Tuesday, March 4, 2008

OFFICER KENNY: a true story

Rarely does Goldmind's Unwind feature non-fiction material, but there's a first time for everything and this little tale was too precious to not share with our devoted readers. I, numbsain, will be your narrator, retelling the event exactly as it happened.

During a visit to the beautiful city of San Francisco a few years back, my ten year old daughter, my lovely girlfriend and I found ourselves at a loss for bearings and decided to stop and ask for directions. Just moments later, I was pleased to see one of San Francisco's finest, positioned conveniently upon a grassy median directly in our path.

This apparent "officer of the lawn" appeared to be uncharacteristically relaxed for a man in uniform, as he stood akimbo, staring at, what seemed to be, the 1/4 acre of air directly in front of him. As I approached, I was disarmed by his total failure to acknowledge my encroachment into his personal space. Nonetheless, as I uttered a polite, "pardon me," I felt as though I were interrupting an audience member during a touching scene in a movie, based on the several second delay before his head started moving in my direction, which mind you, was still a good second or two before his gaze made the journey to my countenance.

As it did, I was greeted with a warm smile of approval, which I found comforting, coming from a man of his authority, until I realized that our eyes had not quite met, but rather, his gaze was meant for a small convocation of jays which had alighted just meters beyond my starboard bow. That, however, did not deter me from following through with my intention, which was to ask: "Would you happened to know the whereabouts of Ocean Avenue?" Demonstrating the mental accuity one would expect from a man of his position, he quickly determined the meaning of my words and simultaneously composed an almost monosyllabic response: "Uh...Yeah."

Comforted as I was to know that this "peaceful officer" was indeed privy to this geographical information, despite his having the unburnished gloss of the type of mentality free individual one might find scattered lazily on the beaches of Malibu, leaning up against a surfboard, I still felt I needed to pry further into the depths of his psyche and request that he divulge said information to me for navigational purposes.

At this point, I couldn't help noticing that his attire was just a tad in disarray. But the two buttons undone on a sloppily tucked shirt, paled in significance to the slightest smidgeon of boxers poking coyly above a zipper, which apparently never quite made it to the top of the fly in his trousers after the last visit to the "little officers room." Knowing that these minor indiscretions would invalidate any citation he might choose to issue me, for whatever reason, I felt completely comfortable now, to walk that fine line between sincerity and sarcasm that is so effective in providing some of the most amusing moments possible in dealings with figures of authority.

"Do you think perhaps you might share that information with us" I said stifling a snicker with every ounce of strength I had. And now was when the real fun began. Utterly oblivious to my sarcasm, this young man in blue, clearly recognizing the need to now display his prowess as a representative of the police force, straightened his back and with a flip of his dirty-blond hair, began the following soliloquy:

"Oh, yeah, well dude, whatcha gotta do is, well, like, see that street down there, like behind that, like, tree? Well check it out, if you, like, make a right there, then you'll go past, like, 19th avenue and um like... shit what is it? uh, like some other street, then you'll totally pass Pacheco, uh-huh-huh that one I know cause my mom lives on Pacheco, I always stop off there for a tunafish sandwich. Dude my mom makes the best tunafish sandwiches and I really like tunafish... I wonder where it comes from... prob'ly the ocean huh?...Oh yeah! Ocean Avenue! well if you, like, just keep going that way you'll hit it, but it's kinda far, dude."

At this point we were all aware that we had just witnessed something very special and unquestionably unique to the city by the bay, but rather than elate just yet, I managed to translate my involuntarily nodding head into a sufficient response and salutation of thanks as to allow our departure from this rare and lovely person, without raising any suspicion as to our amusement, leaving him unsullied, the priceless treasure he was when first we encountered him.

As I slowly rolled away, I glanced over at my two passengers, whose expressions were a combination of controlled glee and poised hilarity, and quoted the policemans motto: "To protect and serve." At which point, we all burst out in uproarious laughter. We still share highlights of our encounter with "Officer Kenny," a name we gave him for lack of another, and one whose mention alone amuses and delights us to this day.

by numbsain

No comments: