Police Story (part two)-- 07/09/03

[This is a continuation of Police Story (part one) -- my adventures during the summer of 1966, the summer I was a cop.]

I was tempted to label this "Sex and the City" -- thinking of one anecdote led to thinking of another related one, etc. and thus, a theme. Hmm, perhaps I could label it "The Naked City"?

You see, as I mentioned in Part One, the six of us who were signed up with the police department, worked a special shift that overlapped the last four hours of the 4:00 to midnight shift and the first four hours of the midnight to 8:00 shift. (Except for taking turns, one week in six, with daytime duty at the public beach.)

Spend four hours driving around with somebody and you will spend a lot of time talking, just to pass the time. Time to tell stories...

And some of that driving around may go past various lover's lane areas -- which, on hot summer nights, may be occupied. And, you never know where you will find a couple improvising a lover's lane...

One night I was partnered with one of the sharpest cops on the force, a guy about 30 years old, had recently been promoted to sergeant -- call him "Bill." Bill was driving while I sat shotgun. He drove up the access road to a golf course, mostly just cruising around, but there had been some vandalism there a week or two earlier, so the word was out to check it once in a while and he had turned off the headlights as we turned into the access road. Just after the entry road curved behind some trees so that it was no longer visible from the public street, there was a car parked on the side of the road. Bill stopped, flipped on our highbeams. Two heads popped up into view in the front seat of the parked car. "This is the police. Please step out of your vehicle with your hands clasped on top of your head." There was a pause, some movement in the front seat. Bill repeated his instructions. A young man got out of the driver side and a young woman got out of the passenger side. They were both dressed -- or undressed -- the same; what they had been able to pull on while getting out of the car; he was wearing boxer shorts and she was wearing bikini panties and attempting to cover her bare breasts with her left arm while holding her right hand on her head. Bill told her she could face away from us if she wanted, but to keep both hands on her head. He went through the license and vehicle registration routine with the guy and then suggested that we would all be more comfortable if they were to get dressed. Once she was dressed, he asked her to confirm that she had not been forced into any acts against her will and then asked for proof of identity, to be certain that she was not a minor.

"Okay, now I know you two are really embarrassed by this, but let me tell you that you should consider yourselves to be lucky. Who knows who might come along this road? It could have been a watchman for the country club and then you might be facing trespassing charges. It could have been some gang of punks and you might be robbed and raped. So do yourselves a big favor and the next time you want to get it on, invest a few bucks in a motel room and you can do it in air-conditioned comfort on a nice big bed."

The couple drove off -- we trailed them out of the country club and along the city streets until they turned onto one of the major through streets. All the while Bill wondered about the couple: would they fight about this and break up or would they head for a motel to resume the activities we had interrupted? I suggested they might fight about it and then head for a motel to enjoy making up after the fight. Bill laughed and told me how one night, a few years earlier, he had been called to the country club for a minor fender-bender in the parking lot -- some kind of gala event was going on there, everyone in formal wear -- and as he was leaving, driving along the other access road, he thought he saw something shiny and white on the golf course. He parked and began to walk carefully out onto the course. What had caught his eye was an evening gown on the turf. A white dinner jacket lay nearby. he continued walking and finding more garments. He crested a rise and saw the apparent owners of those garments, no longer wearing anything at all, making love in the summer moonlight.

"She saw me first and gasped or something and then he looked over his shoulder and saw me and rolled off of her and they both began babbling at me, afraid I was going to arrest them. It seems they were married, to each other that is, but they'd been having a tough time of it and had recently separated. They had even come to the ball separately, but then they had a couple of drinks and got to talking and then to dancing and then off onto the fairway in the moonlight together. They said it was incredibly erotic or something and it was saving their marriage and the magic was coming back. So I told them that nobody had complained to me so maybe I never saw anything but they had better pick up their clothes from where folks driving out of the parking lot could see and get everything over the other side of that little hill so they were hidden from the road. Damned if they didn't do just that, both of them naked as jaybirds, went and picked up their clothes and both shook my hand and thanked me and took their stuff over the hill and out of sight of the road and I figured I'd better leave them in the privacy they didn't seem to worry about. Ha! 'Incredibly erotic' my ass!"

Bill laughed.

"Now I always wonder about that, did I do the right thing? Like would he come up to me sometime and say 'Man, you saved my marriage, thank you, we've been so happy together ever since'? Or would he say 'Damn! You ruined my life. That bitch took me for every dime I ever earned and put me through a living hell'? Which would it be? You never know how things'll turn out."

Maybe there's something about driving around for hours and hours, but a lot of cops seem to like to tell stories and then to spin philosophical thoughts about them.

Another cop -- "A.J." -- handsome, athletic, dark chocolate skin, outgoing personality -- told me a tale about an adventure -- or misadventure -- of his own, just the prior summer. A.J. had a reputation of being a real ladies man, a guy who always had more than one girl on his line. His love life was the topic of a lot of joking around the cop shop, and one night when I was assigned to ride with him a couple of the guys were kidding him about something. As we cruised around that night he told me the story.

The previous summer the two guys who had been kidding him this night had been riding him about having seen him parked various places (he drove a big old Cadillac) getting it on with various women, or so they professed to believe. He denied all and told them that anytime they thought they saw him, they should just come over and say "hi."

(You can see where this is going already, can't you?) A.J. had been after a certain young cutie and had at last worn down her resistance and they were parked in the huge empty parking lot at the public beach about two a.m. (as he put it) "in that big back seat together with nothing on but my wristwatch" when a car slowly drove into the parking lot. She started to pull away but he recognized that it was a police car and told her not to worry, they would recognize his car and leave them alone. She was just about to surrender to his persuasion when the cruiser pulled along side and the inside of his car was lit up like day by spotlights shining in the window and an amplified voice shouted "Hi, A.J. old buddy! Are you getting laid?"

A.J. sighed. "After that she got her clothes on and all she would say was 'Take me home!' So I took her home. The next time I saw those two I was so pissed but they just laughed and said they'd only done just what I had told them to. And they were right, but damn, she was so sweet and she never would let me get into her pants."

Okay, one more.

There was a rule against smoking on the street while in uniform, so when we walked beats we would walk off the street to "inspect" parking lots or something when we wanted a smoke. So one night one of the guys (one of us summer rookies -- but not me) was walking the uptown beat, covering what was the main in-town retail district. He walked into a municipal parking lot to grab a smoke and, just to make it look as if he were really doing something, he walked back by a car parked at the rear of the parking lot. He stopped at the side of the car, as if he were checking it for something, when he realized that there was a couple stretched out on the back seat in full sexual congress -- they looked up at him -- and continued their activity without missing a beat. He dropped his cigarette and left. He later attempted to explain that he had no idea what to do (after the first week or so we walked beats solo) -- write a traffic ticket for sex in a parking lot? So he went down the street to an all-night diner and had a cup of coffee. When he retraced his steps he found the same car was still in the parking lot and the couple, now fully dressed, was sitting in the front seat smoking. He told them "If you're finished, I think you can go now." His big mistake was to tell this story. It instantly spread through the entire department and he became the target of risque humor for the rest of the summer. (I must confess that I don't know what I would have done in the same situation. When you were walking a beat you were out of communication; just report in once an hour using a police call box. A little difficult arresting people when you are by yourself on foot with no means of communication. And what, exactly, would the charge be? Illegal parking?)

I've been working from home all day. Yesterday I had said that I would probably go for a run on a beach this morning, but I just worked all morning from a little past 6 a.m., just taking time at lunch to drive Nancy to eye doctor and back (she had to get those drops that dilate your eyes) and stopping to pick up sandwiches for lunch at Subway. It's almost 6 p.m. now, I've finished my journal-entry break and plan on working for a while longer. Maybe I'll still be able to get in a run before it gets too dark.

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