Smarter, not harder.

I was a little hesitant about posting this one, as it pretty much has an ‘R’ rating. I needn’t have worried, though, everyone seems to have enjoyed it.


Big Mama had four girls, and of the four, Opal was the most like her mama, both in temperament and physically speaking. In other words, one of Opal would have easily made two of me, and I’m not exactly petite.

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh, yes. Opal was as mean as her mama and younger and fitter to boot.

And there I was, taking a leisurely patrol through the Bad Section of Town, when I notice what appears to be a nekkid man laying flat on his back in the middle of the dirt road, with Opal (fully clothed, thank you, God) sitting square upon his stomach, facing towards his feet. This in and of itself was enough to warrant further investigation, but the prostrate man was beating upon Opal’s broad back with his fists and screaming at the top of his lungs.

Kissing the thoughts of a tranquil evening goodbye, I checked my pepperspray, stepped out of the cruiser, and eased up on the couple.

“Desmond,” I greeted the gentleman, “Opal. What’s on y’alls minds?”

“Go ‘way, Mister Dawg,”said Opal, without turning around, “This don’t concern the law none.”

“Oh, Sweet Jesus,” yelped Desmond, “Mister Dawg, you got to do something!”

Well, hell.

“Opal,” I start to say as I ease around to where I can see her hands, “We need to talk…Holy Mary.” The anguish in Desmonds voice was quite understandable once I got far enough around the two to notice that Opal had Desmonds schnitzel in both ham-sized fists, and was apparently trying to rip the old boy out by the roots.

I’m here to tell you folks, walking up on that sort of thing without advance warning can make a feller get kind of wobble-legged around the knees.

“Opal,” I yipped, “You turn loose of that! Now!”

“No, Mister Dawg,” said Opal, defiantly, “I feed him, I pay his bills, I keep gas in his car and clothes on his back. This belongs to me. He owes me.”

You know, there are certain things the Academy just doesn’t prepare you for.

“Opal, you turn loose of Desmond. Let him go to his mama’s house, then you come over to the car and you talk to me.”

“Okay, Mister Dawg. I don’t care where Desmond goes.”

Good, I think, wondering just where the heck I put the extra-large handcuffs.

“Desmond can go anywhere he feels the need. But this stays with me.” So saying, Opal made motions somewhat reminiscent of opening a particularly stubborn ketchup bottle. Desmond’s screams took on the tone and quality of a World War 2 air raid siren.

“Opal,” I interjected sternly, “Turn loose of Desmond and let’s talk about this.”


Well, so much for negotiation. I unlimbered my can of pepper spray…and considered what a stiff dose of OC would do to Desmond’s…anatomy. Okay, maybe not my best idea.

Out came the expandable baton. Oh, hell, what was I going to do, rap her knuckles? Damn.

Once more into the breach … I took a deep, steadying breath, eased up on Opal, threw one arm around her fire-hydrant-sized neck, and promptly rammed the thumb on the other hand deep into the angle between her jaw and ear.

I’m here to tell you, folks, things went rodeo from there. Opal screamed, she sun-fished, she kicked, she twisted, matter-of-fact, the only thing she didn’t do was let go of Desmonds’ wedding tackle, even with me snarling, “Turn loose and I’ll stop hurting you” into her ear and firmly twisting my thumb to sort of emphasize my point.

Opal apparently forgot to attend the Pain Compliance Class where the smarmy little instructor confidently tells you that this technique will cause anybody to stop what they’re doing and follow instructions, ’cause near as I could tell, not only did she not turn loose, she actually tightened down a good deal.

Leastways, that was the impression I got from Desmond.

Okay. Plan B. To hell with SOPs. I slid my arm across, snuggled in a good rear armbar choke, and hauled back for all I was worth.


Folks, now is the time to discuss “Leverage, and It’s Place in Law Enforcement”. Specifically, exactly how much leverage is available to a deputy sheriff wearing leather-soled ropers, standing on pecan-sized gravel, such gravel cunningly laid over a hard-packed caliche clay road.


Somewhere in the middle of this, the Sheriff’s cruiser pulled to a stop behind us, and out stepped himself.

“Boy, what the hell are you doing?”

“I am,” I panted with great dignity, “Trying to resolve a property dispute.”

“I swear,” he muttered, stepping around us, “Kids these days…WHOA!”

Long pause, while the Sheriff pinched the bridge of his nose and practiced breathing in through his nose and out through his mouth.


“Mister Randy?”

“Turn loose of Desmond.”

“I done told Mister Dawg, this ain’t no concern of the law.”

“I’m not going to argue with you, Opal. Drop that and get over here.”

“Now, Mister Randy, that ain’t fair” Opal’s lip started trembling, and tears welled up in her eyes, “I feed him. I keep gas in his car. I give him a place to sleep at night. I want what’s mine, and I’m keeping it. What he does is no concern of mine, but I’m keeping this.”

The Sheriff heaved the mighty sigh of a man who is unfairly beset by the evils of the world, wandered over to the bar-ditch and started kicking through the assorted stumps, branches and planks, while Opal glowered, Desmond wheezed, and I leaned against Opal’s broad back and contemplated mutiny.

Apropos of nothing, the Sheriff announced: “I hate tarantulas. Matter-of-fact, the only thing — ah-hah! — that I hate worse than a tarantula, is one of those damned scorpions.” On went his leather gloves, he swooped down and came back up with something cupped gingerly in his hands.

The Sheriff wandered over to out little tableau.

“I mean, sure when you get bit by one of them big hairy bastards, you fall down and froth at the mouth for a while, but for sheer screaming agony, a scorpion sting will do it every time.”

“No,” I thought, “Oh, hell no.”

“Opal,” said the Sheriff, gently, as he stopped next to me, “I’m not going to tell you again. You turn loose of Desmond, and you do it now.”

“Now, Mister Randy…”

The Sheriff reached out, hooked the collar of Opal’s muu-muu and promptly, and with every apparent indication of glee, dropped one of those big, blue, spiky, Texas corn-field locusts down the back of Opal’s neck.

Folks, if I’m lying, I’m dying: not only did Opal detach herself from Desmond’s anatomy, she levitated six entire feet into the air, one arm going around the equator, and one taking the cross-Polar route, hit the ground (rating a 4 on the Richter Scale), and took off down the street like a berserk cape buffalo, screaming for Big Mama every foot of the way.

The Sheriff dusted off his hands, fixed me with a gimlet eye, and huffed: “What did I tell you about working smarter; not harder?”



You might be a rural Texas Peace Officer:

7 thoughts on “Smarter, not harder.”

  1. Hi, LawDog,

    You have the best blog I ever read…great story, and you have a gift for telling it.

  2. Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee.

    You’re going on my link list!

    –Next to Last Samurai

  3. OMG… that’s one of the funniest damn stories I’ve ever read!

    So.. tell us. Exactly why did Opal believe that Desmonds family jewels “belonged” to her? Did you ever find out what the fight was about?

    LOL… oh man.

  4. Oh! My! Gawd! ~wiping tears from my eyes from laffin so hard~ Probation officer here (Plainview so I know we are not far from ya)so I totally undersand!

    Please update your profile so we can have an email address to drop you a line. Pretty please!

  5. Lawdog, I'm wondering if you need to move away from Bugscuffle.

    You don't post often enough, and I'm worried it's because you and Sheriff Randy and your fellows have broken off too many of the rough spots from the local critter population, or at least manage to stick corks onto the spiky bits, and you need fresh prey.

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