and I have been getting into reruns of Cops lately.
all know the show. Most of us have even seen an episode or two.
But until recently, it wasn’t something the two of us considered
for regular viewing.
television a goldmine of potential brilliance these days? When
I was growing up, three national networks, PBS, and a generation
that watched Saturday afternoon movies on UHF television stations.
Now there are dozens to hundreds of stations and streaming options.
And how about Game of Thrones? I know. Anyway… Cops…)
and I had finished watching a couple of shows we had recorded,
and the regular signal was set onto a network broadcasting Cops.
Not really looking for another full show before calling it a day,
and slowly drawn in by the situation playing out, we kept watching.
And were treated to what has to be one of the greatest segments
in the show’s history.
those wondering, I’ll start by saying can of corn. If you watch
regularly and have seen the show, you know exactly what I mean
(and are likely laughing uncontrollably). If you don’t watch the
show, I’ll just address it by asking you to imagine a can of corn
that was used by one person to hit another person, denting the
can and cracking it open.)
that moment, we began recording and watching more episodes. And,
while scenarios seem almost too similiar here and there, or stretch
on for a bit at times, the reality is there are chunks of the
show that are just flat-out awesome.
seen several episodes now, I’m feeling the need to share a few
tips for would-be-criminal-activity-suspects. (These shouldn’t
be viewed as sincere advice tips. I don’t want anyone breaking
the law, and certainly don’t want to assist in such. But… well…
one – Pull up your pants!
are certain images that immediately hold potential for where a
story is about to go next.
example? Ok. You’re watching any show, and suddenly the image
on screen is a person wearing sunglasses with one lens broken,
a three-quarter length tank top, speedo-style or bikini bottom,
a sneaker on one foot and a sock on the other, holding a large
it make perfect sense? No. Are you going to be happy but how it
plays out while you continue watching? Maybe. But there is definite
anticipation for what is about to happen next.
Cops, the equivalent of one sneaker and a duck is the
suspect fleeing the scene. Taking off, running for the so elusive
dream of freedom. There is so much potential built in to that
one decision, that action. Will the suspect get tackled? Will
a dog arrive on scene and be released? Will the cameraman keep
thing that seems to happen more often than it doesn’t is the alleged-but-not-yet-proven-to-be
criminal taking off with pants mid-thigh. You know the style,
the waistband of the pants positioned closer to the bottom of
the butt than the top.
I placed you at the starting line of a race, took a belt and tied
your thighs together, how fast do you think you’d run? Would it
be even remotely close to your best possible time?
why, for the love of all that may be sacred to you, would you
break the law while making a style choice that compromises your
chances of hitting personal top speeds during a getaway? Is it
just another poor choice on a day filled with poor choices? Is
there some unwritten code about giving the authorities some type
the damn pants up!
two – Stick to the story
an old joke based on the idea of telling the truth with the punchline
being never having to remember what you said since you told the
another old joke based on the idea of telling a lie, sticking
to it, and being willing to go down in a ball of flames with it.
won’t say fair enough to that, but if you’re going to travel on
the path of a lie there’s something to be said about staying on
that road and in your lane.
Cops, as an audience we instead get treated to twists
on the famous Monty Python witch scene.
they don’t use drugs. Then, they might do drugs, but they don’t
have any drugs with them now. Next, they have no idea how the
drugs got into the car. Oh, wait, yeah, there’s a chance they
might have taken some drugs that morning. Ultimately, they claim
to have no clue who put the pipe in their pants because… wait
a minute… maybe these aren’t their pants.
I made that hypothetical progression up. But watching the stories
begin to unravel, turn toward the ground in a plummeting spiral,
and continue to get worse along the way is honestly a combination
of funny and shocking.
have two choices: the truth, or, shutting the mouth. That’s about
it. Any other decision is trouble. (But honestly, if you’re going
to lie, stick to the path. Don’t embellish.)
three – I’m with you on sitting down
scenario that plays out where I can definitely sympathize with
suspects though is when they get asked to sit down on the ground.
recent years, I’ve begun starting any low to the ground project
by planning the end of the effort, placing a stepstool nearby
or setting up within reach of something to grab when I need to
stand up again. I’m not headed to the ground without a plan for
getting back up.
handcuffed? I have a hard enough time getting down to the floor
or back up on my own even when I can plan for assistance, never
mind lowering myself to a four-inch-high curb with my hands cuffed
behind my back.
karma, getting arrested for doing bad things. Takes the sympathy
level down a bit, especially when cases roll around involving
difficult suspects where you could absolutely understand a (my
words, and you know what I mean) “watch your head” moment while
guiding a suspect into the back seat of a patrol car.
I cringe a bit when people try to sit or stand with handcuffs
four – Obey the law!
one seems stupid on the surface. I mean, OF COURSE we
should obey the law. Duh!
also not even remotely what this tip is about. After all, you
don’t get a guest starring role on Cops by obeying the
law. Instead… if you’re going to commit a crime, don’t attract
attention to yourself.
is stunning the percentage of people that are involved in simple
actions that raised the eyebrow of the authorities.
a turn from the wrong lane. Jaywalking. Not slowing down for a
stop sign. Seems like every episode or two involves a person that
never would have been approached if they simply switched on the
turn signal or used a crosswalk.
I’m making some jokes about scenarios that while presented in
an entertaining fashion may honestly not be all that funny at
times. Still, Terry and I are convinced that many of the suspects
absolutely have their friends over for a party whenever the episodes
featuring their arrest is broadcast. (Nothing like telling people
you’re going to be on TV.) So, we’ll wrap it up with a word of
you’re going to be on TV… pull up your pants.