April 08, 2008

Those Aren't My Pants: Laughter

Laughter: God's gift from stupid people to me and you...

As with our brave soldiers, sailors, marines, airman, firefighters, and other law enforcement personnel – my colleagues and I walk into work each day with the distinct possibility of dying a brutal and violent death (not something we like to contemplate, but a truth that must be acknowledged). While we choose not to dwell on this issue, it must nonetheless be dealt with for us to function at our called duties, so we cope, some with drink, others with fitness, families, hobbies, or adrenaline – but the coping skill that unites us all is humor. We do a job that 97.4% of the nation could not, and would not, do by choice or inclination and we keep our humanity and sanity by laughing at those who are smart enough not to be doing the job we do, but yet so dumb that they wind up on the wrong side of the right and the just.

We’ve all seen, or at least heard, that COPS clip where after the individual is searched by the Police and having found a rock of cocaine proclaims “those aren’t my pants!” Why take personal responsibility for one’s actions when you can yell from the roof tops that that illicit substance doesn’t belong to you, but is a friends’, who is such a good friend that he would let you borrow his pants, but not so good of a friend that you can remember his name – you guys must be real close and trusting, to share pants but not names. HA, me thinks thee protests too much…but those are nice pants so it could be true.

So, when we are presented the face of true stupidity: the man who tells me the murder weapon found in his car isn’t his, the women who claims the bra she is wearing (one of the most intimate items of clothing) which contains methamphetamine isn’t hers, or the juvenile who walks into my booking area wearing four separate pairs of pants swears up and down the bloody baseball bat confiscated by his principal was left by the previous occupant of said pants – which pair I never did get an answer – we just laugh, laugh, and laugh.

It may seem cruel to laugh at those caught in the cycle of violence and stupidity, and it is (for “but by the grace of God go I”), but it is also one’s saving grace (as I firmly believe the gift of humor is a gift from God himself). My colleagues and I will continue to laugh, cause that’s all we’ve got. If I tried to make sense of it all, I would go crazy. Endowed with a world class mind and middle class ambition, my vast understanding of social and criminal forces can explain the causes of illegal activities – but even I’m not smart enough to understand and explain how they always lose their shirt between the house, the bar, and the jail, why hardened killers still cry on the phone, why adult men resort to fisticuffs over a single cookie, or why they think the judge cares if their orange shirt matches their orange pants. I can’t explain it, so I laugh.

Next week, the Autobahn – where hilarity will ensue – Bavarian style.


Matty said...

As always, laugh-out-loud-funny!

I sometimes wonder if it would be better to post less but spent more time on each entry like you do. Then I realize my flaw is that which has always haunted me. I have a very short attention span. Even my senior thesis at UCCS sort of petered out after 20 or so pages (it really did go out with a whimper!). Anyway, I look forward to your weekly rants and Sarry enjoys them too.

Oh! Maybe sometime you can visit me over here. I know a guy that does prison ministry and it is brutal. In their system, if you don't have someone on the outside to bring you food regularly, you'll likely starve to death before finishing your sentence. That combined with the regular beatings, and the likelihood of contracting AIDS make even shorter incarcerations a death sentence at times. Of course, on the bright side, it is uncommon to receive anything longer than a 5 year term - even for multiple-victim, premeditated violent homicides.

mark said...

I would love to visit you guys! Mostly, I would to hang out with you guys and see your ministry in action. Also, since I'm a dork on the level of extreme, I mix work with pleasure. Last year on our spring break trip to Arizona I visit ol' sheriff joe's maricopa county jail - good times. Anyway, thanks for the positive feedback.