It usually goes something like this: you’re in a local eatery, maybe getting some coffee at Starbucks, or maybe you’re just browsing the Italian Neo-Realist titles available at your local Blockbuster(I’ve given you, the reader – in a hypothetical scenario, very cultured taste. Be grateful.). Then all of a sudden, the door flies open and this incredibly confident, strapping young man waltzes in. A cop. Maybe he’s in uniform, maybe not. He’s wearing sunglasses and leaves them on well after he has found solace from the sun’s pestering rays. It almost feels like he’s walking in slow motion. You swear that “Love Gun” by Kiss is accompanying this incredible entrance but you soon realize that it’s this incredible aura that this young man exudes simply tricking your psyche into hearing “Love Gun” by Kiss at this particular moment. All of the girls in the place want him, all of the guys want to be him, and young children decide then and there that they want to be a police officer in a relatively safe, small town when they grow up.
Cops who think they’re famous, probably.
And as you watch this strapping young man’s behavior, you realize something is off. That is, if you aren’t instantly made googley-eyed by shallow posturing that exudes false confidence. This realization will be compounded if you knew this young man before he became a police officer. He’s somewhat less approachable and friendly than he used to be. He carries a demeanor that suggests common folk should be grateful to be in his presence. He might even, without a shred of irony, treat local 24-hour diner employees as if they’re completely beneath him, as if he wasn’t working in the service industry himself before his foray into Parking Your Car Near Things You Shouldn’t Enforcement. Sorry, Law Enforcement.
Now, clearly this isn’t the case with all town cops. I know plenty and most of them are stand-up, decent people. One of my closest friends just graduated from the police academy and I even considered pursuing the career myself for a spell. But still, this mini-phenomena is prevalent enough to warrant discussing. Through some modest research, there have been confirmed examples of similar cases found in suburbs in Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, and of course, North Jersey. As far I know, this sort of thing is pretty much exclusive to law enforcement. What I mean is it’s pretty much the only career outside of, say, hugely successful rapper-turned-business mogul and ungrateful professional athlete that sees such unapologetic arrogance and self-satisfied smugness from those in its field. I mean, Christ, I’ve hung out with Paul Rudd for fuck’s sake! He was far more of a gracious, genuine human being than some of these twat muscles who were placed into stable, high-growth careers for what amounts to little more than the head-bobbing and wrist-twisting technique of their fathers.
Me with an actual famous person. (2007)
Why is this? Is it the stability of their career? I’ve yet to come across an accountant or teacher prone to such inexplicable pomposity. Is it the money? I realize that these guys are going to top out between 80 and 100 grand per year, which is great, but most of what I’m talking about is coming from people pulling in about 30-40 grand ATIA(At –Time-of-Insane-Arrogance). In that case, I’m not seeing regional managers at TGIFriday’s socially snubbing people as if they’re James Belushi when someone reminds him that he’s not one of the actual Blues Brothers. So, right. It’s not the money either. In all likelihood, it’s a simple case of feeding a little bit of power to a person so small and so insecure in character that they’re completely willing to own it without any semblance of grace or modesty.
Me with actual police officers who don’t care for my observations.
I urge you, kind reader, to point out any instances of unwarranted arrogance from small-town law enforcement agents. Hell, point it out when it happens. Say, “Hey, I knew that guy in high school and he was a total fuck up and now he’s screaming at a bus boy for making eye contact with him! Hahahahahaha!”. Say it all loud and urge anyone within earshot to look at him. I mean, what the hell is he possibly going to do? At the time of my last reading of the New Jersey Code, there was no violation you could possibly be arrested or cited for for simply pointing out that a police officer is being a condescending dick, so long as you refrain from threats or any sort of wild spectacle that could be perceived as a public disturbance. Who watches the watchmen? We do. And I leave you, the reader, with that call to action.