My CSI Rant
I’ve known for years that a cop’s life is never easy or glamorous. If it was, all our cases would be solved in one hour and I would arrive at a crime scene with a low cut top, pink Jimmy Choo pumps to match my handcuffs, and long sexy hair streaming down my back. I don’t actually watch these shows but I’ve seen the commercials. No way can I compete. When I walk onto a crime scene, I scare the neighbors.
Using my limited detective budget I bought 1000 black shoe covers for $29.99. They were a bargain and cheaply double as hair covers. While working a case with the F.B.I. (now that sounds glamorous) they gave me some pretty blue paper face masks that are better than the plain white ones I have. My hands are double gloved because once you begin to sweat it’s easier to change gloves leaving the bottom sweaty one on throughout the day. My hands are a shriveled mess when I’m done. I put on a new pair of gloves after picking up each item of evidence. If my phone rings, I change gloves because I don’t want goop on the phone when I speak to my grandbabies each night. Most of this I’ve learned by trial and error. Unknown gunk on my phone was good training.
At gruesome scenes, I wear a complete body suit. These suits are expensive so I only have one and it’s usually weeks before I can order another. I’ve become quite picky about when to use it. A few years ago I suited up for a week old dead body. A week later I had a half-eaten corpse. Man’s best friends got hungry after a few days. No body suit and I had to collect dog poop because there were human remains within.
My husband knows not to touch, get close or impede my progress to the laundry room to remove my clothes and dump them in the washing machine. A simple hand gesture has him backing up quickly. Then it’s naked to the shower to scrub away the grime. It takes weeks to get the smell to stop because the odor gets trapped in your nose hairs and reappears at the oddest moments. Is this discussed on TV?
Skin slippage, gurgles made from gasses in the bodies and of course the smell might be glamorized but I have trouble believing the crime scene investigators are anything but attractive when acting their part. Hah!
Have I mentioned maggots? Does television make them seem stylish? In real life they tend to fall off and we step on them. They make a popping noise as we get the body into a zippered bag. The medical examiner’s office has a huge fly zapper because those little squiggly things drop off the table and hide out until they become a pesky critter with wings. ZAP! I live in fear of unknowingly bringing a few home.
When called out late at night I’m lucky if I remember to brush my teeth but after a few cups of coffee my breath improves. I’ve stopped chewing gum because the thought of inhaling “whatever” through the mask is bad enough but I had to draw the line at chewing on it.
Plastic is a big pet peeve of mine. The crime show commercials show these small plastic see through bags and the investigator dropping in a single hair using tweezers. S-O-R-R-Y, the chemicals in plastic can destroy your evidence. Paper, paper, paper. I guess it wouldn’t look good on TV. I use Post-It notes to collect small hair fibers and then fold into a bindle. I was taught this by the state crime lab when I got my evidence collection certification. I’m the only one at our department with this particular advanced training. I have no hunky CSI techs to make my job easier.
Now that I’ve taken the glamour out of my job I will admit the truth. I live for these situations. I love the adrenaline rush, figuring out what took place and solving the crime. I can go days without sleep. I am never happier than when I’m working a big case regardless of what’s involved. My only wish is that I could be beautiful and photogenic while doing it!