Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nicely Plated

"There's no reason to take any chances this close to the end." A friend at work.

Four gun calls within 36 hours. A suicidal man with a shotgun. A woman firing off a shotgun at fictional "drug dealers." A guy doing backgrounds for the Feds chased across an apartment complex by a woman with a loaded twenty gauge. An armed robbery. I went to all of them.

Then, Aurora happened.

My wife and I chat several times a day, regardless of work schedules. Often, one of us just wants to hear the other's voice. There is, of course, family business to address. Occasionally, some mis-dialing.... So my wife's question - "What's a plate carrier?" - in an otherwise innocuous conversation did not take me entirely by surprise.

I'd mentioned them in the context of my new manuscript, A More Perfect Union. Main character Cici Onofrio is assigned to a Marine as his "cop" during martial law. Proper attire required a plate carrier, few of which are cut for women. I mentioned this to my wife as a note of local color and forgot about it.

A plate carrier is, simply, a harness that carries thick plates intended to stop bullets. An upgrade to the soft body armor most cops (me included) wear under our uniforms, some of the plates will stop rifle rounds. They are heavy and expensive.

That's what I told her. She said - "Go get one."

Just like that. She knows I'd wear it perhaps five or six times before my career comes to an end. So what.

My wife has never skimped when it comes to my safety. If I think I might need something, we find the money. A good pistol, a great rifle with all the bells and whistles.... Now, a plate carrier.

Just like dinner at our favorite place, Max Gill and Grill, I will arrive at the right moment nicely plated.

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