Researchers today claim that new diseases are being discovered at a blistering pace. I inadvertently discovered one myself last week while Husband (H) and I waited at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to pick up my mother.
H and I inoffensively drove down the ramp marked “Arrivals” to enter LAX. As is customary in potentially crime-laden areas where opportunistic hoodlums cram themselves into every nook and crevice, officers of the law carefully scrutinized all motorists exiting said ramp. A gatekeeper type cop stopped H, giving him a seething glance during which I casually observed two other officers waiting off to one side. I should have instantly noticed signs of this rapidly spreading disorder, but my mind drifted to whether I should have worn my black cashmere sweater instead of the fuchsia. As it was, I paid only abbreviated attention.
Once the Gatekeeper waved H on, we stopped in the White Zone, a part of the road where the curb sports white paint indicating that area is only to be used for the immediate loading or unloading of passengers, baggage or short term parking (5 minutes or less).
I left H for no more than three minutes. I sprinted down the sidewalk, aiming to grab Mom, throw her under one arm, tuck her carry-on bag under the other and drag both back to the car in record time.
During my brief absence, H sluggishly opened the trunk, then shuffled over to the passenger door in the slowest of motion, in order to stretch the allotted time as well as to appear industrious. Alas, we were both novices in White Zone parking, as it had been a very long time since our last such visit to LAX. Had we been adequately experienced, we would have imitated the clever chap behind H who remained in his car while wife went off in search of a passenger. This savvy driver commenced moving his car forward a few feet, then reverse a few feet; forward and reverse, going nowhere, but completely throwing all parking police off his scent.
Unbeknownst to H, a stuper (short for a decidedly stupid person), suffering from my soon-to-be unveiled malaise, approached H from behind. When I returned, this is what I saw standing next to H:
I have great respect for officers of the law. I am grateful for their presence and the vital protection services they offer. But truly, how helpful are overweight, physically unfit officers? How fast will they be against the hungry, lanky, yet often surprisingly limber criminal element?
To add insult to injury, this portly hippo of a cop was writing H a citation. I asked sweetly,
“Are we not parked in the White Zone?”
“See that sign over there?” he asked in a voice several octaves too high for such a stout presence. He pointed his chewed off pen toward a place over my right shoulder.
We all looked and saw nothing.
“I mean over there,” he continued, unable to find the sign he sought. “Anyway, the White Zone is for commercial…wait a minute, the White Zone is for, let me see now, it’s for…”
The chubby cop vainly searched for the true meaning of the Zone while I realized we were caught in a tidal wave of stupidity or at a minimum, choppy waters. Was there any hope?
He suddenly reached enlightenment. “It’s for, oh yes, the loading or unloading of passengers. You cannot get in or out of your car…”
“How can passengers load or unload if they can’t get in or out?” My question received an elbow jab from H, eager to see the last of the blubbery being. “Okay, thanks, Officer.”
Yes, it’s Fat Cop (FC) disease with a dash of stupidity.
A picture of the two officers standing off to the side while I contemplated the color of my cashmere sweater flashed back to me. They were also pudgy.
I’d actually witnessed the beginnings of this malady almost a decade ago when I traveled with my children in downtown Los Angeles. We found ourselves embedded in heavy traffic in the middle of a Sunday; usually a day devoid of commuters even in an enormous metropolis. On the side of the freeway sat a disabled, small, but sturdy yellow school bus. Certainly not a sight to halt cars. However, what did bring traffic to a complete standstill stood next to the bus, waving one flabby arm while the other hauled up its too snug fitting, about to burst trousers. A fat cop. Back then it was an anomaly; a deviation from the norm.
Too much fast food, especially of the donut variety, by law enforcement officers in the big city has finally resulted in FC disease. As illustrated by the forgetful parking cop above, this disorder may also trigger rapid onset of stupidity.
Dear readers, when visiting metropolitan areas, we must exercise a paramount degree of vigilance. Maintain your mind on highest alert. We must also wear proper running shoes, avoid airports if possible and carry an easily concealable, but threatening weapon or two to be subtly brandished, if needed. Sufferers of FC disease will need our assistance.