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Tuesday, July 31, 2007



On Sunday, I feel asleep about 9:30a. Totally exhausted. Then very faintly, I can hear Bear, my kitty, just screaming at me. Started to move and the nerves in the middle of my back pinched. Spasms radiating to my fingers and toes. Not ending either. Just wave upon wave of greater pain. Couldn't breath. The diaphram was spasming. Slugged myself in the gut and the spasms stopped but not the onflow of ever more pain. Staggered to the shower, and set it for as hot as I could stand. Just stood in the stinging needles of delicious heat. The pain didn't stop but it did ebb slightly. Stood almost motionless for nearly 20 minutes. When It was just barely less than unbearable torture, I crawled back into bed. Swallowed 2 aspirin along the way. Less than 1/2 hour later I was back in the shower. This time it wasn't helping. Diaphram was acting up again also. Kept coughing up thick phlem from my lungs.

It was approaching 4p and I was totally racked in pain. I seriously considered calling 9-1-1. Maybe this was some weird form of a heart attack.. Instead, I called the owner of the cab company and panted and gasped to him that he needed to revert to "Plan-B". There was no way that I was going to be able to dispatch. Finally, it reached its worst. I went to my landlords backdoor. His wife took one glance at me and called for her husband. I didn't know until the instant he appeared that he had taken massage therapy classes. For the next 2 hours, he rubbed, prodded, poked and squeezed every muscle in my body. It hurt so good!

Every muscle had that bruised feeling but was functioning. Albeit slowly and with great protest. Made it in my front door and collapsed on the sofa. My next memory was my co-worker, Kimo, standing over me. Wanting to know if I was okay. I must have told him yes. The next time I touched consciousness, I was alone.

Sometime after that, I must have crawled off to bed. Woke up about 2 hours ago. Close to 40 hours of sleep. I am now just sore all over. A couple of more days and I should be back to what I consider normal.

Turns out that the cab owner had tried to call me back multiple times and I hadn't answered the phone. He even e-mailed me.

Its really nice to know that if something tragic happened, I wouldn't become Bear's dinner.

I wonder what caused him to wake me in the beginning? He was scared and he was right in my face.


Those of you old enough to remember small towns before corporate America put up there "Golden Arches". Those little wide spots in the road with one Main Street and a business district never more than 2 blocks long. Tucked somewhere in those 2 short blocks was usually a little hamburger stand. No sit down service. No parking lot. Just a very small white painted structure, seldom more than 100 feet by 100 feet. Commonly called "Sno-White" or similar. The owner/cook wore white work pants, white t-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled into one sleeve. Often called "Sarge". Window service was a prime job opportunity for the prettier of the town's high school girls.

It was the early 70's. I was working our northeast beat. It was Christmas Eve. Actually, it was well into the pre-dawn hours of Christmas Day. The other 2 beats on our side of the county were as quiet as I was. Our go home times were staggered, so the "west side" was never without at least one patrol car available. That could be a bit tasking, since the "west side" encompassed almost 400 square miles.

Beat three got a domestic and the burglary suppression car filled with him. Beat 2 dispatched to another call . Both of these were at the far south of our area. Adjoining the next county. I was as far north as you could get.

The radio crackled:
"Zebra-1 10-63 (prepare to copy assignment). Be advised, no unit for cover (I was going in alone)."
'Zebra-1. Go."
"Zebra-1. 459-silent (silent burglar alarm). 123 Main Street. Sno-White Drive-Inn. Alarm service unable to contact subscriber."
"Zebra-1. 10-4."
I was about three miles away. Lit up the reds but stayed silent on the siren. I didn't even know that this shanty had an alarm system. Back then, motion detectors and infrared light beams were not commonly used. Just door and window contact switches. I had checked the building earlier in the shift and all was okay then. Main Street had a slight curve in it and if I entered the street from the north, no one could see me from the drive-in, which had a small driveway next to the side door for deliveries. Killed the redheads, the other lights and activated the brakelight cut out switch. I was in total stealth mode. Grabbed the shotgun from its locked rack and slithered along the storefronts. Listening, I could have heard a flea fart, and watching. A flash of muted light. A beam from a flash light hit the building across the street from the drive-in. No voices. But the sound of someone working hard. Lifting lugging dragging. I made it to the edge of the drive-in. Waited. Watched. I had my portable turned off, so as not to expose myself. I needed to know how many people there were inside and knowing that it could just as easily be "Sarge" himself.

It wasn't. A solo male. A wanna-be "pimp-mobile" stuffed as far back in the shadows of the drive as was possible.

Ducked under the front and glanced into the interior of the vehicle. Empty.

Hid in the shadows. Waiting for him to cart out his next load of goodies. Boxes of frozen meat stacked as high as he could pile it. Totally obscuring his vision.

I stepped into his path, on his blind side, racked a 12-guage double-aught shell into the chamber, which makes a VERY loud sound in the still of the night.
"FREEZE!! (thats one thing TV got right about cops. we do yell "Freeze") YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!"
He froze. Peeked around the side of the boxes at me. His eyes went bigger than a dinner plate. He turned pale, something not easy for a black man to do, and fainted.

I had him in cuffs before his eyes began to flutter open. Before he could reach the point of cognitive thought I had him in the caged rear seat of my patrol car.

"hey man. What caused you to faint?"
"That trash can you had pointed at me."
"Trash can?"
"Your shotgun man. It has a hole in it bigger than any trash can I have ever seen. I knew I was dead."
This got me 6 hours O/T, booking, reports, etc. and I didn't get to see the look in my son's eyes when he trundled downstairs to find what Santa had brought.

Missed a lot of those moments.

I am headed back to bed. More aspirin and hopefully less pain when I awake.

Talk to you tomorrow.




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"Let's all be careful out there!"