I work for a small city police department. Over the years, I had arrested every one of the four children of a well-known family in town. They were either stealing or using drugs. I arrested them so many times we were on a first name basis. I had never met their mother, but that was about to change.
One afternoon, my partner and I got a report of a woman who was intoxicated at a local gas station. We were busy following up on other cases and this call was going to put us behind. When we arrived, we found a woman seated on the curb in front of the business and she was definitely drunk.
I realized she was the mother of the kids I arrested. She was one of those pleasant drunks. We were busy and I didn’t want to arrest her for drunk in public, so I called her a cab. She said she didn’t have the five dollars for the cab so when it arrived, I paid for it. I then became her hero.
She was so happy and told my partner that I was a kind and generous person. She then told my partner that I was nothing like that no good son of a *&%# who was always arrested her kids. As my partner placed her in the cab, she asked him what my name was so she could call the chief and say thank you. He told her.
As the cab departed, you could hear her screaming my name in anger for several blocks. Smile and wave, smile and wave. -EW
The author, Brian Smith, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, and retired as an Assistant Chief with the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield, CA. If you have a personal “Coptale” to share, please contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org