Cat – the other white meat?
The day I started the police academy was filled with speeches. It was a media event which lured the Mayor, half the City Council, the Chief, and a number of other self-aggrandizing community organizers leaders. There were many, many speeches, the freaking mother-lode of speeches.
In my life I’ve suffered through a lot of speeches, most of which I forgot before they were over. But from all the speechifying on that day I remember two quotes. Both are ingrained in my memory because they turned out to be extremely accurate predictions about my police career.
The first, from our class Sergeant – in a speech that he gave after all the politicians had left.
If you don’t like the way we do things here, don’t let the door slap you in the ass on the way out.
I think he shocked a few people with those words, but they needed to be said on the very first day. Just because you’ve been chosen to help feed the chow to the big criminal justice machine doesn’t make you immune from getting hurt if you get caught up in the moving parts. Of the 75 cadets that started that class, only 36 made it off probation a year later. Several more fell over the years, some in spectacular front-page news stories, others just fired and moved on. The blue machine is a harsh mistress and she demands much.
But the other quote – that came from the Chief. Well over six feet tall, he had grown up in the SCPD of old when it was a law unto itself and answerable to nobody. A former-Marine with the vocabulary of a thesaurus, he could match verbal wits with just about anyone. A political insider, he had stabbed more than a few adversaries in the back on the way up the ladder. The media hated interviewing him because he embarrassed them when they couldn’t understand the words he tossed out in his answers. He was hated by many from within and without the department, but few people dared to get in his way.
Anyway, I remember him standing at the lectern and saying these words:
You’ve just bought yourself a ticket to the greatest show on earth.
Getting that badge is like getting a tour behind the scenery at Disney World – except this tour is backstage of the real world. Everybody hides something behind a mask, or locked away in a trunk. Everybody – you, me, your spouse, your kids, and even your mom – has some little secret that they don’t want the world to see. When the shit goes bad and the cops are called, that’s when the masks are pulled away and the hidden trunks are drug out and opened wide.
To a baby police officer this is some heady stuff, but we soon learn that everybody is a little twisted. We also learn that there is not a lot of new stuff under the sun – that freakiness you’ve been fervently hiding all of these years is duplicated millions of times over in the secret lives of others just like you. We’ve probably already seen your special weirdness ten times this week.
Yet every now and then we do get surprised. A real show-stopper comes along once in a while that makes even the most jaded cop want to reach for the blue ribbon to award the “Craziest Bastard of the Year”.
When Ferry-Fillmore District officers pulled over a car driven by Gary L. Korkuc on Sunday night during a traffic stop, they said they heard a cat crying from inside the trunk and investigated.
What they found has left animal lovers at the SPCA Serving Erie County in shock.
The cat, according to police, was in a cage “marinating” in a mixture of crushed red peppers, chili pepper, salt and oil.
If you look under Gary Korkuc’s furniture you will probably find those marbles he’s been looking far. I mean, the man is most likely regular crazy as opposed to Anton Chigurh force-of-nature evil. Whether he’s evil, crazy or both; Gary is not all that unusual. And that’s why the nice police officer looks at you that way after stopping you for being a few miles over the limit. You feel all nice and comfortable hiding whatever behind your mask, but we’ve seen too many masks pulled away to reveal the truth.
When a cop pulls you over, he might see the $50,000 car and the $1,000 suit, but in his mind’s eye he’s wondering what your freak flag looks like underneath all of those pinstripes…or if you have a calico marinating in the trunk.