The motto of police everywhere is to protect and serve. This is clearly a big-honking, lard-covered lie. I have never in my life been protected or served by a police official. I have been ticketed, cuffed, arrested and assaulted by the police, but these actions hardly live up to the definition of their motto, so I guess what I am trying to say, for the most part, is that cops suck (useless observation: have you ever noticed how no one ever says that they are trying to say “for the least part,” or “for some part?” It’s always for the most part). A few weeks ago, however, Joe the Tile Guy reminded me of the time last November, when we met a cool cop.

As Joe and I were walking to the apartment of a mutual friend, a female police officer sized us up with all the grace and subtlety of an insane gladiator gutting a lion with a blunt butter knife (read: no grace or subtlety). Joe began to get nervous, muttering something to the effect of, “Dude, I don’t need this.” (To be fair, Joe lays tile for a living. So, maybe he ain’t the most law abiding chap on planet Earth, but he cuts a mean floor.)

After we nervously entered the apartment and informed our mutual friend about the cop staring at us, our mutual friend muttered something to the effect of, “Fuck, I don’t need this.” Clearly, some kind of problem had presented itself in the neighborhood. We waited all of forty minutes before we left the apartment of our mutual friend. As we entered my car, the police officer came over to us and said, “Can I ask you guys a question?”

It was at this point that my adolescent memories of police interaction came flooding back, the old heart skipped a beat or three on its way to near-terminal acceleration and Joe began to sweat the sweat of the unjust (I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean).

“Um, sure,” I replied.

“Can I use your muscles? I’ve got this huge fish tank I’m trying to get into a friends’ apartment and we’re just not strong enough.”

Joe, after breathing the biggest sigh of relief that has ever been breathed by a white man not on trial for stock swindling, replied, “we’d be glad to.”

So, after we lugged this huge fish tank up three flights of stairs while we smiled the huge smiles of lucky white people, the police officer gave us $20 for helping them move. I tried to refuse the money but she would not consider it.

What a cool cop!

I’ve been waiting twenty years to write that line. It felt so damn good, I’m gonna do it again.

What a cool cop!

Wow, that felt just as good the second time.