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Trolls, Fairies, and Police
As a child I remember riding in the cop car, up and down the streets and around the neighborhood. Now I was at my house, lights flashing in a swirled circle giving off a red-blue blur. The cop was standing outside, conversing with Mum. I was bouncing up and down in the back. I struggled to get out next…. But the door was locked. Eventually the officer let me out.
“Did you have fun?” Mum asked. I nodded up and down, then began bouncing again.
“Again! Again! Again!” That was one of the first words I knew.
Mum glanced at Mr. Josh. He shrugged, and then said,” Maybe next time, sport.” He switched off the red and blue swirly lights. “Good-night Mrs. Lloyd. Good-night Jeff.”
I rolled in bed, loving that feeling of being in the car, driving around with Mr. Josh. He was always glad to see my eager face.
“Professionalism, Protection, and Patriotism,” he told me when he began as a police officer, a year or two prior. “That’s the rescue squad.”
“What’s that mean?” I’d ask him every time.
“Professionalism – to do something successfully and safely.” He unfolded a tale about a time when he had to arrest someone since they weren’t co-operating. “Sir, please step out of the car.”
“No.” The man was short and stout, with bright mangled red hair. I thought of him as a troll with sharp pointed ears, ugly jagged toenails, and pussy blue bunions. Mr. Josh noticed the outlined of a hand gun in the troll’s pocket.
“Sir, I’ll ask you one last –“
“No.” The troll stuck out a gross green tongue to Mr. Josh.
Mr. Josh yanked open the sedan door, and pressed the troll to a greasy window. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do or say will be used against you in a court of law.” Mr. Josh removed the troll’s gun, cuffed him, and then drove him to the police station.
“Protection – Keeping people safe.” Mr. Josh recounted an experience to me of the time a loopy person was walking down the street. The fairy, as I imagined her, floated around dizzily in circles. “Miss, do you need a ride home?
“Noooooooo zir,” she said, and then hiccupped. “It’s a NICE daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…..”
The moon shone brightly. “Why don’t you come this way…” he said, leading her to the back of his suburban, made sure she was buckled, then drove her home. “ If I didn’t,” he said,” who knows what kind of wreck she would be in!”
“That’s why people need to drink responsibly,” he finished, bitterly.
“Do I drink responsibly?” I asked, remembering last Thursday at La Playa, when I drank ten glasses of sprite.
He laughed. “Yes you drink responsibly.”
“Patriotism -,” he continued, “showing pride for our country.” Mr. Josh recalled how the police chief always began the day with reciting the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’. It helped all of them start with a better mindset of what they do each and daily. Patriotism is like the Fourth of July – every day! I imagined sparkling lights saluting and honoring our country. I smiled at the loud “BANG!”s and “BOOM!”s. I shake my head.
“So what? I’m free!” I replied.
“Three. You’re three. You, sport, can e professional and protect people too. You know… like…” he thought for a moment. “Good manner. Cleaning up. Obedience. Kindness. And let’s see…. Patriotism… Keep America beautiful. Sing the national anthem….”
“Go to baseball games?” I added.
Mr. Josh chuckled. “Yes… go to baseball games too, Jeff.”