The other day, I was telling my folks about my day at work:
“This guy came into the store, wearing a black turtle-neck, cargo pants, boots, a belt and on his belt….a really.big.gun. I got really nervous, mainly because he was nervous — when people walk into a jewelry store nervous, it tends to make you nervous too — but secondarily because he had a gun on his hip.
“As I’m freaking out inside my head, he asks if we could change his watch battery. I have my manager take over — he’s much better at watch batteries and I was too nervous to move. The creeper with a really big gun then turns his body toward me and I see the flash of his badge sitting there next to his really big gun.
“Ok great. He’s just law enforcement.
“So in order to break down some of his nerves, I decided to get him talking. ‘May I ask what you do?’ He replied, ‘I’m a patrol officer, today I’m going around checking in on the offenders I’m in charge of.’ ”
Now, at this point in my story my mother stops me with a severe nervousness in her eyes and my dad walks in as if I had dropped and broken a glass. With grave concern for their daughter — or maybe it was just confusion — they asked what in the world a patrol officer is doing in a turtleneck and cargo pants with a really big gun slung on his hip instead of a uniform.
Patrol officer? Parole officer. He was a parole officer. Please excuse my disjointed use of my first and only language.