There was a young man who moved to our town named Frederick who managed to get all over my wrong side in a hurry.
Near as I can tell, his mama gave him anything he wanted from the time he learned to point. In her eyes, he could do absolutely no wrong.
He was, in plain language, spoiled bloody rotten. Top this with the fact that Frederick was 5 foot, 4 inches tall and the possessor of one well-fed Napoleon Complex, should enable anyone to forsee the trail of smacked-around girlfriends, lost brawls, unreturned rental movies, unpaid gasoline, burn-out marks, skipped bills, hot checks, harrassing phone calls, and a record number of Public Disturbance and Disorderly Conduct calls -- except, apparently, his mother. Who also moved to our fair town.
I believe he holds the record for shooting to the top of the Sheriff's Smoke List.
There I was...
I was patrolling the west side of town one balmy Friday night, when about 3 in the A.M. I saw headlights up the street that looked ... wrong.
I pulled up to the house and immediately discovered that the reason the headlights looked wrong, was that they were coming from a car high-centred on the bank of a koi pond occupying the front lawn of a corner residence.
From the trail of brutally slaughtered garden gnomes, it appeared that the driver of the car had chosen a spot some twenty feet shy of the stop sign to make a right turn.
I parked the cruiser at the curb, turned on the lightbar and picked my way through the gnomic massacre to the drivers side of the expensive European convertible sportscar.
Since the window was rolled down, I could clearly see that the drivers seat was occupied by my favorite Frederick, who was making very careful movements of the steering wheel while peering blearily, albeit intently, through the windshield.
I cleared my throat, "Ahem. Sheriff's Office."
Freddie practically jumped out of the seat, whipped around and stared at me like a deer caught in headlights.
I waggled my fingers at him.
Freddie reached down and pushed the 'UP' button for the driver's side window, closing the convertible's window in my face (I guess), very carefully engaged the right hand turn signal, and gently turned the steering wheel to the right. The engine revved politely.
I stepped back and looked at the koi pond. Yep, still high-centred.
I will admit that I waited until Freddie had released a massive sigh of relief and shakily wiped his mouth before I tapped on the window glass.
I'm evil that way sometimes.
Young Freddie jumped damned near a foot out of the seat, clutched his fists to his chest and stared at me in a mixture of absolute confusion and just a bit of panic.
I made cranking motions with my hand. Freddie continued to stare at me. Getting a little irritated, I reached over the top of the window, unlocked and opened the door. Freddie promptly scrambled into the passenger seat, curled up into a little ball and began a loud, rapid, and totally unconvincing snoring.
I performed a Migraine Salute. Freddie peered at me through one eye, then began to snore even louder and faster. I moved the transmission into 'P', turned off the engine, dropped the keys into my pocket, walked around to the passenger side, and said politely, "Sheriff's Office, Freddie. Step out of the vehicle, please."
To which Young Freddie yelped, "Can'tsh choo shee I'm as... asleep?! Fug, funk, **** off, joo dumb***!"
I'm not exactly sure what the alcohol had been telling Freddie, but I don't think me getting a satisfying double handful of the front of his silk shirt and snatching him out the passenger seat of his car was part of the plan.
I love convertibles.
We wound up nose-to-nose, his toes a good six inches off the turf, and me smiling a very large, not-very-friendly-smile. "Are you awake now, Fred...Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what the hell have you been drinking?"
"Scroo ... screwd ... screwdrivers, joo fug ... fickin', ****ing maroon, no, moron."
"Okay, Freddie, let's go over to the nice cop car."
"Whafer ... wotsifor ... why?"
"Because I said so, Freddie."
"Joo got gotta tell me wha's ... why Ah'm bein' adrested for."
"Gnomicide and suspected DWI. You want to walk to my cruiser, or do I drag you?"
"'M gonna home. Choo .. joo talk to by lagyer in ... de ... de morn, 'Ey! Leggo de eer! Ear! Choo gogda by eer!"
We arrived at the cruiser, I retrieved Freddies wallet and called the S.O. to report my location and run a 27/28 and a 29. I noticed that while I was on the radio, Freddie was snivelling into one of those new-fangled cell phones. To his lawyer, I assumed.
I got my business done on the radio, gently inquired if Freddie wanted to perform some Standardized Field Sobriety Exercises, relieved Freddie of the phone, repeated my inquiry about the SFSEs, to which Freddie replied loudly and profanely in the affirmative.
He then proceeded to fail the SFSEs. Spectacularly.
Which led to Freddie getting hooked up and put into the back of the cruiser. Because it was a balmy Texas night (and to give Freddie somewhere other than the floorboard to hork, when required) I compassionately left the back window down.
I had just finished telling Dispatch to find a tow-truck driver with some experience at improvisation when I noticed a car hauling tail up the road towards my location. Said car screeched to a halt behind my cruiser with one tire perched comfortably on the curb, and the peroxide blonde driver exploded out and began to stomp to the cruiser. I jumped out, pointed at Freddie's mama and firmly said, "We've had this discussion before, Darla. Remember the words: 'Interfering with the Duty of an Officer'?"
"Why are you arresting my baby?!"
"Oh, baby! You're in handcuffs! Why is he in handcuffs!?"
"That would be under the 'arresting' part, Darla. Driving While Intoxicated." I gestured towards the car, the koi pond and the lawn with its pitiful population of decapitated Little Folk.
"He shaid ... said I kildt a ganomey. I din't meen too, but hesh wouldn't gegt ... get ... off my way! I'd hoknt de horn and evvrthing! Idt washn't my fault!" bawled Freddie.
"Darla, he drove his car over that lawn. He reeks of booze and he failed every single one of his sobriety tests. He's drunk, he was driving, and he's going to jail just as soon as the wrecker gets here."
"Bull****! My baby doesn't get drunk. Nobody can pass those ****ing sobriety tests! See?" Matching actions to words, Darla flung her head back, attempted to stab herself in the eye with a polycarbonate fingernail and tumbled against the side of my cruiser.
I immediately began to help her up, when I noticed that Darla's eyes were...awfully bloodshot. And under the pungent whiff of Chanel ... was that ... booze? Darla smacked my helping paw away and stood, swaying ever so gently, with her hands on her hips.
"See? My baby can't pass those tests because nobody can pass those ****ing tests!"
"Yeah!" yelped Freddie.
My smile was probably beatific.
"Actually, Freddie did the tests over here in front of the cruiser, where there's light."
Darla stomped around the front of my cruiser, attempted to touch her nose and caught herself on the hood of my car, glaring triumphantly at me.
"He also tried the walk-and-turn. Want me to show you how it's supposed to be done?"
"I ****ing know how it's supposed to be done!" So saying, she promptly failed that one, too. An angelic choir was softly singing hosannas in my ear, as I gently mentioned that Freddie had failed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, and surely she...
"I bet I've got a nystagmus too! Check and see!?"
"Yeah!" announced Freddie.
How could I say no?
When I was done with my light, Darla looked at me triumphantly, "See? What did I tell you?"
"You are totally correct, Darla," I said, feeling around for my spare set of handcuffs on the gear shift of the cruiser, "You said you'd fail the sobriety tests, and you did. Each and everyone."
"So, you're going to let my baby go?"
"Hell, no." I waved the handcuffs at her.
Took me five minutes to get that biting, screaming, kicking, clawing, spitting, cussing hellcat into the cruiser, I'm here to tell you.
Worth it, though.