A little bit stupid, I don’t fear much. That may yet be the death of me. Stuck on principle, I’ve more than once too often told “the man,” “the organization,” “the establishment,” to stuff it into a dark hole. This little piece of fluff is not about running stupidly into the wind. It is an assessment of three dangerous creatures a man must deal with now and again. One can only hope “now and again” doesn’t include the final “once too often.”
I like dogs. A lot. More than I like people. Like cats too, but cats have me figured-out and like most women, have determined they don’t want much to do with me. So far, and especially as the calendar winds-down, that’s fine by me. It’s not so much the species, but the individuals within the species you must be careful of. Just as there are bad men, there are bad dogs, and bad women who make me more than a touch leery.
Big dogs aren’t particularly fearsome. They bark big, growl grotesquely, and like all dogs (and most men) are so stupid, given a perilous duty, will ignore pain, their own blood leaking profusely from strategic body parts, and continue to do as they’re told until death or worse finally does them in. But it’s a job, man. Understand that, you and most any big dog will get on smartly.
Let me illustrate with an instance. You’d think I’m going to introduce a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman, Mastiff, or some such. Nope.
I was skip-chasing a particularly odious man years ago. Sadly, I cannot recall his crimes, only that the department wanted this bad dude off the street. To get him off the street, it was necessary we first find out what street he was on, then arrange to be there at the same time. I was ‘surveilling’ a lakeside community, exploring an alleyway behind a row of overpriced lakefront cottages.
Turning a corner in the alley, I came face to face with the biggest Saint
Bernyar Bernhar Switzzer Schwitz Alpine rescue dog I’ve ever seen. In the movies, big, hairy, loveable creatures. Not in this case. Tethered to a three-foot diameter oak tree by plastic clothesline, he saw me, and figured breakfast was served. I watched as Bernie finally uprooted that oak, a credit to the clothesline, and dragged it to within six feet of me, snarling and baring teeth about six inches long, every one of them.
Bernie pulled-up short. Turned-off his barker, idled his growler, and dropped gums over his teeth so he could drool. He stood there with the dumbest “Duh, what’d I come here for?” look on his face, like he was hoping for a squirrel, a stick, or a steak.
Armed with neither squirrel, stick, nor steak, I spoke with Bernie. Bernie wagged his tail, slobbered prodigiously, and let me know he was ready to play or help me find someone trapped in an avalanche. We became buddies but he had no idea where my perp was. Don’t think Bernie was lying – he didn’t seem to me a Democrat.
Women – wives in particular
Women disguised as wives can be particularly dangerous. The smaller the package, the demurer they seem, the more one, especially male ‘ones’ should fear. Of course, this brings to mind an instance. You’d be disappointed otherwise.
Sharp objects are trouble. In any domestic, or for that matter, un-domestic situation where a woman with a good or bad love-interest is involved, you need to look out for sharp objects. Women will resort to butter knives, butcher knives, axes, and chain saws. Tongues too, but with rare exceptions tongues are not lethal. Not expert in normal use of such objects, except their tongues, women deploy them in unorthodox ways, so you can’t always see the damsel getting ready to hurl, jab, swat, or slice.
On loan to another county far north of my usual stomping grounds, and stupidly remote, I was executing an arrest warrant. This big bruiser was a pussy cat. Usually are, the big ones. They know they can snap you in half, scoop out the edible parts, and toss you aside like a Cracker Jack box. In fact, this ox was one of two or three I recall so muscled I could not handcuff his hands behind his back. Handcuffing in front is not the preferred way to go. You do what you must do. Big dudes see no challenge worthy of wasting their energy unless someone insults their pickup truck or the football team of the college they never attended.
After assailing me with five full minutes of verbal abuse where she called me everything but nice, the man’s wife resorted to two-handed shoves attempting to push me back to my home county. I had no right, I could not, she would not allow, and by god she’d show me, that her husband was not going to jail.
I’d just helped Mr. Mountain into the back seat of my squad. You know how on the television you see the officer gently put his hand atop the perp’s head to make sure the perp doesn’t bump his little noggin on the door sill? Okay, but it usually doesn’t occur to you to do that when you’re concerned about the sudden appearance of a pickaxe. I suspected Mr. Mountain might have submitted peacefully to get away from the screaming banshee.
I turned to walk to the driver’s door when I felt a rush of wind past my left ear. Turned by the force of the wind’s rush, I watched a heavy steel Tonka dump truck hit the ground, bounce several times, and careen into the ditch at the end of the driveway. That “toy” was so heavy and so large, that diminutive lady had to hoist it overhead with both hands and execute a two-handed basketball lob. Seeing she’d missed, she returned to verbal assaults, requiring much less energy. That, or there were no more Tonka trucks handy.
Correctly, I should have arrested her too. Several reasons why I didn’t for the uninitiated to understand. Arresting a female even years ago meant, except in dire situations, a female officer was needed to pat-down the arrestee. While close to it, this situation was not “dire.” I felt I didn’t have three hours to three days to wait for a backup with a female officer. Too, there were at least seven children all under the age of three running around in the yard, oblivious to Daddy’s pending change in residence. Arresting Momma meant a call to Child Welfare, another three hours’ wait, minimum.
Final argument. Protocol aside, the gent and his wife in the back seat, handcuffed or not, might have resulted in a murder. Homicide was decidedly outside my area of expertise.
As I drove away, I heard an audible sigh of relief from the back seat.
There’s a woman, a wife, specifically, in this final segment but while carrying my argument forward a bit, it’s merely fortuitous coincidence. Of sorts. I’m devious, but I have limits.
Many years ago, not sure who I crossed in the office, but I was assigned an afternoon of
subpeena supina sumonds process serving detail. All hunky-dory for an hour or two. Then I had one for a pharmacist to appear witness in some civil matter. He was not at the drug store indicated by the address on the paper. Before cell phones, that meant a call to the radio room to get someone in DB to dig up a home address. A chance for a bite of lunch. (No doughnuts, that’s a stupid stereotype.) The address came over the radio about the time my pastrami on rye ended.
In a nice suburban neighborhood, the doorbell was answered by an Agnes Lockhorn, replete in three PM bathrobe with curlers in her hair. Standing safely behind a storm door, she questioned my credentials. As if the uniform left a lot of doubt. I suppose now maybe, not so much then.
chiwauwa cheewau little dog from Mexico stood between Agnes and the door, jumping up and down barking at zenith and nadir of each leap. The lower half of these acrobatics hidden by the solid bottom panel of the storm door, it had a comedic effect. There’s little Hector, ‘yip!’ Hector disappears, ‘yip!’ there’s Hector again, ‘yip!’ And so on. Comedic, but distracting.
Agnes deemed it necessary she ‘handle’ or at least touch my ID. To facilitate a good read, she opened the storm door a few inches. Intent on snatching my ID from my hands, which I felt no need to allow, she opened the door wider.
Hector suddenly had an unobstructed view of the peril at the door. He froze, unaware of exactly what he should do. Agnes explained her husband would not be home for several hours. Hector was shivering in anticipation. As I reassured Agnes what I had for her husband was only a demand he appear in court, not an arrest, Hector came to a decision, then seized the opportunity and something else.
“Madam, your dog just bit me.”
“He did not!”
“I assure you he did.”
“In a rather embarrassing place.”
“It’s the leather purse containing family jewelry, ma’am. I do not believe you really want to see that, and I don’t want to show you, ma’am, but I assure you your dog bit me. I will radio Animal Control to come talk to you about quarantine.”
Which I did. Oddly, Animal Control arrived quickly. The officer, well versed in animal bites, of course needed to survey the wound. It was not comfortable, but seated in the privacy afforded by my squad, I dropped trou. I myself was impressed that Hector had managed to actually do a swell job breaking skin without damage to my trousers, and indeed, I already sported neat bruises.
The Animal Control officer had a good chuckle at my expense. It was short-lived. Agnes unable to produce Hector’s shot records, Officer Tarzan proceeded to examine Hector’s Rabies tag. That proved a mistake for Officer Tarzan and for Hector. Little Hector tattooed the snot out of both of Tarzan’s hands.
Tarzan elected to take Hector for a period of residency at the Animal Shelter. Somewhat concerned for his wounds, Tarzan requested I help him get Hector settled into the Animal Control truck. Worn out I suppose by his hard work, Hector calmed somewhat, and we established something of a rapport. Why not? We were already intimate.
I suffered no abuse back at the station as Tarzan was more than somewhat embarrassed himself and kept his mouth shut. Hector came to no harm. He was doing his job. Big dogs and little dogs don’t have axes to grind. When they get into trouble, it’s just that they don’t know any better. A lot like men in that respect.
Mr. Lockhorn arrived just as I was preparing to leave. He’d been expecting the papers to be served.