December 06, 2006

to protect and serve

On the topic of enthusiasm (see previous post),
in my experience, the LAPD rocks! (And believe me, I know not very many people would agree, but I have to give credit where credit is due...)
There was this little incident where I
locked myself out of my illegally double parked
vehicle at 23h00 on a Monday night. I left the car in
the middle of the road on a residential street with
the hazards flashing, the headlights on and the radio
playing... to indicate to any passers-by that it was
not my intention to stay for very long. As it
happened, I spent almost 3 hours there. Just as I was
asking a neighbour to help me bust into the car with a
wire hanger, the police car pulled up to fine me for
being illegally parked. I dashed into the street and
popped up next to their patrol car's window (almost
resulting in having a gun pulled on me - "Lady, you
popped up outta NOWHERE! You gotta be careful about
that!") to explain my unfortunate situation. "Well, it
was an honest mistake", Officer T commented. (I'm
glad you think so - it was totally on purpose that I
parked illegally, but thanks for giving me the benefit
of the doubt, Sir)

Subsequently, Officer S noticed the half-wire hanger in my hand and remarked
that I wouldn't be able to break in with it. "Do you
know know anything about breaking into cars?" I asked

To cut a long story short, they parked the patrol car
behind my rental and turned on the flashlights above
their doors to shed light on the situation. Along with
the neighbour, the cops spent over an hour trying to
get into the Toyota. I was making noises about getting
a tow truck to come and open up with a 'slim jim', but
they wouldn't hear of it. They had radioed for the
police tow truck and when they heard it would cost $60
to open the door, Officer T wouldn't have it.
Instead, they left me waiting at the vehicle with said
neighbour (it was now 1AM) and drove to the nearest
fire station to see if the firemen had a slim jim.
Triumphantly, the officers returned with the famous
'jim' and after some determined rattling inside the
door-frame, the driver's side eventually popped open!

By this time, what with the headlights, hazards and
radio running, the car's battery was dead. So whilst
neighbour D fetched his jumper cables, the cops
turned their car to face my hood (bonnet) and started
me up again...I guess it must have been a quiet night
in LA. At least, I hope nobody else had any serious
incidents while I had 2 gallant members of the police
force helping me out of my self-inflicted stupidity
with great patience.

I really put my foot in it at one stage: the neighbour,
looking up from his post as plier-holder (to keep the
door frame ajar, whilst Officer S dug around on the
inside with the wire hanger) said: " I wonder if I
could get 3 ladies to help me open my car?". Trying to
be humble and play out the "damsel in distress/silly
me - look at what a fool I am" role I quickly replied:
" You can be sure to find 3 ladies to lock you OUT of
your car!" I had hardly finished when they all started
howling - and it took me a second to realise what that
must have sounded like, when all I was trying to do
was be self-deprecating about how "us chicks" can get
you into trouble, but not out of it... well, that
backfired rather rudely and I don't think I was able
to make it any better with my profuse apologies.

(photo: iconic church on Highland and Franklin)

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