These Aren’t My Pants, Officer.

One of the things I like to do each week is catch up on my homies at Live PD on the A&E network. Each week, 32 different camera teams in 8 different departments ride along with officers on patrol. The departments are as varied as Warwick, RI, Salinas, CA, and the Oklahoma State Police. With a wide variety of departments (which change every few weeks/months) you get exposed to a lot of different law enforcement agencies, a variety of outrageously stupid criminals, and enough misery to break the heart of Jesus for three hours every Friday and Saturday night.

I’ve written about the show previously on the blog (okay, I’m a fanboy) and if you want to get the full joy of this posting today, you need to watch an episode, or twenty, to have the same level of appreciation that regular watchers have over the items below.

Some things are a constant. It doesn’t matter if the doofus in question is black, white, brown, red, or some combination of the above, and covered in mud to boot, you will hear the following things said, and the following situations occur on a weekly basis. I feel cheated if I don’t hear at least three of these items each week during my “watch party.”

“These aren’t my pants.” In the vernacular of the mopes that appear on the show, this phrase is usually uttered when the officer who’s stopped them finds dope/a sex toy/or a weapon in their pocket. It happens regularly. The embellishments can continue for twenty minutes if you were to stick with the scene, and include “My roommate must have taken my pants and left these. I don’t do dope,” and the ever popular “That *@($ I live with must have put that in my pocket. I ain’t never seen that gun before.”

Close behind the above, is the equally stupid phrase: “These aren’t my socks.” How a 1/2 pound of methamphetamine worked it’s way into their sock is evidently a mystery, but I suspect it may be explained away in the same manner as the mystery pantaloons noted above.

When the individuals aren’t being exposed as being body dysphoric with unusual clothing items they hadn’t noticed, they frequently explain their bad driving with the words, “I only had a shot/two beers.” In my time as a cop, that usually translated to: 1/2 bottle of bourbon, or a 12-pack of cheap beer. It is always amusing to watch them struggle to pass the field-sobriety test that inevitably follows the lie regarding consumption.

A related phrase has become popular in the recent past, “I smoked it/shot it/ate it a long time ago.” Evidently the relative time frame that attaches to narcotics use is akin to the amount of time Microsoft says remains on your update. You know, the one that goes from 92 minutes to 7 minutes and back to 45 minutes in the span of mere seconds. Almost always, upon closer examination, the individuals admit that they were actually smoking the joint as the red lights appeared in their rear-view mirror.

Many of these same non-linear Time Lords have a similar understanding of what the words “Is there anything else in the car that’s illegal?” mean. This phrase is always uttered by the officer who has already discovered an open bottle of liquor, a bag of crystal meth, or a loaded handgun wedged into the seat. Only rarely will anyone say that they have additional bad things in the vehicle. I enjoy the look of horror when the K-9 officer arrives a few moments later to search the vehicle. In 9 out of 10 cases (at least) the car contains something else. In this list of “I ain’t got ’nuffin” I have seen 20 pounds of marijuana, an AK-47, a sawed-off shotgun, and a host of smaller items like machetes/daggers/and sex toys beyond counting. (Not that they’re illegal, but do you really want to find one stuck in the seat cushion while searching the car?)

Almost last, but certainly not least, when the officers ask for a name, or identification, it’s mind-bending how many members of the public travel about with nothing on them. No credit cards, no identity card, not even a discount card at the local weed dispensary for being a great customer. Often, after the name and birth date they give proves to be false, a mystery identity card is located in their wallet during the custodial search before they go into the patrol car.

Even more surprising, most of them are driving on a suspended/revoked license, and over 1/2 have a warrant of some kind for their arrest.

When this is revealed, the suspect INVARIABLY says that they took care of the warrant that afternoon, and it just isn’t out of the system yet, and/or that they were going to register the vehicle/get insurance for the vehicle/or renew their license on Monday. (The show airs on Friday and Saturday nights.)

Seriously? Do they expect the police just to throw them a bone and let them continue to drive on their 10th suspension of license? Evidently.

I guess that is the short list. If you would like to add your favorites, just put in a comment and I’ll gladly do an update in the near future.

In the meantime: wear your own pants when you leave the house.


My second novel, Nicholas of Haiti, is now available. Go fetch your credit card for the Kindle, print, and audio book versions. This is not a sequel to Assault on Saint Agnes, but a unique book in the speculative Christian fiction world.

Audio book cover on the left, Kindle cover on the right.

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