By Hal Collier, Retired LAPD
Practical Joke: I never passed up a chance to lighten the mood and when an opportunity presented itself I usually jumped at it. Now, sometimes it takes planning and some logistics are involved.
Here’s my story. I was eating at a small Italian restaurant with my partner and we were joined by Steve and his probationer, Coleen. We were on our second cup of coffee when Coleen excused herself to go to the bathroom. Coleen had blond hair and blue eyes and was a real looker. It was said she had a crush on Steve but then a lot of probationers had crushes on their first training officer. Coleen came back from the restroom and being a trained police officer, I noticed she had an embarrassed look on her face.
I asked if everything was ok and she said well sort of. I have interrogated hundreds of suspects so I pressed her for an answer. She said, “I’ll tell you but you have to promise not to tell anyone else, I’d be too embarrassed.”
Ok, we all promised!
Coleen said she went to the restroom and common with most women, she had to sit to take care of business. She was sitting and holding her gun belt up off the bathroom floor when in walked a man. This bathroom didn’t have stalls, so Coleen calmly said, “I’ll be done in a moment.”
The man excused himself. She then discovered she had walked into the men’s bathroom. Being a rookie, she missed the men’s room sign on the door and the fact that a urinal is seldom in women’s bathrooms, and well, she’s not detective material, yet!
We kind of laughed but also understood her embarrassment, except for Steve. He started telling other officers around the station. I noticed Coleen’s uneasiness and asked her if she wanted to get even with Steve.
She jumped at the opportunity. I set my plan in motion. As with any good practical joke you may need some help. I included my wife who was often a co-conspirator in my pranks. I had her get an old granny bra from her mother. I slipped the bra into Steve’s riot helmet bag and told my sergeant that we needed to have a helmet bag inspection. The sergeant thought the plan was perfect.
After roll call the sergeant had all the officers line up with their helmet bags in the station car port. The sergeant would inspect every other helmet bag. He finally came to Steve’s. The look on Steve’s face when a woman’s bra fell out of his bag was worth the price of admission. He was speechless and Coleen smiled all day.
Hell, I could have bought an expensive Wonder Bra and it would have been worth it.
Back to the blood and guts of patrol!