Gut Rumbles

December 01, 2006

Guilt Instinct

Originally published December 29, 2004

I've had the police or members of the Sheriff's Department show up at my door numerous times over the past three years. Usually, they came to deliver another court order from my bloodless cunt ex-wife, but a couple of times they just wanted to ask me "a few questions."

Why is it, that even when you KNOW that you haven't done anything illegal, the sight of a cop at the door and the thought of answering a "few questions" makes your blood run cold? It'll scare the living shit out of you--- or at least it will ME--- until you learn that they aren't there to haul you off to jail.

Bejus! Once, one of my neighbors reported his lawn mower stolen and the cops dropped by to ask me if I saw anything unusual at his house the day of the theft (the mower later was found in the woods behind my neighbor's house where his son and some friends hauled it off for who-knows-why. The son got his ass fried for that.). I almost pissed my pants while I told them that I didn't notice anything.

Another time, two officers (one male and one female) showed up at my door in a pouring rain to ask questions about another neighborhood crime. I was drinking beer at the time, but I invited them inside (which I usually DON'T do when cops show up at my door). I wasn't going to make ANYBODY stand outside in that rain.

They were investigating a complaint about some kid on a motorcycle racing through the neighborhood. I was happy to help them. "Yeah, I know the little shit," I said. "His name is Dwayne and he lives in that house across the street two doors down from me. He's got a rice-burner bike, a Yamaha I think, and he's gonna kill himself or somebody else with the way he rides it around here. Maybe you can put the fear of God into him, because his daddy sure won't." I had talked to Dwayne's father about that bike and he basically told me to go piss up a rope.

The guy cop was intrigued by my guitars--- I think I had three or four of them in my living room at the time. "Do you play?" he asked.

If anybody else but a cop had asked that question, I would have delivered a really smart-ass answer. ("No, I don't play. I thought the things were golf clubs when I bought them. Heh. Live and learn.") But I said, "Yeah. I play a little."

"Me, too," replied the cop. "That one is a Martin, isn't it? That's one fine guitar."

I offered to let him play it, I offered them both some coffee and I was as polite as I could be. When they refused my hospitality, thanked me for my help and left, I breathed a sigh of relief. I don't know why, but that was my gut reaction.

I think I get Badge Fever when cops come to visit me. I feel guilty even when I'm NOT. I don't think I could pass a lie detector test. They'd ask me my name, I'd answer truthfully and the needles would go spinning off the page as if I were lying my ass off.

I wouldn't make a good criminal. I have too much guilt instinct.

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