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Home  >  Topics  >  Bizarre Beat

November 02, 2011
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Mike Peterson Cop Comedy
with Mike Peterson

P1 Humor Corner: Welfare checks

I’m not a big fan of math. For example, let’s try to figure this one out. At breakfast, Officer Jones eats three glazed donuts, two old fashioned cinnamon rolls, and one blueberry-filled donut. At Jones’ side is Officer Smith, who consumes one apple cinnamon roll, four Bavarian donuts, and three chocolate-iced nut donuts. Jones weighs 210 pounds and Smith weighs 183 pounds. Both men are 34 years of age, and each confection contains 217 calories. Consider these questions as you continue to read this column...

1.) How many total calories did each police officer consume?
2.) What is the ideal daily calorie intake for each officer to maintain their weight?
3.) How many calories do they have “available” for the remainder of the day after consuming those delicious donuts?

Through the years, police officers see a lot of interesting things. The more years on the force, the more incidents we experience. Often, the things best-remembered incidents are because they were unique or because we learned something valuable or because they were just plain funny.

That 0.01 Percent
One of the more undesirable aspects of law enforcement is dealing with natural deaths, accidental deaths, and suicides. Mindful of being respectful to the needs of the deceased and the families of loved ones goes without saying. For the beat cop, time spent around the squad room coffee pot, rehashing death can be good for the soul and any humor sprinkled in is good for the spirit.

I don’t know anybody who actually enjoys getting dispatched to a ‘welfare check’ even if you know that 99.9 percent of those calls have a good outcome. It’s that 0.01 percent that makes you hope this person is still alive. All sorts of dead body scenarios start going through your mind while en route.

The best possible scenario is the person you’re actually checking on comes to their front door and for a half second you think you’re in an Alfred Hitchcock movie or stuck in the Twilight Zone! You tell them your there on a welfare check, they give you the usual sarcastic or cynical response and you leave. As you walk away, you can now put a face to the corpse you had in your mind on the drive over!

By the Time You Get This...
Citizens who live alone, who work out of their home, have few friends, have no next-of-kin or family who reside out of state, and decide to end their life for whatever reason can be challenging for law enforcement. For example, it’s tough to determine the exact time of death. The medical examiner can narrow it down, but that doesn’t help the first responders when writing their report.

I was dispatched to a welfare check where the only details were that an out-of-state friend had just received a letter in the mail saying, “By the time you get this letter I’ll be dead.” This is not good. Key up the Twilight Zone music again! Further details from dispatch is that the front door is unlocked — once again, definitely not a good sign!

Entry on a house requires at least two units. However, morbid curiosity has gotten the best of two more officers, so now we are an Army of four. Not only was the front door unlocked, there was a small note taped to the door that said “Dear Police, I am upstairs in the master bedroom and I apologize for what you are about to see.”

As we enter the two story house, tactically we are ready for anything. We clear the first floor and make are way up the stairs. Halfway up the stairs another note is taped to the wall. This note was addressed to the landlord.

“Dear Mr. Slum Lord, take my rental deposit and shove it up your ass!”

To summarize, the note went on to say how unhappy he was because things were not repaired to his liking and promises of that new hot water heater were long over due.

I know how much I enjoy a hot shower after a long stressful day at work! I’d be more inclined to consider homicide as apposed to suicide!

More Passive Aggressive Notes
At the top of the stairs and down the hall, a closed door with three more notes. Note number one again apologizes to the “lucky” police officer who has to enter the master bedroom.

Apology accepted.

Note number two says: “Dear Buick Dealership, the keys to my leased Enclave SUV are under the visor of your worthless POS! You promised 17 mpg City and 24 mpg Highway; I barely got 9 mpg City and maybe 15 Highway! Shame on you! Too bad I couldn’t take the car out with me!”

Note number three: To my ex-girlfriend, Shirley, thanks for ruining my life. You left me when I needed you most. Now is as good a time as any to tell you you’re cooking sucked, you fart in your sleep, and your sister gave me herpes.”

As was to be expected, our welfare check had checked him self out by way of a Winchester 1300 12 gauge shotgun. Skull fragments, blood, cerebral fluid and both gray and white brain matter were everywhere! It looked like the first three rows at a Gallagher show!

Headaches and Math Problems
Remember Officers Jones and Smith? So, for question one (How many total calories did each police officer consume?) we have the following... Jones ate six donuts, and at 117 calories apiece he injested 1,302 calories. Smith wolfed down eight donuts for a grand total of 1,736 calories. I have no idea what the answers are to questions two and three. My head hurts and I hate math.

Well, the biggest problem we had on that welfare check of our letter-writing cadaver was math. First off, we had to determine when our guy mailed his death letter to his out-of-state friend, when that letter was delivered, and whether it was mailed first class, express mail, or priority service. We then had to add in the number of days it sat on the friend’s coffee table waiting to be opened and read, and account for how quickly our police department was notified. I think you catch my drift. Thankfully there is a disposition on the incident report called “Referred to CID.” Let them figure it out!

At least this one was easy... tell me if you think this one adds up.

New ceiling fan: $375

Drywall panels and paint: $750

New textured Saxony carpet and padding: $1,200

Crime scene bio-hazard cleanup: $1,500

The look on slum lord’s face: PRICELESS!


About the author

Mike Peterson is a retired 23-year veteran of law enforcement. He served three years in the United States Military Police and then 20 years with the City of West University Place Police Department in Houston, Texas. Mike held a Master Peace Officer certification and was a Certified Instructor, Advanced Field Training Officer, Crime Prevention Inspector, and background investigator. He was certified in bicycle patrol, officer survival tactics, first line supervision, and City Manager Leadership Training. Mike is a graduate of Leadership Houston, Class XIV, Texas Law Enforcement Torch Run Top Fundraiser and Inductee into the Texas Special Olympics Hall of Fame (1996), three time Texas Torch Run representative for International Special Olympics torch run ‘Final Legs’ in Minnesota (1991), Austria (1993) and Connecticut (1995). Mike has received numerous Senate and House of Representative Resolutions and Proclamations for his fundraising with the Law Enforcement Torch Run as Texas’ Top Fundraiser.

Mike has appeared on ABC-TV’s ‘The View’, was a past finalist on Ed McMahon’s ‘Next Big Star’ contest and was a finalist in Houston Funniest Comedian contest. Mike has opened for such luminaries as Jay Leno, Robert Schimmel, Dave Attell, Richard Lewis, Kathleen Madigan, Jeff Dunham, Frank Caliendo, Michael Winslow, Anjelah Johnson, Ralphy May, and Alonzo Bodden to name a few. Mike has appeared numerous times on Houston’s local CBS ‘Great Day Houston’ and opened for four-Time Grammy Award Winner Glen Campbell as well as performing at police luncheons and banquets. Mike has also had the honor of performing for our Troops over in Iraq. You can see more of Mike on www.myspace.com/comedycop or www.rooftopcomedy.com.

Contact Mike Peterson.
 





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