On his way to work this morning, Mr W paused to tell me a story in the garage.
Yesterday, he was driving back to the station, and he came upon an accident that had just occurred in the upcoming intersection.
It was just a case of "she turned in front of me so I hit her" involving two older ladies. He said he went to the first car, felt it was still running, checked on the driver, and asked her to move her car. She said okay, so he moved on to the next car.
He said as he knocked on the window, he was telling the lady to get off the phone so she could talk to her, as he wanted her to move her car too.
"Ma'am, get off the phone."
She looked at him, and perplexed, pointed to the phone, and said:
"But I'm talking to 911."
At this point I let out a hoot and I said, "But honey, you are 911..."
He held up his hand for me to stop as he went on. "Ma'am, hang up the phone. I'm here, right now, so you don't need to keep talking to them."
As she kept talking on the phone, he heard her say, "Yeah, he's here, and he's telling me to hang up....okay."
"You're kidding," I told him. "Nope." He shook his head, "I knew you'd like that one." I was still giggling when he left.
The previous day, he wrote a lady a ticket, for speeding; and as he finished up the paperwork in his car, a man approached him.
It was the woman's husband. He proceeded to ask Mr W all kinds of questions, in regards to his criteria for writing someone a speeding ticket (including the inevitable "would you write one if you stopped a fellow officer?"). He finished with that his wife had never had a ticket before (of course not). He finally left, satisfied with his answers, I guess, but not without some parting shot about how he was a teacher once and had had his own share of having to dole out fairness, so he could understand where Mr W was coming from. (Because you know, his understanding of my husband's motivations for doing his job are just so, so important.)
Who are these people?
I was thinking about that as I wrote it, feeling just a little superior, when I realized: if you think about it, they are your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends...they are all around us, they are us, at one time or another. I can admit to more than one occasion of public stupidity, I'm sure you can too. It's just mine aren't documented in the public record. Yet.
Whenever Mr W has a story to tell, I always listen, even when he was coming home in the wee hours and I was up by chance. I figure if he wants to talk about it, it's for a reason, so I let him get it off his chest. Sometimes the stories are unpleasant, sometimes the stories are funny.
But they are always confirmation to me that I could never do his job, day in, day out.