No, this is not an ode to that old Fox Television gem that still lives on today. Seriously, new episodes are still being produced. If I learned nothing else from that televised train wreck, it is that there's nothing a crackhead loves more than a set of pink curlers in their hair, ill-fitting t-shirts, and a trailer park. If you see any combination of the three, grab a seat and a bucket of popcorn, because it is about to go down!
My history with crackheads is decidedly light as is my interaction with the police. I have several friends who are former police officers and they are some of the most stand up, decent people I know. Two of them in particular have an empathy and a love for their fellow man that you don't often see in others, let alone former cops. I think that empathy comes from seeing people at their lowest and seeing what happens when redemption occurs. It's fascinating and encouraging.
In the media, you don't often get to see that side of the police. Too often, in television and movies, they are buffoons or criminals themselves. In our era of 'always on' news, it is the rogue or murderous cop that deservedly gets the headlines, not the ones who do their jobs, and do them well, day in, day out. As is typically the case when anything gets painted with a wide brush, the truth lies somewhere in between. Most cops are good cops. They want to do a good job and they care about the lives they are entrusted to protect.
They also like a good Asian burrito. Wait...what? What about the donuts, you ask? Ah, you slave to stereotypes! Let it go. Earlier this week, as I slipped out of my midtown office to head to the heinous Hell that is Penn Station for my slog home, I had one thing on my mind - getting dinner at the pop restaurant extravaganza that is Broadway Bites. A riot of taste from Colombian to Turkish delights, there are all kinds of options here to sate one's hunger, so of course, I was eating there. As I roamed around the stalls assessing my options, two of New York City's finest were doing the same. As I finally sidled up to Domo Taco, the two cops got in line behind me. After I placed my order, in a tone that could only come from someone capable of crushing someone's head in his bicep, I heard, "Sir, what do you recommend?" I turned around and what ensued was an awesome conversation with two cops about the finer points of Asian burritos and tacos. Turns out these two were beat cops from Brooklyn who were in the midtown 'hood on a special assignment. They were like kids in a candy store with all the food that was on offer. We debated the burrito versus the rice bowl and I convinced them that Korean-infused version was the way to go. After they got their food, we went our separate ways. They must have liked what they got because I didn't get arrested.
There are good cops and there are bad cops. There are good and bad people in every profession and in every walk of life. I'd like to think that they good outweighs the bad. In the end, it does. I'll take the good every time.
By the way, speaking of good, get the braised five spice pork burrito whenever you see it on a menu.
If you want a really good read on life as New York City cop, read "The Job" by Steve Osborne