The importance of laughter on patrol
Cops are a peculiar breed when it comes to telling stories about what they've seen and the actions they've taken on the streets
Dispatch gave me a call late one night — a little while after all the bars close down — and said, “See the man in the parking lot of Filthy McNasty’s Bar & Grill regarding a BMV.” I get there and ask the guy what the problem is. He says to me, “Can’t you see? Someone took my accelerator, my brake pedal, my radio, and the whole dash is gone!” I said to him, “Sir you’re sitting in the back seat. Now let me introduce you to the back seat of my car!”
Pink and Orange
Seasoned law enforcement officers are a peculiar breed when it comes to telling stories about what they’ve seen and the actions they’ve taken during their career. If you’re a fly on the wall of a squad room with the smell of fresh coffee brewing and a half a dozen cops with about 200 years of combined service between them jaw jacking about their latest collar, hold on to your hat because you’re about to be entertained. I’ll never forget a few years back, this young energetic rookie announced to everybody on his shift that he was newly engaged, I said to him “Congratulations, it’s nice you’re getting that first one out of the way.” From these stories come the comedy that creates the laughter and the absurdity that can come with wearing the badge.
I remember when I was a young rookie listening and learning from stories of senior officers. It was fascinating to hear all the facts of an incident that almost always created laughter. Eventually, I figured out it was the humor that would get us through the day, though the week and through the years.
As a beat cop, a patrol officer, or a first responder, you learn quickly that being a cop means solving a lot of different types of problems. Diverse situations mean wearing a lot of different hats. As a police officer, one minute you’re a psychologist the next minute you’re an auto mechanic, or even a plumber! The list runs long and deep.
During my 23-year career as a patrol officer and patrol sergeant, primarily assigned to the night shift in the City of West University Place — best described as a city within a city (Houston) — I had many interesting opportunities, events and situations that created some of the best laughter and camaraderie. It seemed only fitting that this humor be shared with my brothers and sisters in blue.
Soon after attending a variety of comedy workshops and seminars, I started opening shows for national headliners and performing at luncheons and police banquets billed as ‘Houston’s Original Comedy Cop.’ Then one day I received a call from a segment producer for ABC-TV’s morning show, ‘The View.’ They requested my press pack and a video which I overnighted to them. I received another call a few days later confirming my appearance and advising me that they were going to fly me up to NYC to be on their show!
“There’s a lot of stress associated with being a cop, not to mention the low pay, working on holidays, the high rate of divorce... if it wasn’t for the free hookers and donuts, I think I’d quit!”
Since then, I’ve had some incredible experiences as the ‘Comedy Cop’ performing with such luminaries as Jay Leno, the late great Robert Schimmel, Michael Winslow, Jeff Dunham, Richard Lewis, Kathleen Madigan, Scott Kennedy, Dave Attell, Frank Caliendo, Angela Johnson, and Alonzo Bodden, just to name a few. I also had the honor of opening for four-time Grammy Award winner, Glen Campbell.
I was a finalist in Houston’s Funniest Comedian contest and was a past finalist in Ed McMahon’s ‘Next Big Star’ contest. However, the most rewarding experience I’ve had as a comedian was when I was offered the opportunity to go to Iraq for two weeks last year and perform for our troops. I’ll be bragging about that when I’m performing in my nursing home while wearing adult diapers.
Cops and Divorce
I’ll be writing on topics such as drugs and alcohol, high speed chases, 911 calls, suicide by cop, traffic stops, donuts, training, different divisions within the police department, burglary, robbery, neighborhood watch, and did I mention donuts? We’ll have fun exploring the lighter side of law enforcement. If you have any topics you want me to cover please send me an email or post your ideas in the comments area below.
Be safe — but when the opportunity presents itself remember to laugh!
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