Thursday, August 7, 2014

Freaks on the Beach

I'm an animal control officer in a tiny beach town. A while back I posted some crazy work stories. (Go here for that post.) At the time I said that "Some of the complaints I get are so bizarre that I really don't know what to think about it. I thought it would be fun to share some those situations." I was surprised by the feedback and absolutely floored that people asked for more. I don't know if I should be honored -- or concerned -- that others find my job so entertaining. (Fortunately, it's Thoughtless Thursday, so I'm not going to think about it.) Who am I to not give the people what they want? Where do I start? How about on the beach. 20-30% of my day is spent patrolling the beach front. Take it from me, there are a lot of weirdoes on the beach. Just like last time, ALL these stories are true, but names have been changed or omitted to protect me. (To Hell with everybody else.)

  • The first story goes back almost a decade. I'd been on the job less than six months. We had been receiving complaints about dogs running loose on the beach before dawn. Like a good little ACO, I was on the beach at 6 AM, ready to write some tickets. What I wasn't ready for was sex on the beach. And we're NOT talking about the delicious cocktail. A couple was actually having sex on the beach. I totally forgot all my official police 10-codes. I called in on the radio. It went something like "Uh, HQ. I'm, like, on the beach. Near the pier. And there's, um, this couple having sex. And going at it like rabbits. Could you, um, have an officer come check it out? I don't thing think they're going to stop. I'm looking right at them and they're not stopping. For crying out loud, what is wrong with these people?!" God love my dispatcher. She answered -- in a very professional voice -- "10-4 309. Signal 80 beach front, 8th Street. Signal 35 en route." Of course she laughed at me about it until the day she retired!

  • Then there's this guy that shows up on my beach every now and then. I don't know his real name, but we affectionately refer to him as Mr. Sunny Buns. He lays out in a thong that would make most strippers jealous. And he must get a Brazilian wax or something, because there is nary a hair on that man. Not one single hair! Sunny oils himself up and basks in the sun so much that his skin is the color -- and I imagine texture -- of an old leather purse. I think he fancies himself sexy as he always gives me an alluring look when I drive by. BTW, he's not. So, gag! (Truthfully, I'd be more excited about an old leather purse.) One day, however, he wasn't looking as my truck passed, so I snapped this picture:

I know what you're thinking: "Dammit. I need a new purse."

  • Occasionally we get marine mammals washed up on the beach. It's sad. We are required to guard the animal until Fish and Wildlife shows up, keeping bystanders from messing with the carcass. Because they do. GROSS! Did you know that both male and female dolphins have slits on their underbellies that house all their "naughty bits"? I didn't. I was also surprised to learn that a male dolphin's . . . um, tallywacker . . . pops out like the thermometer on a Butterball turkey when he dies. So one day I was protecting the body of a dead dolphin and a woman walks up to ask the usual question "Why did it die?" I gave the perfunctory answer: "I don't know ma'am, but Fish and Wildlife is on the way. They will make that determination." Instead of saying ok and moving on like everybody else, said woman started screaming. "Oh My God! Someone mutilated that dolphin!" I tried to calm her down but she kept yelling "LOOK! Someone cut open the dolphin!" pointing right at the genital slit. A crowd quickly gathered. Great. I discreetly told her "No ma'am, I think you're mistaken. That's a vent. You know, like on a bird." She wasn't consoled. "What does that mean?!" she demanded. I quietly whispered "It's a girl dolphin." She turned bright red and slinked away.

  • For years the 911 dispatcher would relay calls about a "giant pit bull" roaming the beach. I'd arrive on scene to find the most docile American bulldog you'll ever meet. I'd drive through the panicked crowd, open the passenger door and say "Luna, get in." She was a great dog who loved to be around people (and apparently learned how to open doors). I felt bad about leaving her in my kennel, so we'd usually drive around the City for a couple hours until her owner got home.

  • When I mention that I'm on the beach several times a day, every F-ing day, people tell me they're jealous. I guess in their mind's eye the beach is full of gorgeous Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson and Pamela "Baywatch" Anderson look-a-likes. Unfortunately, that is so NOT true. I see men with backs so hairy that from a distance I would swear they are wearing brown shirts. I've seen fat, European, and/or 80 year old men wearing Speedo bathing suits (proof to the right!) among other atrocities. One day my boss complained that I interacted with people through my driver's side window. She wanted me to get out of my truck and lead violators to the front so that the in-car video would pick up the entire interaction, not just the audio from my body mic. I begrudgingly agreed. The very next day I saw a boxer off leash and bouncing around the beach. I pulled up to speak to the owners, Ms. Nasty and her boyfriend, the Tattooed Midget. Ms. Nasty was 5 foot tall, the color of cottage cheese, and pushing 225 pounds. AND she was wearing a size 5 bikini. At least I think she was. From the front I couldn't tell because her ample pasty-white belly flopped over, completely covering the bottom half. Lucky for me, she was just as attractive on the inside. Boyfriend was equally pleasant, with a Napoleon complex to boot. Both had vocabularies that would make Chris Rock blush. I made sure to bring them to the front of my truck for the entire process, thus in full view of the camera. As soon as I left the beach I asked my boss to pull the video from my truck, claiming I thought the citation would be contested and I wanted her opinion of the interaction. I got a call 20 minutes later. Boss said "Really? You couldn't have warned me?! I just ate lunch!" Tee hee hee. I innocently replied "You said you wanted to see the entire interaction."

  • One of the weirder beach calls came a couple months ago. Ten minutes before my shift ended (yep, that's how it happens) I was asked to assist the rangers in a neighboring city's park. There was a raccoon on the beach at 6:50 PM and people were freaking out. In the 15 minutes it took me get to the park the hysterical beachgoers had scared the raccoon from the dunes into the ocean. I heard "It's out during the day, it must have rabies!" two dozen times before I could convince everybody to go away and let me do my job. (Note: Raccoons are not vampires; They are allowed to be out during daylight hours. It's very common with urban raccoons.) The young raccoon was soaked, terrified and exhausted from fighting the incoming tide. Without taking off my shoes (argh) I waded into the water and looped my catch-pole around the raccoon's waist. I put him in a transfer cage and drove through the crazy mob, now shouting "He must have rabies, what are you going to do with him?" I smiled and waved, because I knew they wouldn't like my answer. The raccoon wasn't sick, just young and overly curious about the park's overflowing trash cans. I took him deep into the wooded part of the park and let him go, admonishing him to "Stay away from the beach. Crazy people hang out there!" I hope he listened.

  • To be totally honest, this job's not all bad. I enjoy being on the beach during a storm, watching the waves violently crash on to the shore. There is nothing more breathtaking than seeing the sun rise over the ocean. And if the dolphins are breaching, I couldn't care less who's running loose on the beach. And then there's this:

    FYI: That's Kyle Brady, former Jacksonville Jaguar and my celebrity crush. He used to live in my jurisdiction. I would watch him bike and run down the beach every day. (I'm not a stalker. Don't judge me!) One day I had my officer friend, Sherri, riding in the truck with me. I saw Mr. Brady on the beach and started to hyperventilate. Seriously, this is one good looking man! Sherri said "Talk to him. I dare you!" I pulled over and said "Mr. Brady? You're my son's favorite player. Can I get a picture with you for my son?" Surprisingly, he agreed! (BTW, I was lying my ass off. Son liked Donovin Darius at the time; he couldn't have cared less about Kyle Freaking Brady.) Without even unbuckling her seatbelt, Sherri shot this picture through the driver's side window. The fact that the picture is in focus is amazing. Photography was not one of Sherri's talents. The genuine smile, however, is no surprise. Truth is, some days I LOVE my job, crazy and all! Weird enough for you? Come back later. I've' got more. LOTS more. -- K

    Hey! It's Thoughtless Thursday! Hope around and see what craziness others are sharing today!

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