What’s Your Name For It?
I’m sorry for not including a picture in this post. I had one chosen but then changed my mind. It was so wrong.
We have a grouchy mom at the police department. No, it isn’t me! She keeps us in line, buys us donuts (which I don’t need) and will even sew on a uniform patch if requested. Darla Newman is our champion and our worse critic. She drives us nuts but we love her.
The younger officers have a harder time with her but I’ve had my ups and downs too. Darla is outspoken and at times downright scary. She types in our short forms exactly as we give them to her. If I write “polic” mistakenly dropping the “e,” my official report will show my error. She’s not our mother and it’s up to us to fix our own blunders. She’s a retired school teacher and came to our department after more than twenty years of using a sledge hammer to teach English to grade school children. If we didn’t have a good English teacher it’s our own problem. Darla personifies the uptight, strict, nun teaching at a Catholic school.
Have I mentioned she’s hard of hearing? I’ve stood next to her desk as she answers the phone. “No he doesn’t work here.” Pause, “I said he doesn’t work here.” Pause, “No, she doesn’t work here either.”
By this time, I must ask, “Who were they looking for?”
“Oh a Detective Heavy or something like that.”
My thought to myself, “Okay ‘heavy, Ivy’ I’m screwed.”
My words out loud, “They may have my name wrong so let me know if they call back.” I then go and bang my head against my desk.
More than a week ago, several of us were sitting together in the squad room eating lunch. Our Chief was sitting with us but reading a magazine and pretty much ignoring our conversation. Darla left earlier to have lunch with her grown son. The front door almost tore off its hinges when she returned. Darla didn’t look at the other officers, just at me.
“Something needs to be done about Patsy Glable!” Her breathing was heavy and agitated.
Darla has a habit of deciding who should handle certain cases. Her rhyme and reason is sometimes hard to decipher but in my case, she expects me to handle any female causing problems.
“What has she done now?” was my reply. Patsy has been caught drunk driving and shop lifting a time or two and I am well familiar with her troubles.
“She has a new boyfriend and he drives her around town.” Came the indignant reply.
“Um, okay. What else is she doing?” I was thinking she probably had a suspended license and was actually glad to hear she was being chauffeured.
Darla looked around at the other officers and didn’t reply for a moment. She took a deep breath, “She has one leg hanging out the car window as they drive.”
There was another pause as I waited for her to continue but she didn’t. She stared at me like I should know this was wrong. “Um, I don’t think it’s illegal unless her leg is causing danger to another vehicle and needs a red flag tied to it.” I thought this was a pretty good comeback.
Another long pause and glance at the officers as they pretended to concentrate on their food. “She’s wearing short shorts.”
I saw the Chief give me a fleeting look and then go back to his magazine. “Um, it’s not against the law to wear short shorts.” My voice was a little more baffled now.
Darla was glaring when she said quite succinctly, “Her tarantula is showing.”
One of my fellow officers began choking on his food. My Chief rushed out of the room like his butt was on fire and I remained baffled for a split second. It started to sink in and I began laughing. I couldn’t stop and the guys joined in. The mental picture was too much for us.
It’s now been a week and I’ve seen Patsy with her leg out the window but haven’t been close enough to see if the lawn is manicured.
Darla is not speaking to me and it’s making life difficult in the office. I offended her school teacher sensibilities with my laughter. I feel badly, NOT. There have been no donuts recently and the guys are telling me to apologize. I’ve lost three pounds and I’m not sure if I want to. I’ll give it another week.
I thought by working sex crimes I’d heard it all, I was wrong.