Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You Can't Make This Shit Up (Or maybe you could, but no one would believe you)

One of my readers (That's right, I have readers!) told me he'd like to read more posts regarding my day job.

I've given it some thought, and decided I can tell a tale or two without getting the principals involved a bad name.

Here is the first installment:

Some freinds and colleagues were doing a spotting operation on drug dealing in a nefarious intersection not far from my favorite book store.

Spotting can be fun, rewarding work, especially for the spotter, who gets to call the dealer's activities for the waiting arrest teams, and then direct those teams into and onto the unsuspecting dealer. The arrest teasm get to have fun running the suspects to ground and recovering contraband... Real cop shit.

On the day in question, one of the guys was spotting while the rest of the beat guys waited the wings, mounted on our bicycles.

I feel the need for a slight digression here: The bicycle is a great law enforcement tool, it's fast (especially in traffic or relative to a suspect running on foot) quiet, and completely unexpected by the average puke, who can watch for cars, and officers on foot, but often just don't see the bikes until we are on them.

Now, I said spotting can be fun. Other times it's just drudgery. Today was shaping that way; Too few dealers, too paranoid and jumpy.

Then the radio perks up, the spotter's voice is light, "Got some action."

A few moments pass in checking gloves, helmets, etc, before the next transmission, "OK. The target is purple monkey."

That startled a nervous laugh from my arrest team. The spotter had to know that shit sounded racist, and all transmissions were recorded.

"Purple Monkey?" the sergeant, whom we hadn't known was monitoring the channel, and therefore us, said.

"Yes, Sergeant. Purple Monkey."

"Sounds a bit off-color," replies the sergeant, avoiding calling the spotter a racist by the slimmest of margins. He was, and still is, a fucking dick. The sergeant, not the spotter.

"Nope. The teams'll know immediately what I mean, Sergeant."

"Very well. I'll expect an explanation."

"Yes Sergeant. Break: Teams, purple monkey's at the south end of the block. Move in. Buyer is northbound on the west side of the block. Buyer is white male, black pants, black tank top. Go. Go."

We rolled out, rounded the corner even as the spotter completed the last 'go'. I am behind the broad back of the Silverback of Mission, pedaling hard, so I don't immediately see what causes him to slam his brakes on and chortle like a madman.

I get the bike stopped and dismount, only to trip over my own feet, stunned at what is making a weak effort to wobble away from us.

There in front of us is a very heavy white female with a purple monkey on her back. A big, hairy, purple monkey backpack.

The Silverback grabs her, as do I, nearly falling on my face I am laughing so hard.

"She had a monkey on her back," drew smiles from many a face over the next few weeks, and even now, thinking about it, I can't help but grin from ear to ear.