You finally have a day off. Nothing on the radar, just a nice day kicking back in the house. Maybe you’ll get a little yard work done. Maybe you’ll have time to actually catch your team’s game on television without being interrupted by a call. Maybe you’ll get some quality time with the kids.
But then you remember. Today’s the day you’re supposed to go to that stupid party.
Look, I’m all for parties. They can be great. As long as there’s cold beer and people I like, I’m fine.
But let me tell you… most cops won’t join in on the enthusiasm of the event.
While the drinks are flowing, the people are dancing and lifelong memories are being formed… (or forgotten), you see your police officer friend shying away from everyone, not getting involved in the spirit of the get-together. How come?
I’ll tell you. Here’s why cops don’t like parties.
We don’t get a lot of time off. We don’t want to spend it with people we don’t like.
When you get one day off after a back-breaking stretch of shifts and an insane amount of overtime, the last thing you wanna do is make bulls–t small talk with the neighbors and your significant others’ friends from work. I just got through endless hours of car wrecks, drunks who decided to climb behind the wheel of a car, others who tried to fight me, domestic call after domestic call… they all start to run together after awhile.
So why on God’s green earth am I so careful about how I spend my time off?
Because I deal with drunk idiots all the time on the job. I don’t want to have to deal with them at a function I’m supposed to be enjoying.
Also, if I show up and someone says, “Oh no, it’s the cops!” I’ll probably laugh… but trust me. I’m just being polite.
We can’t always turn ‘it’ off.
We’re taught as officers to always be vigilant. Complacency gets us killed. So do you know how hard it is to turn ‘it’ off when we’re off-duty?
Pretty damn difficult.
So when you’re losing yourself in the wine spritzers and talking with Kathy about your hot yoga classes, I’m still keeping an eye on everything – the kids in the pool, the drunk guy stumbling into people, the entrances and exits to the house.
There’s no such thing as ‘off-duty’.
I’m kinda sick of eating burgers.
I ate at McDonald’s on Sunday, Burger King on Tuesday night and then Wendy’s on Thursday. I’m pretty much over eating burgers.
Got any steak?
If a drunk family member gets out of control… I will take them down.
Look, I’m sorry about Uncle Joey getting tackled and pinned to the ground after he had one (or seven) too many boozey eggnogs during Christmas five years ago. He had it coming.
Stop bringing it up every year.
Someone drank all the good bourbon.
This has happened to me before. And any cop – scratch that – any good American who stashes their good stuff away knows it’s done for a reason. A few years ago I came home to a party at my house (the wife’s idea, obviously) and found that some partygoers had cleaned out my supply of Woodford and the last bottle of Maker’s.
Needless to say – that didn’t go over so well. And now I keep my personal bottles stashed away in the garage so the thieving bastards can’t find it.
In case you noticed, being a cop doesn’t exactly pay well. When I buy a halfway decent bottle of booze, it’s for me. And those I wish to share it with.
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I don’t feel like telling you my cop stories.
Yes, cops love sharing stories. We constantly try to one-up each other with who had the dumbest perp, who got into some really intense situations and lots of other stuff that I promise you don’t want to hear about.
But guess who we like telling those stories to?
Other cops. People who get it.
Not Dave, the greasy accountant who lives next door and stares a bit too long at my wife. Look buddy, I get your life isn’t all that interesting, but I’m not about to open up about the stuff that I can’t unsee.
I’m not driving your drunk ass home in my cruiser.
No, you can’t play with the lights and sirens. You’re not a 6-year-old. Grow up and call an Uber.
Other people’s problems seem like total crap.
Sorry Katie, I don’t feel bad that you had to stay and work an extra hour and you missed your appointment to get your nails done. Boo-freaking-hoo. A cop is lucky if he goes home on time… like… ever.
Alright, enough ranting. That about wraps up this week’s edition of ‘Why Cops…’
Next Thursday we’ll be back with more.
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Thanks for checking out this week’s rant. Stay safe, America!