Monday, December 10, 2012

In which we were two weeks early to a party and I got all mouthy with the cops

I don't know how you are with authority. Me, I am a first-born rule follower.

When rules are stupid, I work around them. I learned a long time ago with my dad that it was best to just agree and then quietly do what I wanted. I am not a face-to-face suck it authority! kind of person.


Early last Friday evening I was walking up 18th Street, and there was a police car blocking the road. There were multiple sirens going in the background. A helicopter was circling overhead with a spotlight going.

I immediately wondered if they were looking for an escaped convict.

Because I am nosy and because I was on foot and thus not blocked by the police car, I continued up towards the commotion. And also because I would know exactly what to do if faced with an escaped convict, naturally.

I could see police cars and ambulances, but police tape was blocking off the sidewalks pretty far down the block. I asked a guy directing traffic what was going on, and he said, “Accident.”

Accident being far less compelling than escaped convict, my curiosity was assuaged, and I continued on my merry way.

It turns out that a car crashed into the McDonalds in Adams Morgan. Like, just plain drove into the wall and took out a chunk of it. Crazy, huh?


A few hours later, we’d just gotten Jordan into bed and were about to head out to a Christmas party. I asked Nick if he had the address, and he looked and said, “It’s not on my calendar.” Which was surprising, because every social thing we do together goes into Outlook.

But I insisted that it had been in his calendar, and it must be there, and this was the evening and we had to get going because did he know how late it was getting? I may have gotten a little shrill.

He found the address in his contacts, and we headed out to catch a cab. We arrived at the address, paid the cab, and hopped out. And then noticed that the house was completely dark.

So weird. Did we have the right address, Nick? Yes. Were we supposed to be in NE rather than NW, Nick? No.

I called a mutual friend who I knew was planning to be there. Because what the hell? She answered...and informed me that the party, indeed on a Friday, is not until the 21st.

Oh. Well, then. Nevermind.

Aaaand so we hailed another cab, and headed back to our neighborhood, and decided to take the opportunity to have a date night. After a lot of rush rush rush, it was quite nice to just hang out the two of us.

After dinner, we stopped at the Diner to get Betty some coconut cream pie for her Rachel Maddow watching.

The police tape was still around. Less than earlier, but more, it seemed to me, than necessary. It blocked off the sidewalk where we were walking, and there were cars driving in the street. To keep walking forward not in traffic, I stepped over one strip of the tape and headed towards the crosswalk, where there was a break in the tape.

Basically, I was walking in a little police taped-off strip of road.

I was about a foot from the crosswalk when a police officer - one of oh, 15 hanging out in front of the McDonald's, charged over and yelled, "Do you not see the police tape?"

The tape that I had to step over? The other tape I was contemplating stepping over, until I realized that I'd get hit by a car? The three feet of tape I was walking between to get to a crosswalk? That tape?

I didn't say that. But by that point, after getting two kids fed, bathed, to bed, rushing to look presentable, rushing across town to a not-party, heading back...I was verging on belligerent.

So I looked her straight in the eye with my yes, imbecile look - one I perfected over years and years of dating - and said, "Of course I see the tape."

She got all bulldog-y and bellowed, "Then why are you walking in there?"

Immediately, five of her male cronies stopped chit-chatting and wheeled our direction. Seriously.

As I said, I was feeling beligerent, and was just drawing in a breath and opening my mouth to suggest something along the lines of perhaps they might make better use of my tax dollars by, I don't know, trying to actually stop some crime rather than hanging out at McDonald's when my husband took very firm hold of my arm.

"We're moving along, officer." He looked at the guys and said, very politely, "It's fine. We're going."

To me, he said, "Come on, honey." He steered me calmly and deliberately forward across the street.

I, on the other hand...You know sometimes you see a dog on a leash, and they're being pulled, but they're scrambling with their front legs and straining their head back towards a tree or bush they really want to pee on? That was me.

"But I was almost at the crosswalk. What were they even blocking off there? It was so stupid!"

"I know. But nothing good comes of mouthing off to the police. They have to be in control. You keep it up, and they will book you, and ultimately they'll let you go, but it'll waste our entire night."

"Charge me with what? Not jaywalking?"

(Strain towards the tree. Drop the leash, drop the leash...)

"Lisa." He had A Tone.

He was, in fact, right. We headed home.

And you know, now that I think about it, I was wearing all black, and I did have on my very high platform boots. Maybe I look like a kick-ass menacing ninja? One that could single-handedly fight off six cops?

That thought pleases me immensely, actually.


  1. I employed that exact strategy for all of my childhood and a good portion of my adult life. Until about 2 years ago, when the therapy really started kicking in.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they were intimidated. You have some very fierce boots.

    1. After much much therapy I am now able to be quite direct with people with whom I have personal I no longer have my dad, who was both an authority figure and often not a terribly rational person. I could be direct with him (in later adult years) on some things, but on many things it was best to just agree and quietly go about my business.

      And thank you. I doubt they were, but I like the idea. :)

  2. Nick is probably right and I'm glad he acted to protect you from arrest.

    I'm totally on your side and in full agreement you could have taken down those cops. You're my hero. If ever I need a Ninja, may I call or text you?

    Oh! To see the look you gave the cop and hear what you had to say! Your beautiful gloves with spikes would absolutely have been in your favor versus the cops too. You could procure that huge Ford as your Ninja-mobile....

    1. Thank you for having my back. Of course you can call me! I'd be your heavy any day. You need me to cut a bitch for you? I'm there.

      Alas, wasn't wearing the studded gloves! And it turns out it wasn't a Ford was a Suburban. Who knew?

  3. They had those cones up against the sidewalk, forcing people to walk in the street, until the following day. At some point they finally moved them in enough so people didn't have to walk on the street. Totally mindless thinking on the part of whoever-is-in-charge-department.

    1. Yes, mindless thinking on the part of whoever-is-in-charge-department! Excellent way to put it!

  4. I am a firt-born rule-follower, too, but there are circumstances that just call for beligerence. Feels good, too! Go, Lisa!

    1. You are so right - it totally feels good!

  5. there is not a doubt in my mind that the cops were totes terrified to be forced to confront an ass kicking (and fashionable) ninja! she clearly gave the secret international sign for "backup! i need backup!" as soon as she realized with whom she was reckoning.


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