Written by Judy Epstein Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
I watch television to relax. The trouble is, sometimes, it’s not so relaxing.
Take the police procedurals I watch. The officers go into a house or apartment, guns drawn, looking for someone. They sneak around checking closets, finding dead bodies, evidence, I-don’t-know-what-all… but the entire time, I can’t pay a scrap of attention, because I’m too busy shouting at them, “Shut the door! Close it behind you! How do you know they aren’t coming back?”
Nobody ever shuts the door! And by the way, what does it mean when they yell “Clear”? Apparently one thing it does NOT mean is, “There’s nobody here,” because half the time, as soon as they’ve said it, some criminal springs out of the closet or out from under the bed., and attacks them; so I’m thinking it means “I’m all alone here…” or, as we used to say when I was a kid, “All-ye-all-ye-home-free!” Instead of “clear,” I think they should just yell “Marco!” Then whoever’s hiding in the closet could yell “Polo!” and we could be getting somewhere.
When they’re not entering premises with their guns drawn, they’re sneaking up on bad guys holed up in buildings…and yet the officers are always jabbering, in loud conversational tones, about who they’re sneaking up on, and who’s going to sneak to which window, not to mention where they’re all going for lunch after the arrests are made. Does nobody hear this? Does nobody bolt out the back? And how can the criminals possibly get any of their criminal work done, with all that blather going on outside?
Now, I’m no expert on the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, but there seems to be some kind of requirement that when police tell a suspect to “Stop! Police!” they must shout it from at least a city block away. There must be some prohibition against getting close enough to actually arrest them…or else why don’t they? So there’s always a foot-race, complete with gunfire ringing out and various kinds of property getting smashed. Alas, they never seem to learn from these rookie mistakes… even though I have, and keep trying to tell them: “Get closer first!” But they never listen.
When the fugitives escape in a vehicle, police officers jump in their cars and give chase. But who had the keys? When did they put them in the ignition? Or is everyone driving those newfangled cars that “know” if their key is in your pocket? (Which is more than I ever know. I rented one of those things recently, for a college visit, and my son had to “facebook” a friend of his to find out how to start the car.) Of course no one ever fastens their seatbelt – or needs so much as a second to take one off, when they arrive.
I’m sure I needn’t tell you how distracted I get when the driver turns around, for an animated conversation with somebody in the back seat, and never runs off the road or into another car.
And there’s one thing I find flat-out unbelievable. Somehow, the police are always finding surveillance cameras that just happen to be in the right place, turned on, and recording, when whoever they’re investigating walks by. For heaven’s sake, the DVR that I record these shows on doesn’t work that well, and I’m paying for it!
After an hour of all this “relaxation,” I am exhausted and ready for bed. So I’ll see you tomorrow… if Marco and Polo from the closet don’t get me first.
Judy Epstein is too busy researching this piece right now to take your calls, so please leave your message at alookonthelightside.com.