m not sure the state will go for that. No, I think you need to stop standing out here in the parking lot blowing weed. In fact, I know that not getting caught is the only way you’ll be able to keep your boinking privileges man.

Chano couldn’t stay straight and he didn’t last a week before he was in the jail ward at the county hospital. Chano smoked some weed with a little PCP sprinkled in as a kicker. He wandered into a grocery store where another officer was working security for the overnight stock crew. Being dusted was more than Chano was used to and he started acting a serious fool when the officer tried to arrest him for boosting a 12 pack of Ho-Ho’s. It took eight of the stockers and the cop to finally get Chano under control, and off he went to the hospital with a broken arm and a concussion. That was followed by a trip to the big house for aggravated assault of a public servant.

Some of you may think we were having fun at Chano’s expense, and you would be correct. But we were also trying to help the imbecile where the legal system had let him down. Chano was too dumb to keep from fucking up, and after arrest number three he should have spent some serious time in jail to show him the errors of his ways. Instead Chano was allowed to meander through his minor criminal career until one night it went bad for him. Luckily it was only Chano that was hurt, which as sad as that was it was inevitable. Messing with Chano was our way or relieving the stress of an unwinnable situation and putting Chano on notice that if he kept blowing weed and committing crimes he was going to come to a bad end.

One night I saw an opportunity to bring to life a mythical tale of cop prankery.

The dumbasses of the world find themselves in all manner of situations that defy understanding and logic. This extends into their domestic living arrangements. Trying to understand the legal intricacies of a string of recurring common law marriages, girlfriends-in-law, bastard children of undetermined fathers, and the distribution of jointly held stolen property in a common law relationship can give the average patrol officer a migraine.

You can try and tell a couple of dumbasses that common law marriage is as real as a “church wedding”, and that the only way to unravel it all is to go to domestic court with an attorney. But that’s as likely to work as telling them to build a rocket ship and fly to Mars. They mysteries of either is beyond their comprehension and in both cases it far surpasses the available “give a shit” attitude needed to make it happen. Sometimes the only way to keep the peace is to resolve it right there in a creative fashion that makes the involved parties happy.

Divorces, property settlements and even a child custody matter, or two, have been conducted under the lawful authority that was never vested in me.

Okay, you get little Elvis and Lisa Marie during the week. He gets visitation on Wednesday nights, as long as he’s not working overtime at the plant or meeting his probation officer. He gets them every other weekend and you have them on those weekends you don’t catch a shift dancing at the Pink Pussycat.

My legal orders were usually promulgated with boilerplate common to such things.

And, if I have to come back here again, somebody’s ass is going to jail.

The reason this sort of thing works on dumbasses is because they never bothered to learn the first thing about how society runs. Outside the realm of criminal law, which many of them are quite experienced in, most of them have only a vague idea of how the world works. Trying to explain it to them, or get them to comply with how the rest of society does it, is like trying to teach algebra to a pig. They’re not really so stupid as to think that their license to fornicate can be revoked, or that a cop can divorce them, but they let it happen because it resolves problems without forcing them to deal with a legal system that is beyond their intellectual and financial means. And having a cop do it makes it feel quasi-legal, and for dumbasses that’s good enough.

One night I was privileged to test the boundaries of how far I could go as I also was able to bring a mythical police legend to life. I joined a couple in holy matrimony.

This particular domestic relationship strained the limits of credulity. A family of scoundrels had pawned their pain-in-the-ass 18-year-old daughter off on their 78-year-old widower neighbor. I can only assume that they felt that he needed a companion, and by getting rid of a family member that they couldn’t stand they were doing themselves a favor in the bargain. Unfortunately the two lovebirds started fighting like cats and dogs and the police were called to deal with them.

When we arrived they were standing in a yard strewn with both of their belongings. Apparently they had agreed that they could no longer reside under the same roof, but disagreed as to which one was moving out. I tried to reason with the girl by telling her the old man had owned the house for more than thirty years. But she would have none of that, because she knew her “rights”.

Nuh-uh! We’s common-law and that means it’s common property. I got as much right to this house as that old bastard does. You cain’t tell me nothing ‘bout this shit I don’t already know!

Jerry Springer and Maury Povich would have been proud of this girl.

I reasoned with her until I was blue in the face, but her twisted concept of civil law was thwarting logic at every turn. Gradually though, an idea formed in my head. I decided to test the waters.

So, you’re telling me that because you’all are just common law that you don’t have to work at the marriage like you would if you had been married in a church or at the courthouse?

Yes sir.

Why don’t you get married and get on with your lives then?

All them fees they charge for that.

There was a police legend, a myth maybe, in which it was told that police officers of yore had actually “married” couples of dumbasses to resolve such sticky situations. Many people told the stories, but none claimed to have actually been present when such a thing happened.

I had to try. It was an opportunity that would certainly never come again.

Do you mean to tell me that the people at the courthouse didn’t tell you about the Police Emergency Matrimony Powers Act of 1982?


The legislature gave police officers the power to keep the peace in domestic situations just like yours. We have been trained to perform marriage ceremonies just like the Justices of the Peace. I can even do it in Hebrew if you’all are Jewish. We can do it right here and now, and I’ll record the information with the county clerk tomorrow. You guys can live in true marriage and carry on with your lives like normal people.

While my rookie looked on in amazement, I had them join hands as I faked a reasonable imitation of the civil wedding ceremony that I “read” from my copy of the motor vehicle code. There were a couple of times I nearly broke out into laughter.

As we got into the car to leave, I waved at all the debris strewn across the yard and promulgated my first lawful wedding:

You’all need to clean all this shit up and go indoors. And remember, if I get a call to come back out here, somebody’s ass is going to jail.


2 responses

  1. I know what you mean about the dumb ones… the same people you keep seeing week in, week out. Unfortunately some of the dumb ones can also be violent aggressive bastards. It’s how they’ve had to survive. Combine that with the cocktail of illicit drugs coursing through their veins, and you can end up in a sticky situation.

    I will however try to marry someone this weekend 🙂

    14 November, 2006 at 3:09

  2. Okay, now you’ve given me a sense of accomplishment! Inspring a prank in another country may be yet another historical moment in my career.

    14 November, 2006 at 23:12

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