By Hal Collier, LAPD Retired We are happy that 35-year veteran Hal Collier is sharing his ‘stories behind the badge’ with us.
A Practical Joke
This joke has been going around the police stations for decades. The first time I saw it done was early 1971. You need a relatively new probationer, a kid who obeys his senior officers and still has that desire to serve the public that pays his salary. He also doesn’t want to get into trouble for kissing off a citizen. I personally participated in about three variations of this joke.
Ok, the scene is the front desk of any police station. A senior desk officer is working alone. A probationer happens to walk by. The senior officer asks the probationer to watch the desk while he goes to the bathroom. Ok, the phone rings and the probationer answers,
Probationer: “Good morning, Hollywood Police Station, may I help you?”
Caller: “Yea, I want to report a theft.”
Probationer: “What was stolen?”
Caller: “Yea, from my swimming pool!”
Probationer: “How much water?”
Caller: “30,000 gallons.”
Probationer: “How did someone steal 30,000 gallons of water?”
Caller: “I was in Europe for a month on business and when I got home my swimming pool was empty.”
Ok, the probationer begins to think the caller might be a Hollywood nut, waiting for a job at city hall.
Probationer: “How could anyone steal 30,000 gallons of water?”
Caller: “Look I pay a lot of taxes, including your salary. Are you going to do something or do I have to call my friends down at City Hall? Do you know how much 30,000 gallons of water costs?”
The probationer begins looking around the station for a senior officer to bail him out of this call. Of course no one is around. The plan is working.
Caller: “I think I know who took my water!”
Probationer: “Oh who?”
Ok, the hook has been set. Now all you have to do is reel the probationer in.
Caller: “I’ve been having a dispute with my neighbor down the street and I think he took my pool water while I was in Europe.”
Probationer: “What makes you think he took your water?”
Caller: “I was walking my dog by his house yesterday and I saw water coming out from under his garage door.”
This is where the probationer catches on, but not always. The first time I was aware of this joke, they made a sketch of an officer standing outside a garage door. He was scratching his head, with water coming from under the garage door behind him. They presented it to him at the division Christmas party.
I miss the good old days.