Newly Discovered Urban Disease Linked to Stupidity

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.

Just think.


11 Responses to “Newly Discovered Urban Disease Linked to Stupidity”

  1. Agnes Mildew says:

    Oh dear. US Cop films always portray your Citizens of Order as big-fat lard-arses, or lean, mean, black misunderstoods.

    I have to say that in the UK, our police force appears to be filled with male models. The last copper who visited our house after an incident with #1 (who was NOT being bad, at all) was subject to all sorts of goo-ing, gushing, and wanting to stay off school for the next time he visited – which he promised (and delivered upon, when I was in my nightie, hair rollers and cold cream – bugger!)Both marques proclaimed him, ‘Hot’. I would have to add the caveat, ‘In a weasley sort of way…’ But then, he was young enough to be my teenage unwanted pregnancy…

    Our forces: Fire Brigade; Police; Ambulance and Life Guard seem to attract the burly blokes.

    I never quail when I have to dial 999…!

  2. Sarah says:

    This is scary. If this disease spreads like wildfire, who will protect our cities? Maybe I should move to the UK. (;

  3. Elaine says:

    I’ve noticed this too, especially at airports!!You know there are weight limits on Flight Attendants, one would think it would be beneficial to law enforcement officers as well. Enjoy the visit with your Mom 🙂

  4. Suzie says:

    May be we should have them imported here from UK. Can you picture it? Then, I might call 911 every day.

  5. Jenny says:

    White Zone, my eye … sounds like you were really parked in the Twilight Zone, luv! And your black cashmere sounds stunning …

  6. Julianne says:

    Thank you for drawing our attention to this terrible malady. I can assure you that the condition is not limited to metropolitan area. Here in my small town (you know, the “real” America), there are several individuals plagued with FC.

  7. Ferd says:

    Sigh. In Toledo we have little hope. It was recently voted one of the least healthy cities in the US. FC (happens to be my initials, but that is just an unfortunate coincidence) disease is epidemic here. This is part of the reason we are relocating to NC. We look forward to an environment more stuper-resistant. Nearby Raleigh was voted the #1 healthiest city in the US.

  8. Mad Woman says:

    Sadly this has become an epidemic and spread all the way up to my wee corner of Canada. I am therefore leaving the country. I’m sure that those suffering (enjoying?) this disease are resistant to all cures and I advise you to keep your distance in the future. Perhaps the black cashmere will ward them off?

  9. Keli says:

    I’m taking the red-eye tomorrow to the UK. I’m going to set a small fire in the nearest park and pass out immediately thereafter just so I can dial 999 and get a look at both your fire officers and ambulance crew. I think most of my female readers will do the same after reading your comment!
    UK, here we come!
    I thought (mistakenly) that this weighty problem was confined to California. I see that I was wrong!
    Thank you!
    You’re welcome to join Sarah and I! Perhaps we can start our own “private” emergency force after we import them here!

  10. Keli says:

    It certainly did seem like the Twilight Zone! I love cashmere!
    Oh dear! This blows my theory. I guess I just refuse to face reality. I was so hoping that small towns were immune!
    FC, I mean Ferd:
    I feel certain your move will be a fortuitous, stuper-free one. It’s okay to have the same initials; at least you don’t suffer from this plague!
    Mad Woman:
    If only it were that simple! I’d be wearing black cashmere daily. I fear your moving will not prevent you from being
    accosted by stupidity as it is currently a world wide plague. Your best defense is to foster intelligence, which judging by your comment, you are carefully doing.

  11. Brandy says:

    I have to tell you of my experiences with LAX. I am a resident of this city as well, and have on several occasions in the last few years had to pick up hubby at LAX. (Somehow dropping off passengers is not a problem.)

    The last FIVE times I picked him up, I had micro run-ins with these hooligans, and am beginning to believe that they don’t have the power to ticket, much less arrest anyone.

    This last event occurred this Monday night. I also swept carefully into LAX, and turned to go to terminal 7, the United Terminal. I had previously told hubby twice to be as far to the east of the terminal as he could get so could sweep in, scoop him up and be gone. It was 9:15pm, traffic was very light. The flight had landed early, so the terminal was NOT crowded. I spied hubby at the curb (near the middle of the terminal, sigh) I pulled in after a truck and had to stop about 3 feet from the curb, a bit crooked as there was one other car at the curb. 3 cars at the curb in this while vast terminal.

    I started resetting the bluetooth for hubby’s phone, as it was his car, and realized that I had locked the door as was my habit, one supported by law enforcement.

    I heard hubby’s annoyed voice speaking to someone as he loaded in the luggage, and I was amazed that the “officers” had already descended. I said, “We’ve been here about 40 SECONDS!”

    As I went to open the door, there was a sharp hard rapping on the window. An “officer” had rapped hard on the glass with his flashlight for some reason. I leapt from the car and said again we had only been here 40 seconds, we’re going, as I went to the passenger side. We got in, and found the 2 “officers” were now standing over our car, trying to read the VIN! I reached over and honked the horn to get them to move, but they wouldn’t! Hubby got out and asked them WTF, and move, and other stuff. I got out came around tot that side, and placed my hand on the “officer’s” sleeve to get his attention as I wanted to ask his name. He GRABBED my arm, pinching it hard. Thank goodness he didn’t hit one of my fibromyalgia sore spots, or this would already be in the papers! The other “officer” said to not touch him, and I said I just wanted to get his name. Both “officers” stated vehemently that I didn’t need their names. That is against the law right there!

    Finally we understood that the “officers” thought I was parked in a red zone!! There was a ramp area, but no other indication that this was a red zone OR a crosswalk. The “officers” threatened us with several tickets until we just stopped and stood there and waited for them to start writing them. Then the “officers” said they would let us go, especially after I started welling up and shaking, and telling them I have a stress-related illness. Next thing I knew, hubby and I were driving in the car, and I was SCREAMING at the top of my lungs from the stress!

    I wonder if it’s reverse discrimination here, as EVERY SINGLE “officer” who has harassed us has been of some minority ethnicity. Never have I been accosted by a caucasian “officer” at LAX. The last time I went, hubby was at the door of the same terminal, coming out the door, TWENTY FEET AWAY! I had been there 20 seconds at best, with my handicapped placard up hoping to be spared a few seconds, but no. The “officer” MADE me drive all the way out and around the terminal again, despite the rapid approach of my returning traveler. When I came around again, he hassled me for parking too close the the taxi stand!

    As a fund raising scheme, the plan has a few flaws. If it weren’t for difficulty in walking, I WOULD park in the “short-term” parking structure there, which has I’m sure raised it’s rated. But it’s painful for us both to walk far, and the “white zone is for loading of passengers”. But as I said, I don’t think these fellows CAN write tickets, either from lack of authority, or lack of intelligence. And if I refuse to sign it, they are supposed to take me in custody (your signature is your bail), but that wouldn’t solve the problem of my car being at their curb for more that 3 seconds, would it?

    I WILL be writing letters to the head of airport “security”, the head of their parking division, the mayor, all the major news outlets, and my congressional representatives.

    I would hope word of this treatment gets out, and fewer people fly into LAX. There are 3 or 4 other airports around that aren’t quite as cruel to their customers.

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