Top 10 Things Not to Say to an Off-Duty Cop

10. (While the off-duty cop is standing in line at Lowe’s wearing cargo shorts, an old T-shirt, is sweating and has a basket full of yard supplies.): “You off today?”

9. “You ain’t got a gun on now, do you?”

8. “Lemme ask you about this ticket I got last week…”

7. “What happened at that call _______________________?” Insert any event you may have heard of that occured while the cop was off that he could care absolutely less about.

6. “If I told you I had some dope on me right now, could you really still arrest me?”

5. “Wish I could take off work in the middle of the week (said to an officer that just finsihed a weekend of 12 hour shifts, 12 hours of overtime, and a part-time job).

4. “How much money do ya’ll get for each ticket you write?” (Just FYI – it goes to the courts and schools except for $2 that goes to the NC State Law Enforcement Retirement Fund.

3. “You got your handcuffs with you?”

2. “Saw you going fast through town the other day? Were you headed to lunch?”

1. “Now, if I was a cop…”


Rudyard Kipling: On women and cigars

“You must choose between me and your cigar.” — BREACH OF PROMISE CASE, CIRCA 1885.

In 1886, poet and writer Rudyard Kipling mused about a man thinking about his wife and his good cigars. Any man that could write “Rikki-Tiki-Tavi” and enjoy a good Henry Clay can’t be all bad…

Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas — we fought o’er a good cheroot,
And I know she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box — let me consider a space;
In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie’s face.

Maggie is pretty to look at — Maggie’s a loving lass,
But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There’s peace in a Larranaga, there’s calm in a Henry Clay;
But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away —

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown —
But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o’ the talk o’ the town!

Maggie, my wife at fifty — grey and dour and old —
With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,
And Love’s torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar —

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket —
With never a new one to light tho’ it’s charred and black to the socket!

Open the old cigar-box — let me consider a while.
Here is a mild Manila — there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion — bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent — comforters true and tried,
And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,
With only a Suttee’s passion — to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,
Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,
When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,
So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent ’em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,
And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o’ Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,
But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light
Of stums that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,
But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o’-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?
Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box — let me consider anew —
Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba — I hold to my first-sworn vows.
If Maggie will have no rival, I’ll have no Maggie for Spouse!

Top 10 things about women men should not try to figure out…

10 – Their shoes. For some reason, womens’ dress shoes are not designed for warmth, comfort and, apparently, only go with one outfit, requiring a closet the size of a warehouse.

9- Pocketbooks. These are not just women’s accessories. They are portals to another dimension because there is no way all the contents they take out would fit. Men should never look in a woman’s purse. There are things in there not meant for men’s eyes.

8 – Car terminology. Women can remember the time and date they met you, their best friend’s mother’s middle name and anything wrong a man ever did. But have them take their car to the shop and then ask what the mechanic said was wrong with it and you get “Something that moves down in there or something.”

7 – Self-perception. No matter how you answer a question that a woman asks about how they look the answer will sound to them like you said their butt was big.

6 – Razors. Three women. Nine razors in the shower. I just don’t want to know.

5 – Making statements in the place of questions. “I guess I’ll take the trash out.” Translation: “Are you going to take the trash out, you worthless life-form you?”

4 – Shampoo. Apparently, each day of the week requires a different shampoo and conditioner.

3 – Mood swings. It’s pretty bad when you wake up in the morning and ask “And who am I talking with today?”

2 – Crying. Something a man does that makes a woman cry makes her upset. Watching a movie that makes her cry makes her feel better.

1 – Look at the men on movies and in women’s magazines that they think are sexy. Then look at yourself in the mirror. Why is she still hanging around with you?

Some things are better off left a mystery.

To folks that go to Kerr Lake…

An open letter to the folks that travel to and from Kerr Lake.

I certainly appreciate the economic impact that all of you folks with big trucks, SUV’s, boats, campers, etc. make in this area. I really, REALLY want to tell the folks that consistently decide that yards and farm fields that line the highways and roads to the lake are actually large trash dumps how much I appreciate the extra exercise that I get on holiday weekends.

How hard it must be for you to drink all that beer and then decide that your floor-board or passenger area of your spacious vehicle didn’t have enough room to hold the empties until you arrived at your destination. Guess you didn’t see the bag that your beer was purchased in sitting there next to your Wal-mart house brand bags of potato chips and cheap corn cheezes.

And to the person that threw a pair of latex gloves out the window into our ditch…well, let’s just say you’re the reason I keep a pair of latex-free gloves in my truck for just such special occassions. My day was complete.

And how I envy the care-free days when you’re young, drunk, stupid and decide that a sign inviting persons to attend a small country church is a target for long-neck bottles. Silly me for wanting to keep the grass cut around it so that folks will actually know that there’s a church that’s interested in people hearing the Gospel. You’re the reason that I have to take one of my lawn mower tires in this week to have the hole that your broken glass punched in it repaired. Nothing is more fun than to have to change a lawnmower tire when it’s 95 degrees and 140% humidity. I hope that you enjoyed that cool dip in the water while I struggled to see through sweat to put a “c” clamp back on the axle the right way.

And, apparently, those canned and bottled energy drinks are just SO DANG STRONG that you can’t help but sling it as far as you can out the window of your car into a pile of briers and poison ivey that I’ve been working for a month to get rid of but still have some leaves and spurs. You couldn’t be the water boy on the football team but you can sling the heck out of a glass bottle. Bet your Daddy would be so proud!

And to the ladies…I don’t care if it’s in a bag, wrapped up in something or permanently sealed in hard plastic…”hygine” products and baby diapers DO NOT BELONG in a yard or a field. Despite what it says on the package they are NOT easily “bio-degradable”.

This is nothing new to me. With the exception of a couple of years living in town I’ve spent the majority of my life living in houses that are located on roads that go to Kerr Lake. But apparently some of you folks out there weren’t paying attention in elementary school when “Woodsy the Owl” came by to tell you “Give a hoot, don’t pollute”! You were probably too busy sniffing your magic markers during that assembly.

So, in closing, please feel free in the future to allow that beer bottle to roll around freely on the floor-board until you get to the lake. You’ll find that they have these wonderful things there called TRASH CANS where you can deposit all your empties, chip bags, cigarette packs, “4-corner Nab” wrappers, latex gloves , hamburger and hot-dog wrappers, hygene products, empty snuff tins and your kid’s nasty diapers at absolutely no extra charge. I’ll try to manage without them.

“What’s that smell?”

I have a confession to make…. I smoke cigars.

No, I’m not talking about White Owls, Dutch Masters or anything else that can be purchased at a convenience store and used by the younger generation as paraphernalia. I’m also not talking about that nasty pile of strip-house sweepings like “Backwoods” or even (shudder) those sweetened cigars with the plastic whistle on the end.

No, I have become a fan of real, hand-made, long-filler cigars made from Cuban-style tobacco, wrapped in aged wrapper leaf from the Connecticut Valley and lovingly aged by some well-trained senor in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua or Honduras. If gas wasn’t so expensive I’d go to Smithfield, NC just to hang out in the huge humididor sales room at the J&R Outlet, sit in the leather chairs they have there and spring for at least a single of a Montechristo White Robusto or an El Rey del Mundo. J&R Cigars makes it possible for a person on a Coca-cola budget to have a champagne level cigar every now and then. Bless them.

Despite what a lot of folks think it was not my cousin Dick that started me smoking cigars. That blame lies squarely on the shoulders of my former boss, Glen Allen, who’s now Chief of Police in Clayton, NC. Glen would offer up a La Finca cigar every now and then when something good was going on and after I learned how to cut an end and light a “stogie” the right way Mr. Nick O’Teen finally found a way to get my attention years after I quit “dipping” and “chewing”. Smoking cigarettes was never a problem as I found out in college that I’m allergic to flue-cured tobacco smoke (which results in MASSIVE sinus infections) and which also means that I’m a happy person now that restaurants and public buildings are smoke free. Cigar smokers are different because unless you work somewhere really unusual you don’t smoke a cigar at work. As a matter of fact, “cigar” and “work” really don’t go together in the same sentence very well. If you can’t enjoy a cigar then there’s no reason to smoke one. That’s why you never hear someone say that they’re going on a cigar break.

Of course, this enjoyment of fine imported tobacco products doesn’t make four women very happy: those being my wife, my daughters and my doctor. I’m starting to get used to hearing every other Saturday “What’s that smell?” (“Nothing. Just burning some old tires.”) or “Were you smoking a cigar?” (“No. Rabbit-grass.”) I try to be nice so I keep these comments to myself…most of the time. My usual comment that “cigars are like Bill Clinton…you don’t inhale” usually don’t get laughs from my wife either.
However, I do owe Dick a thanks (yeah, I know…that sounds strange but it’s his name…) for cluing me in on the J&R Alternatives brands of cigars which, along with the Consuegra and Bock & Ca. brands can allow someone like me that has more bills than a duck farm to get a really good quality imported cigar to enjoy. Consuegra Governors and J&R Alternative Montechristo Eduardo Robustos are the favorite “budget” cigars that I’ve found so far. As far as the “real deal” Montechristo Whites, El Rey del Mundos, Bolivars and H. Uppman are my favorites. However, these are limited to grabbing a five-pack every once in a while or relying on the “kindness of cigar smokers” for one every now and then.
There’s something of a wonderful combination of a lawn tractor, freshly cut grass and a good cigar as well. It’s right up there with the combination of French fries, a hot dog, onions and the paper bags used at road-side grills. For a lot of men, this is as much sensory fun as a dog has riding down the road with its head out the window.
So, for those of you who know me well that see me one day with a good cigar enjoying it, please don’t ruin the experience for me asking if it’s “cherry flavored”. You probably won’t like my answer.

Things women say that, generally, aren’t true..

There are a few things that I’ve noticed that women (other than my wife, who is probably the most honest female on the planet) may say that, generally, on closer inspection turn out to be less than honest. These include:

1) “I’ve never really been very interested in dessert.”
2) “I went out today not really caring how I looked.”
3) “I’ve never really thought that (insert their favorite actor) was really attractive. I just like them as an actor.”
4) “It takes a lot to make me angry.”
5) (To a man) “Of course I’d rather talk to you than watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.” (Usually followed by 60 minutes of silence.)
6) “I’m never buying another pair of shoes again.”
7) “I don’t really pay attention to what other people wear to church.”
8 ) “Sure, a man can be attractive with grey hair!”
9) “I have the only pocketbook I’ll ever need.”
10) “I really want my husband/boyfriend to feel free to share their inner feelings with me.”

An open letter to the NFL

Dear NFL:

What the hell were you and the Super Bowl committee thinking when you organized this year’s Super Bowl? I mean, it was only the 45th anniversary of the darn thing and even I had cake and a present on my 45th birthday.

If there had not been at least a bit of an interesting second half then the whole thing would have been the most colossal waste of time since the 2008 Republican National Convention. And that’s saying a lot since I vote Republican. You get Christina Agulara to sing the National Anthem. Have the folks at sporting events not yet learned that it is the kiss of death to have a big-time celebrity or recording star sing the National Anthem? I mean, the thing has only been around for two hundred years and the words haven’t changed but put someone who folks that can’t even remember words without a teleprompter and a lip-sync track out there and they can slaughter that bad-boy in a minute.

Then the half-time show. Or at least that thing they called a half-time show. I have no idea who told the group of people known as The Black Eyed Peas (which completely ruins one of my favorite foods) that they were talented and entertaining but I had more fun watching the last two surviving members of The Who run around the stage the other year than whatever that production was. And I have absolutely no idea who Usher is. Nor do I care to find out based on his part of the show.

Here’s a hint: The grown ups are the ones that spend the money on your games, tickets and sponsors. If you’re going to make a production at least put someone out there that is known by the general public over the age of 35.

Finally, I hope that the money that the commercial sponsors spent on air time fills both yours and the network’s coffers because I can’t even recall one good commercial out of the lot. Movie trailers don’t count because I personally can’t wait for the “Thor”, “Captain America” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” to come out this year.

Lastly, who picked out the folks going out for the coin toss? Deion Sanders? Really? Really? Of all the great players in the history of the NFL one of the people sent out for the coin toss was one of the biggest self-promoting shills in the history of football. A commentator who talked trash about a current player for not going on the field and ending his career by completely tearing up his knee?

Here’s hoping next year the event lives up to it’s hype. And that the Panthers are part of it. One can dream, can’t they?