Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Theater of Cruelty

Day 9: Down To Single Digits!

Seems like Day 30 was–well, not that many days ago.


A manager of a Dollar General store wanted the police to bar a woman because she refused to leave her bag up front. I am just glad my local $ General hasn’t asked me to do so, because I am not about to leave my bag next to the cash register by the door, where anyone could grab it and run. And I would tell them this, and they would call the police. And I am just glad they’re not open all night, because then the officer who’d bar me would be Nick, and that is a scene better imagined than described.


Another thing I’m glad of is that there are scissors at my work station, so I can finally trim that loose thread on Security Blanket that’s been troubling me so. {Ooh, now I touched Security Blanket, and have to have it on my lap so I can touch it some more.} I remember one event at Nick’s house, where I became fixated on a loose thread on the hem of his shorts. But I knew if I asked him to remove it, he would then guard it with his life, and I would have to attack him with scissors.


Anyone can read an article on autism in their local paper. But it takes an autistic person to feel compelled to read it aloud…and then have to start over because I made a mistake. (The “high-functioning” part consists of not doing this in front of other people.) I’ve done this since I learned to read. I’d be hard put to explain which things need to be read aloud, but I know them when I see them.

Hey, maybe I’ll wear nothing but Security Blanket on my last day of work! {So soft…}

I am writing this post in lieu of filling out paperwork to roll over my 457 into an RSA, because it frightens me. You can see why.

Day 13: I Got Your Fortune Cookie, Baby

Yeah, this was supposed to be a workday, but…you know when you crack open a fortune cookie, you read your fortune, and then you add “–in bed”? Well, I sprained my toe. In bed.


Longtime readers (a few may still survive) may remember how Rom once broke the bedroom window of our apartment downtown during an amorous session. This contributed to our loss of the damage deposit, but the best part was the landlord asking how the window got cracked, and Rom stammering, “Uh, from all the–wind we had in that storm the other night.”

Well, now that we’re homeowners, we can break all the windows we want (unless Nick decides we’re disturbing the peace and arrests us). But those hypothetical longtime readers may also remember the time that our candle (we always do it by candlelight) set off our smoke alarm. (I still fondly remember one night dispatching the fire department to someone’s house in response to “a smell of burning rubber in the bedroom.”)

Which brings us to last night. We’d just gotten up afterwards, congratulating each other on our mutually rewarding experience, and I said, “But my toe is hurting for some reason.” Then there’s the moment when you look down and think, “Did it always look like that?” It was bent sharply at a weird angle. Not as weird as Alien Finger, but still. It was already beginning to swell, and of course I thought of all the times I’d read that you can break a toe without even knowing it. And you especially wouldn’t even know it if you were, well….Let’s just say I was bracing my feet against the sideboard of the bed.

Well, this morning it was a lot better–just a little swelling remaining–but I decided walking a mile and a half to work was contraindicated. I will try to do better tomorrow.

Day 14: Waiting For Godot Or Someone Like Him


–rinse out milk glass

–scrape out litter box  (The Search For Buried Treasure)

–comb out hair

–lay out clothes, including locating coordinating underwear and socks

–put on underwear and one sock

Yesterday was National Hairball Awareness Day. Awareness may help us someday answer the eternal question, is stepping on one barefoot worse if it’s fresh and warm, or icy-cold?

Tomorrow is National Awareness of Rom’s Birth Day, which I’m celebrating by taking the day off.


“Why was he chasing you with a knife? Oh, because you stepped on his lawn?” I TOLD YOU KIDS TO GET OUT OF MY YARD!!


So Trump has a red button on his desk to summon someone to bring him a Coke. A dream come true! I also want a lifetime supply of cashew butter and dark chocolate chips. Oh, and for none of those things to have any calories. Hey, wouldn’t Reese’s Cashew Butter Cups made with dark chocolate be great? I’ll issue an executive order.



“Scientists can now extract Neanderthal DNA from cave dirt.”


Day 15: Beam Me Up, Scottie

Since I still have (and I guess always will have) the mark of a big dog’s jaws on my leg since 3/19/16, I’m not very tolerant of dogs running loose. There’s a Scottie I encounter at Barker/Franklin, and this is the SECOND TIME this dog has attacked me. Same scenario as the Black Lab of 3/19–“I’m running loose where I shouldn’t be, my nerves are on edge, and I don’t know you, but instead of running away, I think I’ll just bite you.” So the stupid thing gets his teeth in my pants leg while I kick at him. This time he had an even runtier dog running with him, who was about to run away until Scottie decided to take matters into his own teeth, but then decided to stand her ground and yap instead. (Gender pronouns based on the brown Chihuahua having a pink collar, and the Scottie lifting his leg on the stop sign.) And there better never be an owner saying, “Hey, you’re kicking my dog!,” or else I’ll bite. You’d think the dog would realize, “Running loose always makes me paranoid and angry, so I better not do it anymore,” but we can’t get people to realize that about meth, so there you go.

I am now reading Harry Potter, because Nick flew over to my house with a bunch of books in his teeth.



“Sir, it’s not against the law for someone to knock on your door.”



Quite a few long-term McDonald’s employees have quit recently, perhaps because of the new manager who won’t allow them to sing. Hey, we should start singing in here! “Bohemian Rhapsody,” anybody?



My hair is once again as long as it was when I started here! Oddly appropriate, now that I’m leaving. And my fashion sense is no better, although I did buy more red nail polish. Walgreen’s was promising proceeds from sales of the same would go to charity. Now I just need someone to tell me I’m doing a good deed by buying perfume.


Day 16: My Last Day On City Dispatch

…and nothing unusual has transpired, unlike the other day where we had 3 separate people run into buildings with their vehicles. Of course, the night is still young. Actually, NOT VERY. Young or quiet. I think someone just pulled the crazy switch.

–“Male just jumped behind the counter at Taco Bell, grabbed a knife, and started cutting himself. Left drinking from 2 bottles of vodka.” That man’s dexterity is admirable.


“But something unusual DID happen!” Nick says. “Tell them, tell them!”

“Nick, if you don’t stop yanking at my sleeve with your teeth, I’ll rip off your tail and beat you with it.”

“It would grow back anyway. I’d grow two more of them!”

“What did I tell you about lying?”

“Well, you don’t know it wouldn’t. It’s never been tried.”

“Are you saying you want me to try it?”

“You lack the necessary implements to detach my tail,” he says loftily, but wraps it tightly around himself, just in case.

AS I WAS SAYING, before being pestered to death, during a lull tonight, an off-duty officer called in on his portable radio.


I know that number, although I seldom hear it on the radio these days, and thought, What can Nick be wanting at this hour?

“How do you copy this radio?”

I informed him it was basically intelligible, inspired by Colbert’s monologue on the latest rambling, inchoate Trump interview. In other words (and there are always other words), Nick didn’t sound like Trump.

“Clear.” (insert dramatic pause} “And thank you for 30 years of service, ma’am.”

Isn’t he sweet? My eyes even prickled a bit. But only a bit.

Oh great, 3rd shift is having training and will be late getting out. Now my screen will be all yellow and red because of late runs, which always reminds me of fried eggs with ketchup, which was something my stepfather suggested putting on them to make them less gross so I’d eat them.

Day 18: In the Nick of Time


Cat Esmerelda has begun leaping  onto the top edge of the bedroom door. It’s a 3-stage process, beginning with yelling at me to move over in bed, since jumping on the bed is the first step. The whole procedure is fraught with peril–will she rip out my eyes when she leaps onto the pillow beside me? will she rip up my bathrobes which are hanging on the back of the door? will she fall and hurt herself? once she has achieved her objective, will she be able to get back down unaided, or will she try a flying leap onto the bed, which is still occupied, since this always happens around dawn? Too much excitement for a workday, especially since she begins by running around shrieking, a phenomenon which we call the Dawn Skrillex. Compared to this, Cat Glamour’s routine of grabbing her toys out of a paper bag, throwing them through the air, then carrying one in a Victory Parade into the hall, howling throughout, seems tame.

Today is Nick’s birthday.  To celebrate, last night he came over to my house and I gave him something big, pink, and hairy.

–Intermission while Nick puts his face in his hands, moaning “I can’t believe you actually wrote that,” although he will deny doing so the next time he sees me.

Well, would it help if I added that his wife told me the following morning that their youngest son loved playing with the large, furry, pink thing? I thought so.

Intermission: “No! That does not make it better! What’s wrong with you?” Gesticulates wildly before flopping down on his couch in a what’s-the-use sort of way.

Seriously (if that word can be used of the object in question), it was a big fluffy pink birthday card with googly eyes, which sings a horrid song in a screechy voice wishing you a very hairy birthday full of cupcakes, and actually prints the words of the horrid song on the back, so we can all sing along. It is a truly terrible object, and was the only one of its kind at CVS, and I’m guessing the only one of its kind produced. I made Nick come over and get it, because I was reluctant to invest the postage to mail something of that size.


If you call 911 and I ask your address, do NOT sigh heavily and say, “Don’t you have my address?” NO I DON’T HAVE THE FACKING ADDRESS, SO HOW ABOUT YOU JUST GIVE IT TO ME? HOW MANY TIMES DOES IT HAVE TO BE SAID? How long does it take to simply give the information, instead of arguing about why I shouldn’t need it? A CELL PHONE DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY POP UP WITH YOUR EXACT LOCATION, GPS OR THE COP SHOWS ON TV NOTWITHSTANDING, YOU GOT THAT??? It often just gives the cell tower the call hit on, and if the network is very busy, that could even be one across town. I had that happen the other day. If you’re in trouble, do you really want us to be taking the time to check the database for previous calls from that number (which, again, might not have been made from the location you’re at now), if any, call the cell phone provider and see the name and address they have listed for the number, which might not still be accurate, instead of JUST. GIVING. THE. ADDRESS.? If you’re able to just hit 911 and then leave the line open while you yell at someone (and many people think that’s all they need to do), you’re able to give us your location.

Just think, you only have 17 more days to hear me say this. Here’s hoping they don’t decide that I should go around giving talks on the subject.

Somebody got robbed of a bag of groceries at gunpoint. This seems disproportionate.



Day 20: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

Shady’s back, tell a friend! Anyone who’s thinking, But you’re hardly “slim” these days,  keep it to yourself. This also applies to those who do not, in fact, want to tell a friend, and have no plans to do so.

Speaking of friends, Nick is so upset about my imminent retirement that he’ll be going to Alabama to eat weevils instead. (He can consume millions of tons of weevils in the course of a year.) But now that 3rd shift Motor Patrol has BANNED RIDEALONGS, I’m safe and sound!

Intermission to swathe myself with Security Blanket–


We had a vehicle pursuit, and the state police backed our officers up. While this was going on, a guy called 911 and said, “You got a trooper speeding up 41 and his blue lights are so bright they’re blinding! He’s gonna cause a bunch of wrecks! Ya hear me?” and hung up. I was going to call him back and give him a piece of my mind (scarce and therefore valuable!), but his phone was out of service and could only waste the time of 911. By the way, it does no good to call 911 to complain about a state trooper. We don’t dispatch them. And don’t tell me “You got–” or “You need to get out here–” because, you know, I’m not the one going. Ya hear me?


–What will happen to Nick the beast when I retire? Will he be retired? Passed on to another handler? Euthanized?






Day 24: Q-Tips

I knew I had other stuff to write about, but yesterday I was too busy cussing at equipment, so it slipped my mind.

Speaking of equipment, the other day someone asked, “Why is it always freezing in here?” and the supervisor replied, “Well, this room is full of electronics…”  Which are worth more than we are. Gotcha. At least it beats the more common supervisory response, which is to deny that it is, in fact, freezing.


I recently noticed while combing my hair out in the morning (I shower at night) that I haven’t been losing near as many hairs as I normally do. (No, I don’t count them, I’m just approximating.) “What positive change in my life occurred a few weeks ago?” I asked myself. “Why, I made the decision to retire!” Yes, THIS JOB WAS MAKING ME LOSE MY HAIR. Not a lot, obviously, but this is my beauty tip: For thicker hair, don’t work at 911.

Seriously, it’s freezing in here. I have long sleeves, a fleece vest, and Security Blanket over the top of it. (There was a brief intermission during which I attempted to ascertain the exact shape of Security Blanket,  for the most effective draping. It appears to be a perfect square.) I am typing only intermittently so I can stick my hands in my pockets. I usually leave the room at the end of the shift with Security Blanket over my shoulders like a cape. Unsure what super-powers it would confer.


I was in the weird position the other day of dispatching a run on an autistic 14-year-old who’d run away from home. Weird because, you know, I am one. One officer was telling another, “He left after an argument with his mother, and said he was going to the library and he’d be back at 5:30. He’s high-functioning, but he is autistic, so he can’t be left by himself.” Well, everyone’s case is different, but if they’d decided I could never be left by myself, I’d curl into a spiny ball and never uncurl again. It’s making me feel a bit edgy just thinking about it.


Maybe I’ll be able to stop dreaming about crime. The other night I dreamed I was being killed by poison gas. Rom and I were at McDonald’s, and a robotic female voice said, “Q.Q.! Q.Q.! Exit the building by the available doors!” We went outside, and that’s where the poison gas was. I was so scared I woke up. The next night I dreamed someone shot a guy who was dressed as Colonel Sanders, and was about to shoot me too. And those are just the interesting ones. I can’t count the number of times I dreamed someone was trespassing on my lawn. And I wonder how long it will take after retirement for me to stop dreaming that I’m late to work. Maybe never.


Officer’s notes on a run: “Brian invited Jacob over to fight. Jacob took Brian up on his  offer. Brian called 911.”

Ambulance call: “Says she fell a few months ago, hit her head and spilled her brains.” That must have been why it took her a few months to call.

Deputy on the air: “Show me out with a toilet in the road.”

Narcotics complaint: “I want to be anonymous, because I know these people and they’ll revenge on you.”

I was telling Rom stories like these, and he said, “What’ll you do for fun after you retire? I know–you can go on ridealongs with Nick!” Right, Nick? “Of course,” he says, smiling thinly.


I have Security Blanket on inside-out. This troubles me, but I only have 1 more hour to be troubled in, so I’m not going to expose myself to the soul-sucking cold long enough to turn it around.


Facebook article–“20 Fashions That Make You Look Older.” It’s illustrated with a photo of an old woman with a man’s tie tied around her head. That doesn’ t make you look older. It just makes you look wacky. I’m not going to click on that article.

OK, I had to click on that article. I’m doing at least half of those 20 things. People often say I don’ t look my age, but maybe they’re just being nice.

–“The only acceptable tights are black.” No, the only acceptable tights are ones that aren’t pretending to be pants.

–“Too much gaudy jewelry.” You can kiss my ancient ass.

–“Carrying a big ‘old lady’ handbag.” I carry a tote bag with tie-dye stripes on it. Could this be what they’re referring to? You can tell I’m hip! It’s tie-dye!

–“Wearing unflattering colors.” Well, this could apply to anyone. It’s not like, “Oh no, I’m 40–unflattering colors don’t flatter me any longer.”

–“Wearing chunky shoes.” Well, I actually have an old-lady reason for that–problem feet–but I had those when I was young, too. And I don’t even like the term “kitten heels.” It means you’re trying to be cutesy.

“You’re not wearing shapewear.” I’m not wearing something that squeezes me constantly, no. Since no one has dared tell me, “You’re obviously not being squeezed–you should do something about that,” well, see the ass-kissing part previously.


If you hear a robotic voice saying, “Q.Q.! Q.Q.!,” it can never be good.



Day 25:

Speaking of singing (as we just were, look it up), Nick, soulless music-hater that he is, seems to find the idea of me singing risible. For this, he will be tied to a chair and forced to listen to my “House of the Rising Sun” karaoke.

Dear Supervisor, I will not sign up for overtime as city dispatch in the future if it means I might get switched to Phones 2/County Fire Dispatcher if it storms, kthnxbai.

I’m guessing supervisors are not thrilled to get emails from me anyway, since they tend to contain ill-tempered but useless statements such as, “When I started, phones didn’t suck,”  “I refuse to buy only enough food for one day and carry it here in my backpack every day,” etc.

You might think I’m hard to please, but I own a pair of rose-print socks. That’s all it takes.

Day 26: I Didn’t Sign Up For This

…oh wait, I did.

Today was probably the last overtime I will work, since I didn’t see any I liked the looks of in April, and in May we will be infested with trainees.

It was also (stop tugging at my sleeve, Nick, or I really will swat you this time) the last time Nick and I worked together. Actually, we had stopped working together regularly some time ago, when he went to 3rd shift, but our paths crossed for the last hour tonight, when I sent him to work a wreck as soon as he started his shift, although it wasn’t in the rain as I had hoped.


…”Sir, she’s not stealing from you if you gave her the money voluntarily….Well, if you knew she wasn’t going to pay you back, maybe you shouldn’t have given it to her in the first place…Maybe moving in with her wouldn’t be a very good idea….Well, you seem to have the answers you need.”

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