Gallows Humor (Cop Humor), Police Life

Office Parties

I simultaneously love and loath going to my wife’s office parties.  One or two folks there know what I do, but, for everyone else, they get a comical lie if they ask what I do for work.  Despite how commonplace this is for us cops, I imagine it could be a pretty misunderstood safety tactic.  If I come clean to everyone I meet, eventually, the odds are damned near 100% that I’ll run into someone who both (a) hates all cops and (b) is willing to take on his emotional impulse to fight me when he erroneously believes the odds are heavily in his favor.  Cop’s got no radio?  No backup?  No gun (wrong)?  Lemme ruin his night in retaliation for that one thing some other cop did a long time ago in some other place that I felt was unjust!

This feels like a good time to offer a Public Service Announcement: It is more dangerous to assault cops if they’re alone and worried about defending their family than doing so on the street.

So, back to the cheeky fun.  In order to ensure my wife never has to watch me mop the floor with her coworker’s thug boyfriend, I’ve devised a number of fun and cheeky cons about my occupation.  The initial lie isn’t enough, though, nor is it really the fun part.  The real joy is in the backstory.  You can’t say you’re a rocket surgeon if you can’t also answer a couple predictable questions about rocket surgery.  So, the backstory can either be a fun topic, or designed to question the initial question and shut down any further curiosity.  It is probably easier to throw some examples at you.

Job: Champion Fork Lift Driver

Key: Incredible pride and enthusiasm about the job and its importance to society and the shipping industry

Backstory: You recently won regional FLD recognition circles because you consistently complete the tightest and fastest 360-turns, which means you move 11% more loads in 12% smaller space and in 13% less time than all your coworkers.  There’s even talk about Guinness sending a guy out to see if your skills qualify for World Record status.

Job: Blue Spruce Pine Tree Wrangler

Key: White-hot hatred for pine beetles destroying pine forests, and love for the elegance of natural wood products

Backstory: You work for a subsidiary of a private contractor for the federal Department of the Interior, and your job to help corral new naturally-dropped and cultivated saplings into the statistically-verified geometric orientation to their mother trees and the surrounding soil to reduce pine beetle incursion.  Those damned beetles hate dodecahedrons!

Job: Radiation Safety Physicist

Key: Requires enough radiation knowledge to parry inbound questions; but, no one else knows anything about radiation, so, you won’t have to worry about it.  Just know that it doesn’t make you glow green at night

Backstory: You spent the overnight shift at the water and sewage treatment plant monitoring radiation gauges, calibrating radiation meters, and ensuring the radioactive part of the water purification process is kept safe and secret.

You guys can be trusted to keep this quiet, right?

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