Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings, A Practical Joke

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:  “Water.”


Probationer:  “Water?”


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.

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