I've never really cared for the administrative assistant at the police station. She's not as friendly as the officers. Maybe it was the smirk she gave me when I went in to report a missing hub cab a few years back. I don't know. I do know she did not earn herself any more points today.
I needed another key made for my roommate. They did not provide us with enough when we moved in, so we've had to get more made. 'Round these parts you do that at the police station. I walked in yesterday and was told the key-maker had left for the day. He would be back between 6 and noon today. I went back today a little before noon, and he was out on the grounds.
At first she began to take down my name (not even daring to repeat my last name to me but requesting I spell it), request, and a phone number. I did not get past the area code when she looked out the window and almost stood. She picked her Blackberry up off of the desk and radio-ed the officer.
Officer: Go ahead.
Secretary: Can you come in and help this little girl?
Woah. I glanced around to make sure she and I were the only ones in the room. Nope, no little girl had snuck in on my watch. I politely waited, but her words rang through my head.
"Help this little girl... help this little girl... help this little girl..."
Suddenly instead of a renter asking for a new key to be made, I felt like a child separated from her mother. That's where separated children are told to do, right? Seek help from police officers. I contemplated producing some tears just to accurately play the part.
Officer Larry came through the front door and stood in front of me, so close that if there had not been a wall and fake ficus behind me I would have stepped backwards to remove him from my large personal bubble. His eyes were the same level as mine, not bad for a little girl.
Officer Larry: What can I do for you?
I held up the key between our faces. I told him my request and gave my apartment number.
Officer: You already have a key.
Katie: My roommate needs one.
Officer: This for the front door?
Katie: Yes, sir.
When it doubt, throw in the "sir." It used to be so unnatural it sounded corny but after three years down South I have to remember to turn it off when I go home (and not say it to women...)
He took the key and walked away. I was not sure if I should follow or not, but I did since he was still talking to me.
Officer: I've already made a bucket full of keys for that front door.
Katie: You've made one, and we need one more.
I didn't blabber my spiel about the apartment housing six students and the school only providing four keys because I was interrupted by the Chief of Police.
Chief: You made a bucket full-a them? Now whatcha gonna do? Can your bucket hold one more?
Officer Larry: I guess so.
Katie: Thank you.
Officer Larry disappeared I stood in Chief's doorway waiting.
Chief: What are you up to today?
Katie: Causin' trouble.
Chief: Would you stop that?
Katie: What are you up to?
He looked down at his desk, knowing my eyes would follow and see his Subway sandwich and chips.
Katie: Eatin' lunch?
Katie: All day?
Chief: Yup. You're like my wife. I'm sitting on the tractor and she says, "Are you going to cut the grass?" I want to say, "No, I'm just sitting here because I feel like it."
I contemplated telling him about how my dad and his neighbor-friends gather their matching orange tractors in the middle of the yard, rest their feet on the steering wheels, sit back, and enjoy a good beer and great company. But I remembered I'm in the South... and talking to a police chief. Crazy Northern Lutheran stories were probably unwelcome.
Instead, I should have asked to ride the segway. Chief might have actually said yes. Either that or he would have said, "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness." I'm not really sure.
I didn't get to find out because Officer Larry came back with two keys and sent this "little girl" on her way to find her own lunch to eat all day.