When I tell people that I’m a police detective, they imagine me as the real TV deal. Maybe a quick, feisty woman who interrogates witnesses with a mouthful of razors, or that workaholic who skips sleep and buys 5 cups of coffee from the McDonald’s drive-thru at 5am. Perhaps they see me running at serial killers and drug traffickers, gun in hand, screaming commands to my colleagues down a radio. Others see me undercover, dressed up as a pretty, sultry brunette with red lips and a butt so muscular that my leather pants had to be pulled up by a hanger.
Let’s get one thing straight: some of the crap you’ve been watching on cable is fucking ridiculous (by the way, we don’t get our forensics results two hours later like they do in CSI – it takes weeks or even months to hear back). But some of it is fairly accurate. The station really can become a dramatic episode; many spread gossip and rumours through a chain of whispers, whilst others indulge in hysteric outbursts of emotion like they’re practising for an audition at the RADA (today, one of my colleagues broken down for over twenty minutes because she had split a nail). And I really do have to deal with some ridiculous cases, like full-grown men crying at me down the phone because they want me to investigate a lost shoe, or drunken students being brought in to the station because they tripped over their trousers and indecently exposed themselves in public. Then again, I’ve also seen the darkest parts of humanity during my career (no examples needed).
I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty good at my job. I’ve been in service for 10 years, and I’ve solved more cases than anyone else in my regional division. I’ve chased the bad guys and gals down the streets in hot pursuits. I’ve spent sleepless nights picking up every possible piece of evidence, including human shit. I’ve avoided unnecessary costs for the taxpayer by laughing ridiculous cases away down the telephone. I’ve had the promotions, the medals and the honours.
But do you know what my best part in all of this is? I make every effort to record my stories on a cheap little dictaphone (typically when waiting in line at McDonald’s drive-thru stops), just so that I can replay everything over and over again until I finally pass out each night with a bottle of wine in my hand. And I can share those with you, not because it’s my duty – it really, really isn’t – but because I have nothing better to do when I get back to my tiny, grotty studio apart than rant away at the ridiculous existence of being a detective. So, whether you’re a crime fanatic or just have wayyyy too much free time, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll share these anecdotes with you one at a time, from the most trivial and ridiculous to the obscene. I’ll have my assistant, Pat (the Cat) type them up.*
Penny (and Pat).
*The following accounts are entirely fictional.