Another heinous example. This time in my front yard.

A cop. A girl getting her hair cut. Kate. A friend. And now me.

One dick cop spoils it for everyone.

Nice cop story one. Earlier this week I met the local chief of police. At the pool. Didn’t know it was him. In the lockerroom actually. He asked me if the water was cold. Freezing, I said. Later somebody said he’s the chief. Nice guy, they said. I agree. Real nice guy. Smiley, conversational, funny.

Nice cop story two. After Hurricane Irma, a female cop caught me attempting to trespass. Me and the dog wanted to go for a run by the river. I was caught red handed trying to move the no trespassing sign that blocked the road. She stopped her car. It was the morning of the storm. Winds were still gusting. Nobody had power. She was like hey what are you doing? And I said I want to go for a run with the dog. And she said not down there, that’s closed off. And I said oh okay. I asked her if she wanted me to move the sign back into place and she said yes that’d be great. And so I did. And I didn’t see her again until a month ago when an 80yo Veteran in big red truck ran into me while long boarding. A called 911 because he was belligerent and not civil and she came and talked to him and talked to me and went back and talked to him and took us to the station and then said sorry sir I can’t help you, he’s denying everything and there’s no camera footage. I said well thanks for being so nice about it and she said yeah of course I just feel bad for you and your skateboard. I said yeah it’s no worries, I just wish he wasn’t such a dick about it. And she said yeah me too.

Now the dick cop story. Yesterday afternoon I was in bed with headphones on watching YouTube tutorials explaining how to add a clickable social media icon to your YouTube banner. Kate had just finished cutting a friend’s hair. Another friend had come to hang out. Girl time. Once the haircutting was over, the baby was hungry so I deposited the baby with her mum. And then that made four girls hanging out. I went back to the bedroom to study YouTube—what all millennials should be studying. Half hour later I come out and the girl who just got her hair cut is balling and the friend is hugging her and Kate is holding the baby with her jaw hanging down and they’re saying things like “what a dick” and “so rude” and “I’m sorry he didn’t have to be that way.” I say what’s up guys and this is what they say:

The hair cut girl parked her car partially in the street. If you’re not in the south, this is a thing. Everyone parks partially or fully in the lawn. So it’s not unheard of. And our lot is particularly amenable to half-on and half-off parking because there’s no curb separating street from lawn. Nor is there any shoulder separated space on the street. Apparently the hair cut girl erred too much on the street side of the parking equation and not enough on the lawn. While they were haircut chilling, the cop must have noticed the car, called a tow truck and waited. Post hair-cut, while I’m still YouTube studying, the new do girl is going out to her car and the guy from the towing company has it 99% reeled in. Hair cut girl is like noooooo that’s my car. And then the cop comes out.

In the context of marriage, as Kate and I often discuss, communication is 100% how you say it. Cops needs communication 101, respect 101, decency 101, masculinity 101.

From the three ladies’ reports, the cop could use an intensive three week course called “How to communicate effectively and NOT be an ass.” Hair cut girl is small in height and weight. Cop is big in both dimensions. Cop explains violation. Hair cut girl says yes sir, yes officer. Because that’s what you say to cops if you’re smart. Cop asks her if it’s her parents car. WTF? Obvious implication: that young women are incompetent and therefore incapable of making enough money to purchase a vehicle. Hair cut says no it’s her car. Doesn’t explain to the cop that that was a dick question. Cop inexplicably raises his voice. Says the parking job could have killed someone. Cop loud stammers: would you be able to live with that? With killing someone? Hair cut girl is wiping tears, head down.

Would the cop act this way toward a group of male law violators? What if I were present? Is this abuse reserved for crowds of all women? The tow driver was a man. . . Why didn’t he say anything to the cop? Like dude… chill the fuck out. Because nobody says anything bad to cops. They have guns. They can arrest you. Fine you.

Inside the house, after the belittling verbal assault, and $125 fine to get the car off the tow, I said to the hair cut girl that she should call the chief of police and let him know. She said yeah she knows him. I said yeah nice guy. I said yeah I met him too. But her eyes were wet, cheeks swollen. It didn’t look like she was down to say anything. Why? The fine’s been issued. She had to pay the tow guy in cash.

Is this the way men in authority treat women? I’m going to share yesterday's episode with the chief of police. He’s a nice guy. I’m curious how he reacts. Not because the hair cut girl can’t do it herself, but because this happened in front of mine and Kate’s house. This could have been her. Or in 16 years, that could have been Ellie.

Why is this kind of civilian-cop experience necessary? What does it teach? Do your job: Issue the citation. Explain the law. But drop the condescending yelling. Drop the yelling period. Lose the I’m going to stand next to you real close and look down on you thing. That’s abusive. And what are you demonstrating? Other than becoming another male model for the proposition that masculinity includes violently berating women, dehumanizing them.

What the fuck man?

>>> If you'd like to right this wrong, and you know the police chief, give him a buzz. Or message me. The hair cut girl was slammed with $125 fine, which her and her friend paid on the spot from their food service job tips. To get the car back. Without disclosing the identity of this girl, for her privacy and protection, if you want to show how bonk you think this is and have some extra cash, message me and let's see if we can't put $125 back into her pocket; show her that the community supports her. If you message me, I'll tell you how much of the $125 (if any) remains to be fundraised. Namaste.