My Son Wants to be a Cop

goodcopbadcopIt was July 4th, in Lakeville, Minnesota. We had just been witness to the worst fireworks show since Christopher Columbus arrived on our fair shores, the natives celebrating with their Gattling guns, shooting glittered cherry pits into the air, peppering the smelly white folk with scented ash (hey…if David Barton can embellish history, I can too!).

We had a long walk back to the car. Two blocks, that is. Long Lakeville blocks. Traffic was everyone, everyone trying at once to get back home, faster than the next person. At 10:30PM on a Monday night, who wouldn’t want to be home faster than everyone else?

Police whistles cut the air and hurt your ears, the closer you came to an intersection. As we waited at the corner, Fred (11) watched with pure happiness on his face, as the officers waved their lighted wands, directing traffic against the lights. Then, they let us go, whistling unnecessarily, somewhat irritable.

Stepping off the curb onto the street, Fred stumbled over the feet of the crowd, making sure to continually catch a glimpse of the officers with every step he took. Pure joy was on his face.

“Daddy, I’m going to be a cop when I grow up, so I can do that.”

I bristled. A cop? You mean that police force that feels as if they’re on the clock when they encounter someone with a mental health condition? You mean the officers that treat me like a criminal during a simple traffic stop? You mean those men in blue that spout racist comments on social media, even encouraging people to run over protesters and activists calling for equal justice and actual due process, as afforded by our Constitution? You mean the men and women who sit on top of defenseless human being, citizens with every right to exist, and shoot them in the back? You mean those?

But I didn’t say that. I looked at my son and saw a generation of rebirth. One cog in the wheel of changing the system that my generation is attempting to start for him. He would have the opportunity to be a foot soldier in a new era of policing. One with recognition of rights and equality. One with empathy, sense of community, restraint, trustworthiness, yes, even love.

“Which kind? A good cop or a bad cop?”

With a look of utter disdain, side-eyeballing me with deep suspicion, wondering why the hell I have the audacity to question his character, he muttered under his breath, “You know the one, of course.”

I tousled his hair as we stepped up on the curb on the other side of the street, hoping the system won’t get to him before he brings hell to them.

I Get Comments: Thanks for the Laugh

maxresdefaultI posted a eulogy to the Dunn Bros Coffee shop in my lowly town and a reader by the handle of blf left the following comment, which gave me a good chuckle:

Weirdly, when I lived in the States, I tended to drink tea — even though most USAliens have no idea how to make the stuff — at least until I moved to Santa Cruz, where it’s illegal to be more than c.10 metres from a coffee shop. Then I discovered espresso.

So in England, I drank coffee. Despite the English having a clew how to make tea. And espresso being, initially, at the time, a weird foreign thing…

In France, where it is again illegal to be more than a few metres from a cafe, moar espresso! So the typical day is: Get up. Stumble towards the the nearest cafe. Realize I forget to put clothes on and stumble back… Stumble back, dressed. Have a croissant and a café. Stumble slightly less to the cafe. Café. Walk more-or-less upright to the bus terminal. Vending-machine pseudo-café. With a foul taste in the mouth and fully awake, wish the bus had a pissoir. Arrive near work, which is slightly closer than the cafe. And has a WC. Relived, get first espresso in the break room. Sit down at desk, get up, and go back to the WC. (Repeat…)

And then there’s the vin

Now I want to move to France.

Dunn Bros Coffee Shut Down in Farmington, MN

Farmington-3I’m sad. Actually, I’m very sad.

When I was 19, my uncle took me to a lumber yard. Scherer Bros, to be exact, located in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota. All I remember about this yard was that my uncle suggested I partake in the forbidden elixir of coffee from the burnt sludge corporate pot on the counter. I grabbed a styrofoam cup and poured an ample serving, lifting the hot drink to my lips, and fell in love.

That was my first real coffee experience, as well as my last for a week or so. When the sober period ended, I found myself walking downtown, past an old building with a Dunn Bros Coffee sign on the front. Knowing that the rest of the world drank Starbucks and that vile Minnesota brand of Caribou Coffee, I wanted to be different. So I walked up the steps and entered the rest of my life.

When we bought our home in Farmington, there was a Dunn Bros Coffee shop at the edge of town. Excited as I was, and many a dollar spent there, I knew it wouldn’t last. It received very little business on a day to day basis, something that would maybe support a single-employee, independently owned shop, but definitely not a franchise.

And so it closed. And I was and am sad. In its place is now Blue Nose Coffee, an independent venture. The interior still smells of paint, their coffee selection smaller than their shelf of bottled Gatorade, and really nothing much to draw me there on an early Sunday morning. The one thing going for this place is that the cup feels good in my hand.

I’ll miss you Dunn Bros. But really, can we get a few Tim Horton’s down here?

The Benham Brothers Make Me Laugh

billysunday30The spaghettified loop dee loos that the Christian Right have to go through to palatabalize their support for Donald Trump sometimes leaves me in fits of giggles. It’s quite a faux pas for them to be honest, along with most voters today, and admit that they are loyal to the party that panders to at least one of their sacred cows. In many words, spoken by religious leaders, it is noted that not voting Republican is a sin.

Enter the Benham brothers, twin sons of Flip Benham, a virulently anti-gay and anti-Muslim…hell…anti-anything-but-born-again-Christian, procurators of a television show that was cancelled before it even aired, whence their anti-gay views were discovered.

When asked what we thought about Trump’s silence we simply responded, “We cannot expect political leaders to faithfully engage the spiritual battle over the shedding of innocent blood when many of our spiritual leaders refuse to address the issue from the pulpit anyway. Donald Trump’s silence simply mirrors the silence of the church as a whole for the past 40-plus years.”

In other words, Christians are hypocritical because they haven’t been anything but silent over the issue of abortion, so therefore Donald Trump’s silence is off limits.

Seriously?

For a couple of blokes who have been plugged in to the Martyred Right speaking circuit, with thousands, nay millions of fans, worldwide, how can these two possibly think that Christians are not speaking up (specifically from the pulpit) about abortion? Quite frankly, young pups, that issue used to be the only issue Republicans voted on for nearly 30 years, ever since Ronald Reagan made it a central theme of his presidency. Being anti-LGBT is all the rage now, with abortion sliding over to the passenger seat, yet still front and center for pandering pols.

Also, Donald Trump actually did make a (sort of) statement about the decision, saying that, if he had been President, things would have taken a much different path. The only problem is, the court decision was a 5 – 3 ruling, rendering any appointed justice Trump could have slid in there, irrelevant.

But why let facts get in the way of voting your conscience…or your party…or whatever reason you vote these days?

The Freak Will Not Be Repeating Kindergarten

IMG_3501Some of you may remember when I asked the question, Is Repeating Kindergarten a Good Idea? I received many comments with a variety of different viewpoints. I also posted the question on Facebook. There was no consensus except, “do what’s best for Analisse,” aka The Freak.

So, what’s best is…

She won’t be taking it over again. She’s graduating and moving to the first grade. She’s taking summer school now and tearing the training wheels off her bike before her older brother does – an allegory I feel has a bit to do with how much she wants to grow up and tackle new experiences.

I’m going to be reading to her a lot this summer. Also, her teachers and a large team of specialists got together and ran her through bunches of aptitude and cognizance tests and declared her “in no need of special education.”

Onward she shall go.

Early Morning Burglary

cartoon-burglarWe were robbed last night.

I woke up at 2:35AM with a start. Light from the garage was pouring into my bedroom windows.

“That’s weird,” I thought, “I swear I turned that light off before I went to bed.

I threw my wife’s red robe on and walked downstairs to flip off the switch to the garage, beside the front door. I reached my hand around the corner and stopped cold. The switch was in the direction I had flipped it earlier, which meant only one thing – the garage light had been turned on from inside the garage.

I mustered the courage and then peeked out the window, staring at the light and the garage for a few moments, waiting for burglars to bust out of the garage, carrying away my plywood scraps, old chairs, kayak with a hole in it, and a tent that leaked when the sky sneezed. I even flipped the light off and on a few times to let the thugs know I meant business.

Nothing moved.

Groggily, I climbed the stairs again, to find my slippers. I had no interest in chasing a fleet-footed, Amazonian woman in bare feet, though, with my ample callouses, I wouldn’t feel a thing, even if I had reason to chase her over hot coals.

“What are you doing,” my wife asked, irritated?

I explained. She shot out of bed, grabbed a robe, and told me to follow her.

I obediently hid behind her, making sure to touch her butt, so she would have moral support. We walked outside together and walked to the garage. Everything was buttoned shut. Nothing was missing. Turning around, I noticed our old grill missing, our shiny new one, sitting in its place.

“Oh right. I told Josh to come and get the old grill. His wife said it would probably be the wee hours of the morning.”

Disaster averted, we went back to bed. My hero status would have to wait.

When you do something awful, own it

The word “awful,” in the title can be changed to “stupid.”

Social media, for me, is an extension of my brain. I barf my thoughts out on Facebook all the time. When one barfs, mixed in with all the delicious contents of what was the previous 12 hours of feasting – is bile. And, at times, I create bile.

When I do, my friends tell me so. I then have many choices, three of which are to apologize, ignore them, or defend the legitimacy of my words. Being that some of what I post are unfinished thoughts, defending my words turns into a bit of a learning experience, welcoming many different angles of thought, and honing my own set of beliefs a bit more.

But not Donald Trump.

When The Donald makes a boo boo, he stands by it, even if he initially had egg on his face. He may pretend to be remorseful at the outset, but just wait a few moments and his parishioners will start whispering in his accolade-thirsty ears, and he quickly flips to the name calling of those that call him on his shit.

Don’t be Donald.