Ask Questions First, Don’t Shoot Ever

, , , | Legal | July 26, 2018

(I teach Forensic Science. We’ve been studying firearms and ballistics, and today was the test.)

Test Question: “At a crime scene, you find a handgun. How should you pick up the gun for evidence?”

The Expected Answer: *something along the lines of “by the trigger guard” or “the checkered part of the grip”*

My Favorite Answer: “Without shooting.”

Police Work Doesn’t Have To Go To The Dogs

, , , | Legal | July 25, 2018

(I’m walking my Labrador dog at a nearby, off-leash dog park. As most people know, Labradors are generally grinning, friendly, food-obsessed goofs. If you want a guard dog, get a German Shepherd or a Doberman, not a loopy Labrador! Anyway, I see a man walking towards us. He doesn’t have a dog, which is a bit strange in an off-leash dog park. I can see my dog is thinking about going up to say hello, and realising that not everyone appreciates strange dogs doing that, I call him. He obeys immediately, never coming within 15 feet of the guy. As the man passes us, I hear him mutter something under his breath.)

Me: “Excuse me? What was that?”

Man: *waiting until he’s a good distance away from me, then shouting* “I said you should have that f****** ugly mutt on a leash!”

Me: “It’s an off-leash dog park!”

Man: *still walking away* “Don’t f*** with me, b****, or I’ll report you and have that f****** dog shot!”

Me: *getting angrier now* “Hey! Come back here and say that to my face! We haven’t done anything wrong! Don’t be a f****** coward!”

(Right at that moment, I hear a calm, deep voice behind me. I turn around and find myself staring up at a very tall policeman. I don’t know where he came from but he clearly heard the whole exchange.)

Cop: “Please wait here, miss. Sir! Sir, please come over here. Yes, sir, you, the one shouting threats. Please approach.”

(The man shuffles back over to us, looking alternately furious and scared.)

Cop: “Thank you. Now, sir, from what I heard, you threatened to report this dog and have it euthanised. Please tell me what happened.”

Man: “It’s not on a leash! It was going to charge me! It could have attacked!”

Cop: *looking down at my Labrador which is now leaning against his leg and slobbering on his trousers* “…this dog?”

Me: “It’s an off-leash dog park! There are signs!”

Cop: “Miss, please calm down. Sir, please take a deep breath and answer my questions carefully. Question one: did this dog physically attack you?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “Did this dog growl, snap, or bark at you?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “Did this young woman at any time give her dog a command that you might have interpreted as a sign to attack?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “So, would you now please clarify what this dog has done that warrants being reported and subsequently euthanised?”

Man: “It was her! She started yelling at me!

Cop: “I see. So you’re saying she should be reported and euthanised?”

Man: “Uh…”

Cop: “Sir, you are clearly not a dog lover. That’s okay — not everyone is. But I do suggest that for your peace of mind, and your blood pressure, you take your walks somewhere that is not a registered, off-leash dog park. You see, yelling threats like this to someone who hasn’t done anything to deserve them could end badly for you, when all you needed to do is avoid registered dog parks. Okay? Good. Now, let’s all of us carry on with our day. Miss, enjoy the rest of your walk.” *gives my dog a good pat and ruffle on his head and neck* “Good boy. Sir, come along. Let me escort you from the park. There’s a good chance you’ll run into other dogs, otherwise.”

(It worked. We’ve never seen that guy in the dog park since. Lovely Mr. Tall Policeman, if you’re reading this, thank you so much!)

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A Light Police Story

, , , , | Legal | July 24, 2018

(My father and I are driving a motorhome down a deserted stretch of interstate highway, under the speed limit, at night. No other cars are visible at all, when all of a sudden a state trooper comes up behind us with his light on. We pull over and the officer gets out:)

Officer: “How are you folks, tonight?”

Father: “We are just fine.”

Officer: “What did you pull over and stop for?”

Father: “Where I’m from, at least, we are supposed to pull over for police cars with their lights on.”

(The trooper looks at his car and turns back to us, looking a little embarrassed.)

Officer: “I’m sorry. I was out making sure that no elk were on the interstate. The lights scare them off the road and I forgot they were on. Have a good night.”

Not On Fine Form Today

, , , | Legal | July 23, 2018

(Due to my income, age, and the fact that I’m studying full-time, I receive a small youth allowance from the government. As part of this, I also receive a concession card which, among other things, helps me receive cheaper train fares. I realise that this card is going to expire in only a couple of days, and I don’t want to be fined for travelling on the train with an expired card. I head down to the nearest office to sort this out. After queuing up for a while, I’m informed that I can renew my card online. I try this on the computers they have on hand, but for whatever reason, I am unable to access the form. No one seems to be able to work out why that is, so they offer to print one off for me to do manually. After waiting longer still, I finally receive the form.)

Staff Member #1: “Here you go. Quickly fill this out and hand it back in at the front desk and you should be good to go.”

(I begin filling it out, only to realise fast that there is no quickly filling this form in. It takes at least half an hour to fill in, plus requires me to attach various forms such as payslips and bank statements, none of which I have with me. As a result, I drive home again and spend the afternoon organising all of these things. I finally get it all together and, having now wasted far more of my afternoon than I had planned to, I return to the office and am made to wait again before I can see someone. After almost an hour of waiting, I’m called over and hand in my form.)

Staff Member #2: “This all looks in order. We’ll send it off to get verified.”

Me: “Do you have any idea how long this will take? It’s just that my card is going to expire in a couple of days. I left this a bit late.”

Staff Member #2: “No problem. I can organise a temporary one for you.”

(She opens up my file on her computer.)

Staff Member #2: “Oh, unfortunately I can’t do that until your current card expires.”

Me: “It expires the day after tomorrow. You can’t do anything?”

Staff Member #2: “Really? It says here that it expires in a year.”

Me: “Huh? That can’t be right.”

(I show her the expiry date on the card. Sure enough, it says it expires that week.)

Staff Member #2: “Well, it says January 2019 here. You must have already renewed it. Have you already filled out one of these forms recently?”

Me: “No, I only realised the card was expiring yesterday.”

Staff Member #2: “It must have automatically renewed. Your new card should arrive in the mail sometime soon. You can have this back ,too.”

(She handed back all the paperwork I’d spent the day organising. Turned out the reason that I couldn’t access the form online to begin with was that it had already been renewed, but rather than anyone realising that, I was made to waste my entire afternoon filling it out and finding the necessary forms to attach. When I finally got home, I checked the letterbox to see that my new card had arrived while I was out.)

Vote Now For Fraud!

, , , , | Legal | July 22, 2018

(I am going door to door for a City Council candidate.)

Me: “Hello, I’m out today supporting [Candidate] for City Council. I was wondering if he could count on your support in the election?”

Voter: “You know it is illegal for you to ask me that. There is a reason they call it a secret ballot.”

(This isn’t true. It is completely legal to discuss who you are voting for with anyone as well as who they are voting for; you just can’t require someone in any way to disclose who they vote for.)

Me: “That’s all right. Just so you know, ballots need to be turned in by Tuesday. Make sure to turn yours in, and I hope [Candidate] has earned your vote.”

Voter: “Maybe he has; maybe he hasn’t. Would you be willing to give me $10? That might push me in [Candidate]’s direction.”

Me: “It literally is illegal for you to ask me that!

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