Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cop Talk

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”
― Zeno of Citium

Being immersed for five days in a room full of cops always increases the list of expressions I can employ. This week was no exception. The instructors played a video clip during a discussion of fitting the handgun to the shooter. In it, there are several scenes where a guy has handed a woman (by all appearances an inexperienced gun handler) some gargantuan weapon and invited her to shoot it. Invariably, the recoil either rips the weapon from her hand or slams it into her forehead.

The muscular, tattooed SWAT cop sitting in front of me shook his head and muttered "That's a dick move right there."

The meaning is immediately evident, even as one respects how compact the phrase is. On the continuum of insults, being a "dick" is even harsher than being an asshole. No respect is accorded to a guy who purposefully gives someone a firearm they can't handle, provides little instruction, then records the inevitable result.

One of the instructors had a favorite expression that was seamlessly adopted by the class. Someone who does or says something that is profoundly stupid, or worthy of extreme disrespect was invited to "Go into the bathroom, stick your head in the toilet and drown yourself." The meaning here is also immediately evident. Can there be a less dignified way to create one's own demise? Before long the invitation was shortened to "Go into the bathroom" and everyone got the idea.

The conversation this week turned to the Germanwings flight that ended in death and destruction in the French Alps. The murders of 149 people who sat powerless (but not unaware) in the final moments of their lives has to rank among the most disreputable acts of madness of this century. It is one thing to commit suicide in a fit of despair over the loss of girlfriend, health and possibly job all in the same week. But to take a plane full of men, women and children with him whose sole crime was having the statistically microscopic misfortune to trust their lives to him? I don't have to guess what Sully would say. The guy sitting in front of me supplied it.

"What a dick move. He should have just gone into the bathroom, stuck his head in the toilet and drowned himself."

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