“With respect to the public’s reaction to a comment or service, a police officer never really knows what it will be.”

I remember being on patrol one bright Saturday morning when a Porsche passed me in the opposite direction.  I’ve always owned a 911 (since my first one in 1973) so I know the car rather well.

I noticed that the front hood was not secured.  It was closed but not completely; there is a safety feature which allows a “catch” to keep the hood from blowing open (many cars have this feature) and that catch was not secured.

I turned around and followed the car, catching up to it and turning on my overhead lights making a ‘car stop.’

I walked up to the driver but before I could utter my salutation, the driver, a middle-aged female, literally yelled at me “WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME?”  I responded “There’s no problem, Madam, it’s just that your hood is open”, and I walked to the front of the car and pressed it closed.

Her attitude immediately changed and she said “Oh…..thank you.  I am impressed you noticed that.”

I explained further:   “Well, I have a 911 and it’s a common occurrence.”

She was indignant.  “YOU have one”.  (police officers are supposed to drive old, banged up Chevrolets)

Apparently she thought that Porsche only made only one car that year and she bought it.  Never missing an opportunity for an obvious remark, I responded “Actually, this one is a 1995.  Mine is newer; a 1999.”

Perhaps the fact that me, a lowly public servant (a police officer), would own a newer Porsche 911 than her was too much for her, she sped off offering no further comment of appreciation or farewell.



Once, while waiting on line at a local Dunkin Donuts shop for my daily cup of green tea (I’m the only police officer in the world that does not drink coffee), on the store’s P.A. system was a classical selection.

There were two women behind me discussing who the composer might be.  One said “I think it’s Brahms.”  The other saying “No, I think it is Liszt.”

I knew the piece very well and turned around and said “It’s the third movement of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony.”

They were STUNNED.

As police officers, we’re supposed to be an uneducated bunch of civil servants so for me to say this was indeed quite a surprise.

They were almost annoyed at me but while I was waiting for my tea, they asked the girl behind the counter what that music was.  The Dunkin’ Donuts counter attendant said “I’ll have to check.” She went into the office and came out, telling them “…it’s the Rachmaninoff Second Symphony.”

Now most people would approach the person who stated the correct response and say “YOU WERE RIGHT!!!” or “That was correct.”, but they just put their heads down and walked past me without saying a word.


Like my father always said:  success is the best revenge.