Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

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 17: Comedy, Tragedy, and the Masks Thereof

I find this weather unreasonable. I did not wear my Quick-Dry Tactical Rain Pants on Sunday, and got drenched. I wore them today, and not a drop. This troubles me, but there’s no solution for it except to take control of the weather, and I don’t want the responsibility.

Well, that situation has been rectified–I just spilled soda in my lap. Be careful what you wish for.

The reverse of a shout-out, whatever that is, to my colleague Gary “Panda Bear” Folks, the Evil Man in the Green Van, the Guy Fawkes Mask Impersonator, not for taking the last Reese’s peanut-butter egg–I could live with that, albeit unwillingly–but for LEAVING THE EMPTY BAG ON THE TABLE, so I trustingly thought there was still an egg for me. Then I thought I’d console myself by getting one of each flavor of Jolly Ranchers available–4, at last count–but now only blue ones are available. I don’t know why my co-workers object to the blue ones, unless it’s because no one’s really sure what flavor they are. Sure, the color’s not found in nature, but are any of the other Jolly Rancher colors? So now I have a Cadbury Egg Cookie. I’ve never had a regular Cadbury Egg, but I’ve been curious, so here’s an opportunity to try something new! The package promises “Find a White Chocolate Cookie, Win a Prize!” If I find white chocolate, there better be a prize.


“Trump To Have Rally the Night of White House Correspondents’ Dinner.” Hurt feelings much? Be sure to remind them you won the election. Don’t forget the Electoral College loophole part.

Do Cadbury cream eggs always have something red in the middle? I think I got a fertilized one.

ANOTHER person just asked me, “But don’t you get my location when I call?” NO, you have to figure out where you are for yourself, unless where you are is 7820 Eagle Crest Blvd. NW Sector cell tower. (And you gotta wonder, northwest of what, since that’s on the East Side? I guess everything’s northwest of something.) You know, I seem to have missed all the public service announcements saying, “You no longer have to give your location when you call 911!”

Dear Supervisors, I don’t want to take overtime ever again because it will mess up my countdown, kthnxbai. Also because I’m tired of dealing with this cobbled-together radio system.

–Caller advises “those kids are flirting with danger.” In case you wondered what that consists of, it involves lifting up a manhole cover, going down into it, and then your friends throw stuff down on you. Otherwise known as “up to no good.”

–“Stabbing suspect is wearing  a brown shirt and pink slippers.”  Outfit of the day!

–“I need an escort to the Arbors.”

–“What do you mean?”

–“Like an escort! Like this dude won’t leave my house!”

–“Does he live there?”

–“He’s not on the lease!” Which means he does live there, of course.

–“What’s the address?”

–“I ain’t givin’ you my address! That’d be like police showin’ up at my house!”

–“How can they make someone leave your house without coming to your house?”

–“Listen, dude!” (This marks the first time in my life I have ever been called “dude.”) “I ain’t gettin’ involved with this!”

–“Then why did you call?”

–“I told you! I want this dude put out of my house! OK, l ain’t messin’ around. I’ll handle it myself. If you get a call about noise in the Arbors, it’ll be me puttin’ him out.” Duly noted.

He then called back–giving his address this time–because a female hit him in the head, and he had video of her not wanting to leave, which, as far as I understand, is not a criminal offense, but there you go.

Why am I phones 4 more times, but city dispatch only once? No one calls me “dude” on the radio.


“Your comfort zone is there for a reason. It’s so you can stay comfortable.”

–the Onion





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 19: Signs of the End Times

The May schedule is out, answering several end-times questions:

–How many more times must I be phones? 6.

–What will I be on my last day? Fire.

–When is my last day as city police dispatch? Apr. 25. What?! I’M NOT READY FOR IT TO END SO SOON!!


I am in imminent danger of choking on a Jolly Rancher while answering this phone. Speaking of Jolly Rancher injuries (bet you didn’t think I could pull off that segue), I remember one Christmas, German Township brought us a giant bag of Jolly Ranchers, and I spent so much time with one tucked between my gum and cheek while I was on the air or phone that I developed a sore spot on my gum. This is a sign that one has eaten too much candy.

Currently, I have yogurt in my hair, don’t ask. But it is troubling me, and will continue to do so until I shower tonight.



“You’re messed up! You don’t deserve to have a baby!” Um, OK.  Which brings us to…


When you call us, talk to us. Don’t continue your argument with the other person for dramatic effect. Especially if you haven’t given your location yet.

–“Your phone called 911, do you have an emergency?”

“No, my phone went crazy because I dropped it in water.” I would do the same if someone dropped me in water. Speaking of which, I took a call the other night in which the phone sounded like it was in the washing machine. It was probably saying, “Help meee….”

I am now on hold with an alarm company, listening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Ha ha ha ha!

–“Someone just banged on my door to tell me about a fire behind my house, and she looks pretty shady, if you know what I mean.” Yeah, those shady characters are always trying to save you from fires.

Speaking of extremes of temperature (it’s Segue City in here!), I was just overcome by the cold–Security Blanket deployed @ 2152.

A woman is going to write a “very bad report” about me because I told her that having more than one person call in about the same incident would not make the police get there any faster. She’ll be glad to know they’re getting rid of me in June.

I just discovered–the hard way–that the M&M dispenser we were gifted with last week is actually a prank machine that shoots them out like projectiles. And when I tried to gather them up, it shot even more at me. I had to reach behind the motion sensor to prevent some kind of perpetual-motion machine situation. Anyway, I currently have no shortage of M&Ms.





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 21: Tales of Heartbreak & Loss


–“Caller needs Animal Control reference a cat that was left at his door with a box of food and litter.” So somebody please go to the shelter and say, “I’d like to adopt the cat that was left with a bag of food and litter.” Of course, that beats the call I took of a guy dumping his cat out of his car, then backing up to run over it when it tried to follow him, which is one of the calls I WILL NEVER FACKING FORGET, kthnxbai.

Aaand then we have, “2 subjects fist-fighting, now their dogs are fighting too.” Plus one of the guys yelled, “Get my dope!” Maybe he wanted the dog to fetch it.

–“Caller says her neighbor has sex with zombies and makes her watch, and the zombies are crying while this is going on.” This gives me a new perspective on zombies.

–“Report of child standing on driver’s lap and steering the vehicle.” Well, only after the child has mastered sitting in the parking lot pretending to drive.

I just got called a 60-year veteran, which is not true, but did make me realize I’ve been working here half my life, which was disconcerting.

–“2 red cars racing, one is a Corvette and one is an older Neon.” This is kind of like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

–“Called back to say the bat in the building has now flown into the fan.”


I passed by the black car that has “I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE, I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY DESTINY” on the back window, and thought, That quote doesn’t seem quite right. Well, that would be because the original line was “Captain of my soul.” But “soul” is such a quaint pre-post-Christian concept, isn’t it? I will merely observe that the Captain of Destiny vehicle is a Toyota Camry. Speaking of which, when I passed by there the other day, several children were running for the car, and one of them yelled, “Camry’s in the front seat already!” You named your child after your car, and not even a cool one? Well, they probably spelled it Kamreigh.



Day 22: Me & Crazy People


–Waiting for the bus at 2nd Ave./Columbia: A woman walking down the sidewalk apparently got overheated, whipped off her shirt, dropped it on the sidewalk, and stood there in the middle of the sidewalk in her tank top, apparently airing out her armpits. Two guys who looked like gangsta rappers had to walk around her. One of them muttered, “What human being is so disrespectful?” As she walked by me, she squinted at me like Popeye.

–A guy yelled something from a car that sounded like, “Good people should wear shoes!” The crazy part is that everybody in the vicinity was.

–Walking down St Joe from Taco John’s, a guy walking up to and past me said, “Get out of my face! Like your cross! Get out of my face!” Thanks for the compliment on my crucifix, but what you call being “in your face,” I call “using the same sidewalk.”


CRISIS IN PROGRESS: SOMEDAY I’LL SNAP DEPT. (Disclaimer: I only have 22 days left to snap in.}

–“I’ve grounded my 17-year-old from the computer, and I need the cops because he won’t give me the mouse and keyboard.”

–“Subject said he was at Oak Hill Cemetery drinking a lot of energy drinks and driving erratically. Then said he has a hook in his foot and it aches something awful.” Doesn’t he know you’re supposed to have a hook for a hand? You have a peg leg. And a parrot for your shoulder, and an eye patch.

–“Can I talk to someone?”

“I’m someone. What’s the problem?”

“I called AT&T to get my phone number changed. They were supposed to call me back at 8:20 to tell me my new number, and they haven’t yet.”

“Well, that’s between you and AT&T. 911 doesn’t have anything to do with that.”

“Oh, OK.”

–Someone found a pile of internal organs in a field.. The organs were accompanied by a cardboard box and a pair of surgical gloves.



Ever encountered someone who’s exactly like a fictional character? There was the time at Rom’s grandmother’s funeral where the priest sounded exactly like the Grand Nagus on Star Trek. And then, the other day at Wendy’s on St Joe, the guy mopping the floor looked just like Captain Obvious, before he became a captain. He told me, “Someone will be up here to take your order in a moment,” but I refrained from saying, “Thanks, Captain Obvious!”



I just discovered imgflip. By accident. But did you expect anything less? Sure, I’d been wondering how people created all those clever memes on Facebook, but I figured their professional skills were forever beyond such as myself.

Day 23: Stop Bothering Me!

Complaint of someone leaving dirty diapers in the alley….

For something completely different, there is currently a rainbow out the window. The biggest and brightest I’ve ever seen, in fact.


The admonition to older women (notice how it’s always “older,” never “old”?) always to wear shapewear (what we old women used to call “girdles” and swore we’d never wear) is baffling in view of one of their other rules–“Never wear jeans with more than 2% spandex.” Well, how much spandex does the so-called shapewear have?


I knew I shouldn’t have clicked on that fashion article. Now I have one called “20 Décor Mistakes Everyone Over 45 Should Avoid.” So now my surroundings can make me look old? I actually have no “décor” to speak of, but if they keep bothering me, I’m going to cover everything in my house with tie-dye.

I’m not going to click on that article.

Hey, this program puts an accent mark on décor! Décor, décor, décor. Classy! How about décolletage? Derriere! Look, I’m speaking French!


–If you’re firing a gun in the air trying to break up a fight, make sure it’s not a stolen gun. Oh wait, it turned out to be a drug deal gone bad. Fancy that.

In other news, the police were called for someone dancing in the street. That happens more often than you’d think. At least more often than I’d think, which would be never.


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.



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