I had a hot date last night. It involved a lot of men in uniform, fast driving, and handcuffs. I stayed out all night, returning home just as the sky was showing streaks of dawn light.
For a girl who usually spends New Year's Eve at home watching movies and letting her kids stay up too late, it was quite an evening.
I've never been on a ride-along with Mr W, all these years that he's been a police officer. Once I found out he was working the DUI Task Force on New Year's Eve, how could I not invite myself along?
I procured the babysitter (sister-in-law) and filled out my little disclaimer form.
"If you come back with a warrant, I'm hooking you up," Mr W announced as I handed the form back to him.
"Here's to hoping that prostitution charge was dismissed," I quipped back. (Yeah...right. The only thing I'm guilty of is nursing in public, which is apparently is a crime in some lesser-evolved cities, I hear.)
Anyway, he came and picked me up in the police car, and I tried not to show that I was a bit jazzed about the entire prospect of the evening....by chattering away almost the entire route back to the station. Oops. (I could never be a good poker player, not with all my tells.)
I got the grander tour, I mean, I've been to the station before, but this time he took me to a couple of places I've not been into before, like dispatch (hey, these are the chicks I talk to from time to time....faces for the voices). For a place I've mainly associated with verbal information, I was surprised to see so many different computer and security screens. And he pointed out the briefing room, and report writing, some offices...etc.
I had to laugh when I went into the bathrooms by his office (unisex single rooms), and the seats were up. (I checked both of them.) Mr W insists its the cleaning crew that does that, but please. This building is full of men, most of the time, why wouldn't the seats be up? :p
Finally, we hit the road. The task force was in another city, so we had to drive there. I'm just taking it all in, speeding down the freeway and talking to him, when suddenly, he's talking into the radio and pulling someone over. ???What? Why?? Did I miss something?
I have to admit, I had to really pay attention, because all night he did that. One second, we'd be driving along, the next, we'd be whipping the car around in another direction, speeding off after whatever he saw, and pulling someone over. It took some getting used to, for sure. (I was better about it partway through the night, because I started to pay attention to his body language, which wound up being the best clue.) The coolest thing is that with all this aggressive driving, I was reminded that my husband can drive like an ass, and I dug that.
So, he pulled this person over on the freeway. As he got out of the car, I had a brief blip of worry, but just sat back to watch.
Hey, these cars on the freeway are driving by awfully fast. And very close to him. And he's wearing dark blue. Doesn't he have something reflective to wear? Can't these yahoos slow down?
I held my breath until he stepped closer to the wall, and further away from the cars whizzing by.
Wait a minute. His driver's door is opening. Shut it, girl, before someone drives off with it...duh...(at this point, I was afraid I'd bump something in the console, and make both of us look stupid...)
I'm watching the girl in the car, in her rearview mirror.
OMG, is she actually putting on makeup while he's checking her license and info? Lippy, powder, wipe under eyes, puff/fluff the hair--you've gotta be kidding me. I'm amazed at this grooming display, when Mr W grins, walks over to me, and hands me the license through the window.
Sex: M Oh. It's like that. Okey-dokey, it takes all kinds....
He was clear, and Mr W had pulled him over for not having his headlights on, so on his merry way he went. Party on, Wayne.
Party on, Garth. We got to the command post, and as we drove in, I nudged Mr W and reminded him that we were going to be in a sea of uniforms, and I would be amongst the happiest of women. Respectfully, tastefully, of course. Ahem.
Holy cow... :D Then, a few minutes later, I'm over it. Overloaded circuits and all that. :p
Soon enough, we were out again. Right off the bat, we went down the street to transport someone for a motorcycle officer. Again, I stayed in the car, listening to the radio and watching. Hmm. Looks like they're arresting that guy. As Mr W puts him in the car, I get the order to get out and wait on the curb. (protective, but I appreciated it)
How many people are in that little car?? Here's another, being arrested, and escorted to our car. I'm finding myself inching towards Mr W and his colleague, away from his patrol car, unintentionally, as I shift my weight from foot to foot. The three young ladies in the car are also being cited for something...and I'm finding a new respect for details.
Search--cars, people, pockets, trunks; put their stuff in bags; collect ooh, is that what I think it is? (grassy looking), pour out liquor; all the while explaining, questioning, explaining, running licenses and car info; call tow truck, ack, explain some more ("How a man of few words becomes a man of even fewer words in three easy steps"); and paper, paper, paper, and more paper. Holy crap. What a pain in the ass. It's a wonder anyone ever makes it to jail, because at this point, I'm seriously questioning all that effort--will these two even be spending the night in one of our fine detention facilities? (They did. And another county, that had some warrants for them with multiple charges, will be hosting them too.)
Amazing. I'm never calling him when he's at work again.
While we're at this call, I'm surprised that one of the girls whips out a cellphone. Let's see, you are pulled over by the po-po, and you decide to reach out and touch someone? Right NOW?? My husband's colleague had to tell her to put it down so he could photograph her. I'm momentarily stunned, then not surprised, not really. Cellphones are so ubiquitious, it's hardly a revelation that they wouldn't be the first thing someone reaches for in a moment like this. But, here's the thing, couldn't you wait, considering that you are dealing with the police? <eyeroll>
We dropped off the guys, and then went out looking for more. Looking, looking, looking--114 miles driven in all, all night-- and we didn't nab one drunk of our own. (ridealong curse, I take it?) The most exciting stop was one where he stopped a chick for driving without headlights (what is UP with that? at least three of the folks he stopped were for this...) that happened to have a suspended license already. She about peed on the spot...and then (guess) whipped out her cellphone to call Mommy.
She's all shook up, shaking, almost crying, and Mr W is explaining her ticket, and telling her what to do. He's not moved, not fazed at all, by this display of emotion; and I'm realizing that this, his game face, is the one I see at home when I'm having a nuclear meltdown and he's a blank slate. Guess I'll cut him a little slack next time. (He's so businesslike, so "here's the deal", it's spooky to watch.)
In addition to this new insight into his persona, I'm also getting to see that sometimes, it's like he says, something like 10% adrenaline rush, 90% boring. I even started to nod off at one point. "No sleeping," he admonished. "Stop someone, and I won't," I retorted. (Hey, it was late. Hot in the car. All that driving. What did he expect?) Maybe he had his quota of adrenaline for the month filled a couple of weeks ago chasing that guy in the field (you can read about it here and here at Remo's, if you want).....
We transported a crying girl. Fun. I almost, almost felt bad for her, for a second. Then I remembered why she was in the car, and got over it in a hurry, especially when I found out one of her passengers was perfectly okay to drive. Dumbass. Press hard, five copies.
Yawn. I'm considering having him take me home, I'm tired, and a bit want for something to do. Suddenly, I hear him key his mike and say "My CO speaks Spanish" and off we go, speeding down the road.
"Am I translating now?" "Yup." "For who?" <he names a higher up> "Great. No pressure."
This coffee is good. Do I have to??
"I don't know if I'm up to this." "You'll be fine." "If you say so."
Be careful what you wish for, isn't that what they say?
My adventures in translating, next, live at five.