August 28, 2011


Are you getting scared by all the real-life film-as-it-happens cop shows on TV?
I am.
Last night, I watched two back-to-back episodes of COPS.  I think these people are running out of locations that will have them.  They never seem to shoot in large cities, where the real crime is.  This particular episode was shot in Skunk Pit, Arkansas.  During this first half hour show, I witnessed a 40 mph car chase ending with an exciting speeding ticket, after which the cop got back in the car and expounded for the camera about how the whole world is in such a hurry, and his granny, bless her soul, always said that folks ought to just slow down and smell the flowers.
Next, he arrested a prostitute who happened to be smelling flowers at the time.
There followed a jaywalker and a six-year-old boy who had stolen a piece of candy (followed by a lecture to the camera about what a shame it is for one so young to be turning to a life of crime; followed by the officer’s “great” imitation of Don Corleone).
End of the first show.
I left the room to take an Alka-Seltzer (I think it was the Don Corleone impression that did it).  When I came back, the second show was in full swing, focusing on a 911 domestic violence call.  This show was shot in Bupkis, Arizona.
“Have to be really careful going in on a domestic violence call.  People inside could be armed.  Emotions are running pretty high,” the officer said, looking grimly into the camera and narrowly missing a pedestrian.
Arriving at the scene, he immediately called for back-up.  While he waited, he pulled an accordion out of the back seat and entertained the viewing audience with renditions of “Lady of Spain,” “The Beer Barrel Polka,” and Mozart’s “Jupiter Symphony.”  Just before I slipped into a coma, the back-up arrived.  In record time, too…only took twenty minutes.
And what back-up!  Twelve police cruisers form the three surrounding towns (Bupkis only had the one cruiser, apparently).  All the officers hopped out and crouched behind their vehicles, guns drawn.  It was really starting to look like “Alice’s Restaurant” revisited, with our Officer Obie, once again, in charge.  Photos were taken of the outside of the house.  Tire track casts were made.  Bloodhounds were turned loose.
And this was before Officer Obie even rang the bell.
As it turned out, the phone inside had been mistakenly knocked off the hook, and the family had been watching a television special about spousal abuse when the cat stepped on the 911 speed dial button.
But things were not to end there, as much as I prayed they would.  God was obviously not finished torturing me yet. Another call came in.  This time, it was a report of disturbance of the peace.  Off Officer Obie sped.
“The report said that there’s screaming and yelling going on at 322 Webb Lane.  He passed the time on the way to the scene by performing an assortment of coin tricks, while simultaneously coming within inches of two trees, a bridge abutment, and a house.
At last, he arrived at 322 Webb.
The Presbyterian Church.
Apparently, he was supposed to arrest everyone for participating in choir practice.  The complaint, it was later discovered, was lodged by the choir director of the Methodist Church next door.
It makes me proud that police are serving and protecting by tracking down these sorts of miscreants and desperadoes.  Tell the truth…don’t you feel safer?

August 14, 2011



LOS ANGELES – Five waiters at the Rodeo Grille restaurant were sentenced to prison terms of three years each for harassment of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, and Sylvester Stallone while the actors were having lunch last week.  The waiters surrounded the booth, trapping the three muscular megastars, and then, according to the actors, attempted to set Sylvester Stallone on fire.
“I felt so…so…violated…so used,” Schwarzenegger said, close to tears.  A pale, visibly shaken Jackie Chan echoed his sentiments, adding, “I felt so helpless, so victimized, you know?”
As a result of this, and many traumas like it experienced by celebrities all over L.A., Sylvester Stallone is donating the proceeds from his next film to fund the construction of the Safe Haven for the Culturally Confused.  This institute will offer therapy sessions and support groups to celebrities who just can’t take the fans, the adoration, and the notoriety any longer.
Stallone will be starring with Dolly Parton, Richard Simmons, and Rush Limbaugh in the long-awaited production of William Shakespeare’s HAMLET.  Chris Farley will be playing the ghost of Hamlet’s father; and Jerry van Dyke, in his dramatic debut as Laertes, promises to be one of the highlights of the picture.
When questioned further about the waiter incident, Stallone said, “Fame is a curse.  It’s absolutely disgusting that I can’t go out for a quiet lunch without being accosted.  We are sending a message with these jail sentences and I feel totally vindicated!”
Yes, it’s quiet in the Rodeo Grille tonight.  The entire waitstaff is in jail, having learned their lesson for trying to bring a birthday cake to Sylvester Stallone’s table.