You know those cops you can tell are going to bust your chops, just by looking at them?
I encountered one such cop — a sheriff's deputy — the other day when an early St. Patrick's Day parade was getting set to go down my block. As luck would have it, the deputy set up his roadblock exactly at my driveway.
I figured this should be pretty easy, and as I pulled up to his car, I put down the passenger side window to let him know that I was going "right there," pointing to my house.
"No, you're not!" the deputy screamed, and jumped out of his car with his nightstick in hand. He rushed over to the driver's side.
"Officer," I said, "I live right there." Again, I pointed to my driveway, which was about 10 feet from where we were stopped.
"I don't care. The road is closed, and I don't know how you're going to get there," he said.
I really couldn't believe my ears.
"Dude, you're killing me. Do you mean to tell me that you will not let me drive another 10 feet to my driveway? I live right there," I said, indicating where my house was for the third time.
Finally, the deputy said OK, but "just this once."
Unbelievable. Now, I am a champion of law enforcement. Several of my friends are NYPD or New Jersey State Troopers, so I know what they have to go through on a day-to-day basis. But even they will admit that there are guys who are just too immature for the job.
There are guys, like this sheriff's deputy, who are just looking to bust chops. These are the guys who — aside from the corrupt cops who break the law — give law-enforcement public servants bad names.
Cops don't have to be your friends. We all know that. There is a time when cops must use force or be unwilling to bend because that's what the circumstances call for.
But not when a guy pulls up with a toddler and a wife in tow, looking to go another 10 feet to get into his driveway, and all the cop is doing is directing traffic away from — GASP — a St. Patrick's Day Parade ... that hasn't even started yet.
To put it kindly, this cop was a jerk.
We all know somebody from high school who became a cop for all the wrong reasons. Maybe he wasn't in the "cool crowd," or he was picked on. Maybe he was the last kid chosen for kickball in the schoolyard. Maybe he didn't have a date to the prom.
He's the power-hungry guy who's on the job just to throw his weight around. He's the guy who's never going to cut anyone a break, even if the break is something as small as driving a few feet to get into one's driveway. I wonder what this sheriff's deputy's life was like growing up.
Did he have a Napoleon complex? Was he a victim of too much teenage acne? Or is he simply a jerk? Sadly, there's one or more like this guy on every police force throughout the world.
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