Sometimes they walk in pairs, sometimes they travel alone, and sometimes they just drive around the neighborhood, these Samurai we call policemen, cops. When we don’t need them, we often fear them. When we do, they bring hope, they bring justice, for they ask questions and observe details. They are after the truth, these Jack Webb kind of folks, using the words, “Just the facts, ma’am.”
With all that in mind, why is this cop fellow cruising around my neighborhood in his black and white?
Oh, well, I’ve got to mow the lawn. Why is it that I always wait till mid-afternoon to mow my lawn? I know it’s the hottest time of the day, I know it may rain—maybe it will rain—I know it may take at least two hours and I will be exhausted, dehydrated, drained. After all, this is Florida.
I look at my watch. It is 2:30. Geez, I’d better get going. I repeat several times: “A mowed lawn is a good lawn. A mowed lawn is a good lawn. A mowed lawn is a good lawn.”
Here it is Saturday and I have put off “The Deed” for three days. What will the neighbors think? No particular reason to put it off. I just hate to mow my lawn, or any lawn. Hated it when I was a kid. When I resisted, my mother said that I was lazy. Guess she was right. Because I don’t want to mow this piece of real estate they call mine. Actually it’s the bank’s.
Earlier I looked out the window just to check to see if the lawn needed mowing. Yes, it does, I concluded. As I checked out the grass, I saw the police cruiser ease through the neighborhood. What’s he looking for anyway? Oh, well, at least he’s looking.
First I put on my lawn mowing outfit: hat, gloves, suntan lotion, ragged t-shirt, shorts, socks, beat-up sneakers. Boy, these shoes have been through a lot. I check myself out in the mirror. Man, I’m ready to go. I’m ready for “The Job.”
Now I’m outside and go pick up branches and sticks and debris. Fill my garbage bag half full.
I pull out the lawn mower from the shed in my back yard, check the oil, and fill the tank with gas. Set the gas can back in its place and walk back to the mower. Push the choke and pull the starter cord. It’s a bit hard to pull, but the mower doesn’t start.
I look up and there is the cop parked two doors down on the other side of the street. He’s standing by his car and he’s watching me. What’d I do?
Oh, well, if he wanted me, he’d come over and talk to me. He isn’t doing that. At least, not yet anyway. But he’s watching me in that noncommittal stance cops always use when they check things out.
I go back to my work, pull the starter cord again, and miracle of miracles, the mower roars alive. Phew! Two pulls and it started. My last mower took forever to start, if it was going to start. Thank God for new lawn mowers. Got a good one this time.
I push the mower to the edge of my front lawn and off I go. I get through the first bag of grass. I take the bag off the mower and lug it to the compost pile on the edge of my back yard. Time for some water. I go to the kitchen and grab a bottle of water. Back on the back porch, I drink it. I notice that cop still eyeing me from across the street.
Then the cop walks over towards me. Just what the hell does he want?
I walk back out onto the lawn and meet the cop. Cop says to me, “Just want you to know you need to zip your fly. Wouldn’t want to get a sunburn, now would we?.”