Behind the Badge

"The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin."
Proverbs 10:8

Two Drunks and a Lamp

We received enough domestic disturbance calls at this residence to know before we got there what the call was going to be like. Both the husband and wife were alcoholics. There was no way to reason with them. Usually all we ended up doing was playing referee until we were sure they were not going to hurt each other. If we were lucky, one or the other would pass out and that would solve the problem at least for that night.

This particular night when I got the call to go to their house I had had enough. I was sick of them and their stupid problems. I started trying to talk sense to them. I tried to get them to see and admit their problem and work it out but it was no use.

Finally it got to me and I blew up at them both. I don't remember exactly what my words were but this was the gist of what I told them, "Both of you just shut up for a minute. Now let me tell you something, I've been out here for this same thing ten or fifteen times and all the other Deputies have too. I'm sick of it. No one can help you until you try to help yourselves. You are both drunks, you get three sheets to the wind then you can't stand each other so you have to call us. Well, we can't stand you either. Why don't you try crawling out of your bottle for a change?"

I usually do not talk to people like that but I was having a bad night and enough was enough. Besides, it was true. As drunk as they were, they heard and understood me. The wife, who was sitting in a chair facing me, tried her best to look sober and indignant. All she managed was a drunken grin and frown combined.

The husband, on the other hand, had been standing across the room from me approximately ten feet away. He drew himself up to his five-foot six inches and shouted, "You can't talk to us that way, you son-of-a-b****!!" I did not really mind that, I guess I really deserved it, but it did upset me a little when he grabbed a lamp and started toward me. He was holding the lamp with both hands back over his head like it was a club. I felt that as drunk as he was, I would be able to side step him when he got to me, so I just let him come on. When he got within about three feet of me, he ran out of light cord. Because of his state of intoxication, he was none too steady on his feet to start with. When the cord went taut, it pulled him over backwards.

We solved our problems that night by arresting him for breach of the peace.

by R.L. Dettwiler


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