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Friday, July 30, 2004

Buddy Cop Cliché Essay

What would you do if your partner got killed right in front of you? A guy who had been next to you in the squad car for 15 years? A guy who was only two days away from retirement? If you were a humor essayist like me, bent on vengeance, you would dedicate your life to tracking down the scumbag who did it and bring him or her to justice. I say him or her because, although it happened right in front of me, I can’t be positively certain as to the gender of the scumbag. If it was a woman, then I must say that she wasn’t completely unattractive. If it was a man, then not only do I have a vicious criminal to apprehend, I also have some issues of my own to deal with. As they say in buddy cop clichés, I'm getting too old for this shit.

I’m on my own now, a lone wolf out for justice. It is just me and the creep who killed my literary partner by hitting the delete key on my laptop while I was in the bathroom. I came out and he was gone. I miss him now. I miss every cop movie cliché that made up his character. I miss him practically spitting on the U.S. Constitution with every arrest that he made. I miss how he would piston-whip a suspect to within an inch of his life before realizing that he had the wrong guy. I know you didn’t approve of his methods but he kept the streets safe for people like you.

If you want nonviolence, if you want peace and love, then try calling a hippie the next time you get mugged. On the other hand—with all sarcasm aside—if you need dope, then I suggest you call a hippie, because the weed those dudes have these days will blow your freaking mind. So in review: Call a sadistic, sociopathic cop for muggings and call a hippie for any reefer needs.

So I’m in my office the other day and I’m thinking, “I’m a lone wolf, what the hell am I even doing with an office? I should be out on the street tracking down leads.” Then I remember that I got a really cool espresso machine for Christmas last year that is in my office, so that is why I’m in my office. Sure, I’m a hard-nosed cop who doesn’t play by the rules but I enjoy a good cup of coffee as much as the next guy. I’m as tough as nails but I hate it when I order a latte with skim milk and then they use the same steamer that they just used to make a whole milk latte.

The captain walks in and tells me that I have a new partner. He’s a green rookie, still new behind the ears, or wet, or something like that. All I know is that he has something behind his ears, but I can’t quite tell what color it is without my glasses. Great, now I’m babysitting a kid with some kind of ear infection.

“Go get me a coffee, rookie. Cream and sugar,” I tell him.

“You’re already drinking a double espresso.”

“Shut up, rookie. Make it a decaf.”

We leave the office. I drive. This rookie wouldn’t know a backspace key from a spell check. He looks ahead nervously as I floor it. He points out that I just missed a stop and then braces himself against the dash and yells that I am running at full speed into a run-on sentence and perhaps I should throw in a period or at least a coma and this is getting pretty dangerous I slam on the brakes.

“Listen, rookie. I’m going to get this guy, or girl, or possibly a female impersonator. We can’t rule out the possibility of a female impersonator. Some of them are quite convincing these days. And don’t forget about transsexuals. Oh boy, that’s a whole other can of worms. Anyway, I’m going to get this person and I don’t care how I do it. So you can take your Strunk and White Elements of Style and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Got it, Mister big shot English major?”

I know my way around these streets. As a cop you get to know every two-bit hustler, every drug dealer, and every hooker in the city. Granted, I knew most of them before I was a cop but that really isn’t any of your business, is it? Maybe in your world of cook-outs and little league games things are black and white, but in the world of a humor essayist it gets a little more complicated. Technically speaking the screen is black and white, but I’m talking about the investigating I do. If I’m going to do an essay making fun of funny foreign accents, I need to interview some hookers. Like I said, it’s complicated. I wouldn’t expect a civilian like you to understand.

Buckle your seat belts; it’s time for that standard of buddy cop adventures: The Chase Scene. If you think chase scenes are boring and cliché in movies wait until you read one in print. Watch out for that vegetable cart! No, that’s a one way street! Lots and lots of tires screeching. The bridge is going up; do you think we’ll make it? Do you? Of course we will because consider the story options if we don’t make it. I use the word ‘story’ very loosely here because up until now this isn’t much of a story. If you don’t mind I’m just going to put on the cruise control and take a nap in the back seat.

And now for the cliché finale: They were a group of rank amateurs, just kids, really, but they had a dream—except  the one kid who was really sick. He died of cancer, which only made the others play harder. The Americans went on to beat the heavily-favored Al Qaeda hockey team to bring home the Olympic Gold Medal. Wait a second. That’s the feel-good movie cliché ending. This one ends in a bloodbath and then I get some sort of girl or female impersonator or medal for a job well done.

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