Keep Your Eyes on the Road and Your Hands Upon the Wheel

by pjmcbride

(…whereby we enter a parallel universe in which I like road trips) 

…or, in this case, ridealongs. But before we get to that…

MY VOLUNTEER WORK AS RESTROOM ATTENDANT

At McDonald’s, I often sit at the table next to the restroom, because it’s, well, next to the restroom, and therefore no one else wants to sit nearby. The said restroom door is prone to sticking, and so I frequently–twice in this case–helpfully inform some poor woman who tries to open it and is about to sadly slink away that “you just need to pull really hard.” I believe the Church would consider this a corporal act of mercy. For potential restroom users, I mean, not me, since it requires that I talk to strangers.

NOTICE ON BULLETIN BOARD AT THORNTON’S:

“We mow and do yard work. Call for estment.” Sure, your ability to spell doesn’t really reflect on your ability to do yard work, but still…

SOMETHING SOME GUY YELLED AT ME AS I WALKED UP ST JOE:

“You got a nice booty!” He likes big butts and he cannot lie. I can assure you that chocolate ice cream didn’t miss me. If you’re wondering what sort of man on the street tends to favor me, that would be middle-aged bikers.

–I try to keep my life as uneventful as possible, for reasons you could probably read about in psychology textbooks, but just think how entertaining I’d be if I actually had a life! (“More entertaining than you are now, certainly,” they mutter.)

THEATER OF CRUELTY UPDATE!

Nick is back to work at last, since his owner finally massaged that knot out of his tail–which, as it turns out, was inflicted by a flying garden gnome. They’re small but they’re agile! (“Stop mocking me,” he growls. “You should see that gnome now–shattered into pieces!”)

ALL AERIAL BATTLES ASIDE…

I discovered, and investigated, a “Ridealong Report Form” which They put together, under the illusion that we’ll someday be fully-staffed and able to indulge ourselves in this manner. It’s a form for the dispatcher to fill out–so I think I’ll just fill mine out now and save myself some trouble, since, if I should ever go on one with Nick, I will probably be unable to write. (Nick claims he will, I mean would {the use of the subjunctive is so important!}, treat me with the utmost GENTLENESS  and CONSIDERATION, but he seems to think this requires a lot of ostentatious claw-sharpening.)

——-THE SAID RIDEALONG FORM—

Dispatcher Name: Um, what was it again?

Officer Name: A. Laidly Beast

Date of Ridealong: Once upon a time.

List of Runs You Went On: Um, why? To prove I actually went on some and didn’t, say, just sit in the car the whole time? WELL?

–Ask the officer to demonstrate the computer system in his car for you. List the functions he performs on it: Yeah, that’ll happen. I might as well ask him to balance a ball on his nose.

–Ask the officer what he likes/dislikes about the computer system: I honestly can’t imagine having this conversation. Or any “conversation” in the usual sense.

–How did the people you encountered respond to the officer?: With fear and loathing? Why aren’t you asking how the people we encountered responded to the DISPATCHER, who is, after all, unarmed and helpless? And is being held hostage by a fearsome and loathsome BEAST? Anyway, I always expect the people on runs to ask, “Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?” Maybe they think I’m a detective. Due to my snappy outfit.

–Did you have any problems with this ridealong?: Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Yes, I have a problem with the whole concept. And I have a real problem with the officer’s attitude. (Um, no, Nick, I wasn’t writing about you, why do you ask? OK, I was, but only in the best way. Really.) OK, no, no problems at all. Really.

–What did you learn from this ridealong?: Fear.

 

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