By Alexa Day
The squeaky clean good guy has never really done anything for me, much to my mother’s chagrin. Don’t get me wrong; they’re great guys who deserve every happiness. I just think they’re a little predictable, and I’m easily bored. As I toyed with this week’s theme, trying to decide if I wanted to write about cops or robbers, I found myself leaning toward the bad boys again.
Not the robbers. In their own way, they’re just as predictable as the squeaky clean good guys.
I’m talking about bad cops.
I don’t mean major league corruption or anything like that. That kind of thing threatens the fabric of society as a whole, and I depend on the fabric being fairly strong, even though society and I have had our disagreements. I’m looking at the bad cop on a much smaller scale.
Actually, let’s call him a naughty cop instead. I saw an article earlier this week about the new naughty, so I think that’s appropriate.
Say I’m on a deserted road, late at night. There’s no one back here, so I’m probably speeding. It’s the end of the month, so our friendly neighborhood law enforcement officer is hanging out in the median or on the shoulder in the dark. When I blow by him, he turns on the lights and sirens (I love the British expression “blues and twos”), but I’m not going to pull over right away. First, I pull into the right lane, so that he can go by me after the “real criminals.” Then, I have to savor a couple of minutes of outrage while I pretend I don’t know why he’s coming after me.
For the squeaky clean cop, this is just part of the job. For the naughty cop, the side of the road is where all the fun starts.
The naughty cop knows what his body looks like from my vantage point in the driver’s seat. He knows how to move as he comes forward to meet me. His hips and that formidable belt are at my eye level. He towers over the car. I have to adjust my position to meet his gaze, but he’s got that big law enforcement flashlight pointed at me. Sure, I’m in control of a large metal weapon, but he’s really in charge here. When he tells me to turn off the engine, I’m going to do it. When he tells me he wants my license and registration, I’m going to produce them. He’ll say please, but we both know it’s a formality.
He’ll check out my ID with the flashlight while I eye the gun on his hip. The shape of the holster is surprisingly large in the shadows. After a minute, he’s going to ask whether I know how I got pulled over.
On the side of the road, there are two versions of reality: mine and his. His is the only one that’s going to matter. No one will choose to believe what I say about what’s happening here, unless he endorses it. So how much trouble am I willing to get into … in order to get out of trouble?
Well, he’s in charge out here. So the only limits are the ones imposed by his sense of morality, and the naughty cop’s sense of morality is very fluid. There’s no way to know what’s going to happen next, and that’s nice to think about, right?
A couple of months ago in my honest-to-God real life, I was merrily speeding down the highway on the way to the gym when a police car cut in behind me. The sharp movement in the rearview caught my eye. He wasn’t casually following me to the next exit; it was too far away for that. He was trying to get my attention.
I see you. I know you’re speeding. Keep it up and face a consequence.
For a second, I was actually really excited. Whoa ho, state trooper! A consequence! I hadn’t even bothered to make an excuse for the speeding. I was flying, officer! What’s my consequence?
Then common sense kicked in, just in time to remind me that I was speeding and that the cop behind me was going to write me a ticket. There would be no hot ultimatum, no opportunity to persuade him into considering my version of events. There would only be the ticket, and a court date I wouldn’t be able to make, and then an increase in my insurance premium.
I slowed down. My insurance is already out of control. I like to keep a healthy distance between myself and reality, but you know the tune. Objects in the mirror are closer and more expensive than they appear.
Right. Good thing my imagination’s even closer than that, and it’s still free. Even in this economy.
It’s so cool to be here, and I look forward to catching you every Sunday! I know it’s a peaceful time of the week for most people. But if you follow us here at Lady Smut, our posts go right to your inbox, and that’s nice, right?