Thursday, August 15, 2013

How To Keep Officer Friendly Happy

For the record, I never ate a donut on duty while in uniform. I did, however, partake of scones, muffins, and the occasional croissant. What can I say? I hated being typecast.

Sugar glaze makes people happy. In an unofficial, unscientific poll, most people agree they would rather encounter a happy cop more than any other type. To that end, here are a couple of tips to ensure that your interaction with Officer Friendly remains that way.

1.  Refrain from telling officers that you pay their salary. If you must remind them, don't be insulted if you're handed your dime back.

2.   Going a little too fast? Suggesting the officer's time could be better spent chasing real criminals is a surefire way to earn a ticket.

3.   There's no need to ask a male officer if he likes playing with his gun.  The answer is yes, the question is stupid.

4.   The uniform does not determine a female officer's sexual orientation. Asking for a date will not help your cause.

5.   Challenging an officer to take off his or her badge and shouting "C'mon!" is completely unnecessary.  Pull a punch and we will fight.  No need to take off the badge, and you still get to go to jail.

6.   Think before asking an officer if your friend can take a picture of you in the back seat of the patrol car while partying downtown on a Friday night. You might get your wish. No, the doors don't open from inside.

7.   Cops get meal breaks. They are often interrupted by an emergency call. If you have an emergency, by all means, please stop by the table. Asking how to get out of a traffic ticket does not qualify.

8.   Police cars are not taxis, but if you need to go to jail, we'll see what we can do. No charge.

9.   Flashing a laser pointer at us will end badly for you. We have laser pointers too. Ours are called scopes and they have a higher caliber.

10.  Say hello! Just please remember to use all your fingers when you wave.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sharks, Scotch and Janet Reid

Janet Reid is an uber-agent in the literary world. Her twitter feed reveals she drinks scotch and stalks Jack Reacher in her spare time. Her alter-ego is a shark.  She does not suffer fools, nor sugar coat her advice.

This is good--potentially painful--but good.

She is also incredibly generous. (Follow her to learn what I mean.) Inspired by her clients, she routinely hosts writing contests. The rules are simple: write a story using 100 words or fewer and use 5 specific words in the story. Easy-peasy, right?

Now, based on contests past, I've discovered a couple of things about Ms. Reid.  To put it delicately, she's *ahem* twisted. Don't get me wrong--I like that in a person. (In fact, I'd like to share a scotch with her, although I'd probably need to down one just to work up the courage to approach her.) The successful entries in her contests are equally as twisted, many are macabre, all are surprising.

One hundred words doesn't leave any wiggle room and I had to use the words blitz, tube, blackout, finest, and hour. In the end, I didn't make the final cut, but she did select mine for a special mention:

Not quite a story, but the writing, oh yes, the writing! YUM!
Writer of Wrongs 8:24am and honestly, what a great nom de plum too!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a wee bit worried about a self-avowed shark employing the word yum, but honestly, I'll take it!

Here's my entry.

     “Finest hour, my ass.” Carlisle loosened Basil’s corset laces.

     Basil inhaled, regained color. “Why do you care? You didn’t suffer a blackout.”

     “You ruined the scene.”

     “The way you blitzed onstage, not even the groundlings knew anything was amiss.”

     “They’re not called groundlings, anymore.”

     “I’m summoning the period.”

     “Summon your inner Juliet. Your cue’s coming.”

      Basil smoothed Carlisle’s wimple. “I did you a favor. Elevated your role.”

     “What, from nurse to doctor?” Carlisle twisted a tube of Romeo Red and slashed it across Basil’s pale lips, smudged some on his cheeks.

     Basil captured his hand. “Nay. My drama queen.”

For those interested in reading the other selections (and to follow Ms. Reid), click on the link.