Have you ever had a policeman tell you to stop being a policeman? St. Bob has.
We used to live near a high school where teenagers would go speeding by after school, often running the stop sign on our corner. Several times Bob would jump in his car, somehow pull them over (I wasn’t in his car, so I’m not sure how he did this), and tell them to obey the laws. He may or may not have threatened to tell their parents, as well.
One time I was bringing him back from knee surgery for a torn meniscus when he literally got out of the car and shook his crutch at a kid speeding by.
Another time (I believe it’s called a stake-out) he watched a “beggar” in a parking lot who approached various shoppers for money, each time with a different story. He finally approached her, SAID HE WAS AN UNDERCOVER COP, and that she had better get out of there if she didn’t want to get arrested. What—for lying? And isn’t he caught red-handed in the act of lying, himself?
Finally a very kind officer came to the house and explained to Bob that, technically, he isn’t really a policeman. No kidding. Who else has to have this explained to them?
The officer was even nice enough to acknowledge that Bob was just trying to do the right thing (what—impersonate a policeman?), but that he needed to stop now. This is exactly how I would speak to the patients in my mother’s care facility when their Alzheimers would make them forgetful, and they would steal pastries from the dining room. Okay, it was just her. But I tried to use the same patient, understanding tone of voice. It’s a voice that says, “I know you’re crazy, but I’m trying not to judge.”
The other day we were on the freeway when a dreadful driver swerved in and out of traffic. Bob, at the wheel, was appalled. “Pull ‘em over,” I said. Hey. Plenty of people go into retirement and then come out again— Garth Brooks, Cher, Joaquin Phoenix, Jay Z, Michael Jordan, Frank Sinatra. You’ll be in good company.
And every one of those people has ordered my books. Okay, that's a lie. I just didn't want Bob to feel as if he's the only fibber in today's blog.