Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cop Talk

A newly-renovated courthouse looms over me as I stroll through the city square of Denton, Texas. In front of the building is a monument built in 1918, a statue of a rebel soldier holding a rifle, and two non-operational drinking fountains once reserved for pale-skinned humans only. In the here and now, these fountains are a recurring topic of dissension for Dentonites. Some want to tear them down, others want to restore the flow of water. I'm neutral, but thirsty.

I step inside a country cafe, replete with horseshoes, pastel-colored silk flowers, driftwood, and cow skulls. The place is brimming with activity, packed with leather-faced locals, blue-collar champs, white-collar chumps, and a few old fogies to boot. I notice I'm being stared at and sized-up. Is it my long hair? My earring? This is Bush country, after all, where folks wear Bibles like belt buckles.

I shrug off the scrutiny, but I don't feel like hanging around. I've got a screenplay to write. So I step up to the counter and order a steaming cup of Joe to go.

Before I can grab my change and move on, I hear a voice call out. "Hey, son! Come here a minute." An elderly man in a cowboy hat waves at me from a long table, at which sit several elderly men in cowboy hats. I step over to the group. The man appears tough as rawhide. He asks in a booming voice, "Why do cops say end prohibition?"

Everyone in the cafe falls silent. Then I remember. I'm wearing a Law Enforcement Against Prohibition t-shirt.

I clear my throat and say, "Because prohibition has enriched the mafia, endangered and corrupted police, and made it easier for kids to obtain drugs."

The man wrinkles his brow and asks, "Drugs? I thought you meant alcohol prohibition."

I pause for a moment, then say, "It's the same thing."

The man bites his lip, then nods in agreement, and says, "Whenever I see somebody wearing a t-shirt with words on it, I like to see if they know what they're talking about."

I bid the group of men farewell, step outside, and take a swig of Texas mud. It's just about the best damned coffee I ever tasted.


Blogger Dakota Cassidy said...

Dude, how come it is that when I'm wearing a T-shirt that says something snarky (I dunno, like MILF or something)--the elderly cowboys NEVER ask me if I know what it means? LMAO

DC :)

1:31 PM  

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