Fork In My Drawer

I sometimes live in a category titled, “Things I should think about before doing them”. In my mind, this could be akin to realizing I’m trying to eat tomato soup with a shiny fork …thinking this would be a good objective. Makes no sense at the moment of slurp, but would if the synapses were firing the ridiculously genius idea minutes earlier. Oh, what an imaginary delightful experience that would be … if ever true.

If verifiable by a witness, I’d need some counseling to be sure. Thankfully, I’m not there. Some may argue that point, but I’m quite sure the utensil drawer is safe from Campbell’s soup excursions into the drippy arena of runny-red tomato soup, fork encounters. For now.

However true, I am concerned about my lack of foresight when opportunities arise as one did the other day. This is a web-log and I am a blogger who wishes to log a Doug-does-a-didn’t-think-ahead moment on the web. So, here we go.

Enter two policemen, one rather inebriated young man, a car, one delightful afternoon at my cart, and me … an overly generous most of the time, kind person.

I didn’t hear any sirens. It was a quiet pull-over as the two police cars nestled the tan four-door vehicle over against the curb back to my left. A young man, approximately in his late-twenties, wearing a backwards white ball cap, nicely worn jeans and white shirt, slowly exited out of the car.

First glance at him, all seemed ok. A customer and I – curious spy seekers – kept a steady twenty paces away as to not arouse any suspicion. Two officers went through their usual routine checking registration and insurance, from what our innocent eyes could see. All was going well until the walk that should have been a straight line … that wasn’t … began.

“Oops, uhm, eeh, oooh”, we uttered intermittently as this young man made every valiant effort available to him. Upright he remained, his pride somewhat intact, but his shoes to the ground not so much. If “S” could qualify as a straight line, he passed.

Kudos to the officers, btw. Patience and calm were the qualities of the day. They moved to phase two, if this is a handbook guideline. Customer and I, again, waited patiently as I noticed no other customers waiting for my service. “Stand still, lift one leg and stay balanced.” We lip-read from the distance. As this was confirmed, you guessed it …. we tried it ourselves behind my van to avoid being seen. Just. In. Case.

We passed.

Well, the young man … didn’t. He was driving under the influence of something. It wasn’t under our jurisdiction to go over and ask, of course. That would be ridiculous. We did feel part of the whole process, though, like we were actually arresting the unfortunate young man ourselves. Sherriff Doug and his deputy Ken. Has a certain special sauce to it, huh?

Ken left soon after the Mr. Newly Arrested was placed in one of the shiny washed patrol cars. (Man, they are always clean.) I was alone. No customers. Only my thoughts as I looked over at two officers. One on his cell phone calling in for a tow to handle the, now, abandoned car on the street by my cart, and the other finishing up some odds and ends with paperwork. A fine job being done by our city’s finest.

My fork in the soup brain kicked in. They “must” be hungry. Never mind they’re in the middle of arresting an inebriated driver as I was under the influence of my over-active synapses. It’s an (air quotes) lunchtime arrest, afterall. Why not go over and offer them a free meal? Seems logical, right? They had nothing else going on at that moment.

Uhm, yes they did.

I sauntered over – proudly I may add.

“You guys hungry? May I (not “can I”. Always use proper grammar when speaking to an officer) offer you lunch? On me! … How about your partner? Looks like you’ve had your hands full here”

Ok. Once I spoke those words, a fog came over me. A dizziness-like amazement/what the f*ck did I just do moment. Why do I say that? Because the officer’s non-verbal response was a blank stare for a few seconds. An awkward silence. I had to say something KNOWING from my sales experience whoever speaks first loses. “I’m Doug. The dawg guy over there. Just thought maybe you guys could be hungry and would want something. A drink?”

Nothing. Then he said, “I’ll check with my partner.” He was kind, but otherwise distracted.

Meanwhile, officer #1 is still on his cell phone. Pacing still because, apparently, there is no contact with a tow company.

I remained calm and continued forward. It was close to the time to begin my closing procedure, so I headed past them to retrieve my street sign down a few yards from where they were. On the way back, of course I had to, once again ask, “You sure?”

After a deep breath in, he replied “Yes, I’m sure. If there’s time, we’ll stop back around.”

Now, I know this fine officer was being very generous with his treatment of me. They had no intentions to come back – unless to unstick me from my brain problem of wanting to help them. Why I had to go over and interfere with what was clearly two officers doing their job is a mystery to me.

Thinking ahead would have helped. I ended up with a fork in my soup and didn’t feel good about any of it. Only when I was driving home did I realize how unintended the outcome was.

More situation awareness? Maybe. I believe I simply like to help people where and when I can. Nothing more complicated than that. If I see a lonely fork in a drawer, the future soup is irrelevant at that moment. I want the fork to feel important. Cared for.

When I get to the soup, I like to be challenged. With the fork by my side, I’ll pick up the bowl and drink the soup. Everyone wins!

As for my police pals, I’ll eventually find a way to feed them for free. They did a wonderful and respectful job the other day. I think that’s all I wanted them to know by extending a meal to them. My way of telling them that was a bit unorthodox because I didn’t think ahead.

I’ll be ok. Like I wrote, some may be concerned about my mental facilities; however, where there’s a bowl of opportunity, there’s a way to be nice as long as there’s a fork in my drawer.

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