As a parent, the day will come when your first born asks if you will come to their school for the all important ‘Career Day,’ where students with an attention span of less than three minutes learn about different careers and vocations.
When the day arrived for me to go to my son Matt’s school, I put on a freshly pressed uniform, donned my special patent leather shoes and made sure my moustache was neatly trimmed to police academy standards, (not wanting my moustache to be confused with some 70’s porn star moustache). I wanted these six-year-old kids to know who I was and what I represented. This was my big debut — my first career day and I wanted my presentation to be the very best!
I came prepared with a short outline, a bag of plastic junior police badges, and my infamous ‘get out of jail free’ trading cards with the popular UV coating which at the time was worth a whopping 15 cents on eBay! I wanted to bring a couple dozen glazed donuts for the class but thought that might be overkill. As it turned out, donuts were on the school’s contraband list along with guns, cigarettes, lighters, candy, gum, and inflatable love dolls.
When I walked into the classroom, I saw my proud son. In his classmate’s eyes I was a superhero, protecting them from super-villains and creepy old guys who circled the park in vans. And there I was, standing center stage in front of his class.
I quickly hit all the important stuff, talking about my uniform patches, my shiny badge, my “tool belt” that held my radio, handcuffs, and gun. I gave them a short list of important safety tips, like looking both ways before crossing the street, always wearing your seat belt and if you see a gun, don’t pick it up, tell an adult right away. They sat there listening and watching my every move taking in all this valuable information.
Little did I know, within a few short seconds this captive audience would turn into a wild mob of heathens! It started sounding like a full drunk tank on a Friday pay day!
A quick chirp from my whistle got their attention and I quickly explained what a police officer’s daily mission is. Fun stuff like chasing down bad guys, taking theft reports when kids leave their bicycles in the front yard overnight, directing traffic around an accident even when it’s super hot outside or raining, and, finally, writing traffic tickets to mom and dad when they drive too fast. I explained further that those tickets mean mom and dad have to pay big fines, and that means really crappy birthday presents! “So do yourself a favor, tell your parent’s to slow it down!”
I could see that they were turning into a band of hooligans, touching each other, making fart and burp noises, giggling… Typical police roll call antics. I knew I had to do something fast, so I moved right into a little Q&A. They all had their hands raised in anticipation of being called on.
The first question came from a little girl named Sarah who went into a dissertation about how she was with her mommy when she got stopped by a policeman on her way to the store to buy Captain Crunch, she has a red bicycle, she likes cheese pizza, her little brother picks his nose a lot and her favorite day is Saturday because she likes cartoons and her new puppy poops on the carpet all the time and her dad says bad words when he cleans it up…
I interrupted her, explaining to the class the difference between a question and telling a story. I asked if anybody else had a question and again everybody’s hand went up. Johnny asked if I had ever shot anybody, I glared at Sarah and said “not today” hoping to still maintain some sort of control over the class. Melissa asked if girls can be police officers. I felt like a recruiter for the next generation of cops explaining that our Army of Blue is made up of both men and women!
Little Billy raised his hand, stood up and proudly said “Grandpa put his finger in my stink-hole!” The teacher gasped, another parent fell out of her chair and I freaked out for half a second thinking about all the damn paperwork this outcry was going to cause. All the kids started laughing, Billy said “just kidding” and began to belch the alphabet and everybody laughed even louder.
Thinking it might be a great idea to end on this kid’s laugh at my expense, I tell the class since they were all so well behaved that I had junior police badges and get out of jail free cards for them. One of the kids asked me if he could have some extra’s because “Uncle Daddy” was always going to jail!
I reminded them that police officers are their friend and to call us if they ever need our help. There’s nothing I hate more than parents telling there children that if they’re not good we’re going to put them in jail. One of the great things about performing standup comedy is being able to tell an audience how I feel about this very issue. If I can keep one parent from ever telling their kid that we’ll put them in jail then I’ve done my job!