It’s Immoral To Be Different From Me!

, , , , , , | Legal | October 24, 2018

(I work nights, Sunday night to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday nights off. I leave for work around nine pm due to the length of my commute. About four pm one Sunday afternoon, I’m roused from a rather peaceful sleep by a series of knocking on the door… rather loud, insistent knocking. Dragging myself to the door, I open it to find a police officer and one of my neighbors standing on my porch.)

Me: *bleary-eyed and yawning* “Whasthisbout?”

Officer: “There have been some calls about your activities, and we felt the need to check on you.”

Me: “Activities? What do you mean, ‘activities’?”

Officer: “Do you mind stepping outside?”

Me: “Considering you just woke me up from a deep sleep? Yeah. What’s this all about?”

Neighbor: “I’ll tell you what it’s about, mister! No one ever sees you during the day, and we all see you wandering off to God-knows-where late at night, only to return in the early morning! That’s not right. We know you’re up to something, and we’re not putting up with your immoral lifestyle any longer!”

Me: “Immoral lifestyle?”

Neighbor: *to the officer* “It’s just not right. He’s probably selling drugs or something. I don’t feel safe with him around here!”

Officer: *to her* “I’ll handle it, ma’am. Sir, we’ve had several calls, and it’s starting to become a problem. Drugs are an issue in this area, so it’d be easier on everyone if you just cooperated and told us what you are doing. Mind stepping out here so we can talk?”

Me: “I’m heading to work.”

Neighbor: “See?! He admits it!”

Officer: “And where do you work, sir? Do you have a number we can confirm that with?”

Me: “I do.” *rattles off work phone number*

Officer: *not really paying attention as he writes* “And what do you do there, sir?”

Me: “I’m the night duty watch sergeant.”

Officer: *still not paying attention* “Uh-huh. And where is this?”

Me: “[Local Prison].”

(At this point the officer blinks and then looks up. He looks back to the notes and then says slowly.)

Officer: “You work at [Prison]?”

Me: “Yep. I’m the night watch sergeant over B block.”

(The neighbor’s smug face has started to sour at this point as she looks to the officer. He, however, turns on her.)

Officer: “So, let me get this straight. You see him leaving late at night, and then coming back early in the morning… and it never dawned on you that maybe he works nights?”

Neighbor: “But… it’s immoral! He should be at home at night, and he never shows up to church; we’ve not seen him there once! This is America. It’s a law; he has to go to church on Sunday!”

Officer: “No, lady, it’s not a law. There’s no such law.”

(Turning back to me, he nodded, apologized for waking me up, and then told the lady that he was done. As I was closing my door, I heard her shrill voice screaming, “But it’s the LAW! This is a Christian nation; he HAS to go to church!” The next day, after I got off work, I stopped by the local church and had a word with the pastor there. He’s something of an old family friend. I related what the lady had said, and that she’d called the police on me. He said that he wasn’t at all surprised, and noted that she’d come to him with it first, only to leave in a huff when he explained that he wasn’t going to do anything about it and advised her that it was best left alone. I lived there another six months with the biddy glowering at me every day as I came home from work, before I rented another house closer to work.)

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