Not much more that I can say to that …

Intake officer gives me a call from the Intake section and I scoot on over there.

Seems an elderly gentleman has arrived in our jail by way of the local Municipal Court. 70 years old — plus or minus — and has exactly zero criminal or traffic record of any kind.

I look at this gentleman — eyes clear, back straight, looking around with mild amusement — and I ask what brings him to us. Surely community service would be a better way of dealing …?

The old gentleman fixes me with a gray eye, and in slow drawl he says, “Son, I spent 1951 to 1953 in Korea, trying not to get my boys killed. I figure that there makes me a man grown.”

I nod, cautiously, not exactly sure where this is going.

“Now I figure that since I am a full-grown adult — and I know the risks — whether or not I wear a seatbelt isn’t the business of a bunch of panty-waisted jackasses down in Austin.”


“My wife asks me to wear the damned thing — I wear it. I’m her business. My girls ask me to wear the damned thing — I wear it. It’s their business. Everyone else needs to tend to their own knitting and leave mine alone.”


“So I take this ticket to the city judge, and he asks me if I was going to plead guilty or not guilty. I say that I don’t know about guilty, but I definitely wasn’t wearing the damned thing that day. He asks how I’m going to pay the fine, and I tell him he’d better stick me in jail, because I wasn’t going to pay someone for putting his nose off into other peoples business.”

I look at the Intake officer, both of us trying not to smile.

He grins at me, “So, here I am.”

I head for the Intake Sergeant to suggest that maybe some kind of accelerated time-serving might be considered. Maybe a passing of the hat, or somesuch, when I pass the GenPop tank and notice one very large, very familiar figure glaring balefully at me.

“Waldo,” I say, carefully, “What’s on your mind?”

Waldo the Wonder Biker sneers at me, then spits off to the side.

“He was riding down Main Street wearing a chrome Nazi helmet, dark glasses, combat boots and a smile,” says the Intake corporal, contemplatively, “Seems there was stuff flapping in the breeze that God never intended to flap.”

I grimace, “There’s not enough brain bleach in the world to fix that …”

He grins, “Gives ‘tank-slap’ a whole new meaning, don’t it?”

“Oh, for — enough!  Eww!”

I look at Waldo, “You’ve been guinea-pigging the product again, haven’t you?” My answer is an extremely eloquent extended middle finger.


Well, at least they got some clothes on him.

I find the Intake Boss, he agrees that the older gentleman doesn’t need to be in Durance Vile for any longer than strictly necessary and I leave to chase down the Jail Administrator.

Twenty minutes later, I’m back with an Order of Release, scoot past the GenPop tank … and the older gentleman is sitting on the bench, talking softly and gesturing gently.

With Waldo and two of his buddies sitting on the floor in front of the bench, listening raptly.

Huh.  This is … odd.

As I watch, another inhabitant of GenPop — much younger, with the ingrained sneer and Bad Attitude one tends to associate with some of the Younger Criminal Element — swaggers over to the bench currently occupied by the elderly gentleman, plants himself and drawls, “Hey, there, Old Stuff.  You need to move off of my bench.”

At this, Waldo raises a polite hand to the older man and says — my paw to Freyja, I heard it with my own two ears — “I’m sorry, Mr Frank.  Excuse me for just a moment.”

I’m looking at Waldo, seriously wondering if I should check him for a pod attachment point, when he lumbers to his feet, drapes a fatherly arm across the shoulders of the youngster and gently steers him to the bathroom area of the tank.

At this point I’m seriously worried about Waldo’s mental status.

Then I hear a muted ‘thud’, followed by the Waldo’s dulcet tones — he’d make a fine rage metal front-man, would our Waldo — gently gargling something about eye-sockets; respect; an anatomically-improbable, yet gruesomely-fascinating version of puppeteering; and courtesy in general.

Ah.  That’s the Waldo I know.

There’s a final thud, and then Waldo steps out from the bathroom area, resumes his seat on the floor in front of the bench, and says, “I’m sorry, Mr Frank.  You were saying?”  And the older gentleman resumes what is obviously a riveting story.

I can’t stand it.  I beckon, “Hey, Waldo!  Come up to the bars for a moment!”  Waldo’s beard contorts into his usual snarl, but he gets up and stomps over to talk.

I indicate the older gentleman, “What’s up, Waldo?  You feeling ok?”

He looks at me a moment.  “Man, ‘Dog, that old dude’s been through some [deleted].  You can see it on his face.  Really bad [deleted], but he doesn’t let the [deleted] win.  Dude like that earned respect.”

Well.  Hell of a thing when a burned-out biker reprobate meth-cook makes more sense than a municipal judicial system.

Not much more that I can say to that.


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40 thoughts on “Not much more that I can say to that …”

  1. Welcome back. This is the type story that it is a pleasure to read (and, of course, the pink gorilla).

  2. oh, LawDog, it's so good to hear your voice again! thanks for the grin, made the whole day a lot more enjoyable.

  3. I get the feeling that old man was NOT somebody even the meth cook wanted to cross… 🙂

  4. I'd ask you to teach me to write like that, but I think you have to be born to it.

  5. Oh, God! Pallet of Brain Bleach, Stat!

    I've missed this so much. Thanks LawDog.

  6. I just wish you could share the judge's name. He deserves every ounce of shame that the Internet could heap upon him from here to Eternity for dealing with Mr. Frank that way.

    Too many people have raised their kids to demand respect (I can't help seeing "Respect my authoritah, RESPECT IT!"), when you receive respect by giving it first.

  7. That…is an awesome story. Truly awesome. My question is, was the smirking dullard still relatively intact after his lesson? Either way, it is a hell of a thing when a man like "Mr. Frank" is tossed in jail because of an especially moronic example of "malum prohibitum"…I have to wonder what happens when there isn't someone like you around to fix what the system got wrong…so to speak. Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your stories, and I can't wait to delve into the previously posted stories here! 😀

  8. Welcome back, we've missed your writing.

    I hope Mr. Frank left his "students" wiser and wanting to behave. But more importantly I hope he listens to his wife and daughters and buckles up. We need his values (and his generational culture) to set an example for the rest of us.

  9. Ah, classic Lawdog! What a grand way to start the day, Lawdog and a cuppa coffee (#2)!

  10. A fine example of what made America great, once upon a time. Glad that gentleman's still around. And thank you for telling us about him. 🙂

  11. "Kentucky Packrat said…
    I just wish you could share the judge's name. He deserves every ounce of shame that the Internet could heap upon him from here to Eternity for dealing with Mr. Frank that way."

    I had a similar first reaction. Then I decided it would have been disrespectful for the judge *not* to send him.

    I was of delicate mind. I stepped aside for my needs,
    Disdaining the common office. I was seen from afar and killed…
    How is this matter for mirth? Let each man be judged by his deeds.
    I have paid my price to live with myself on the terms that I willed.

    However idiotic the law, to refuse Mr. Frank would disrespect his choice to pay his price. Thoughts?

  12. Thank you for this. It's good to hear your voice, Sir.

  13. Great to see you're blogging again, Lawdog! Having met you at Kelly's Nashville class, I can now put a face (and a voice) with the stories.
    –Tennessee Budd

  14. I swear, it is almost enough to make me want to get back into law enforcement. I sooo want to work in your hoose-gow!! The things you deal with gob-smack me sometimes.

    Tank slap.

    Couldn't breathe for almost a minute after that…

  15. Thank you for making me waste a good mouthful of Sumatran coffee. Good to have you back.

  16. Mr Dog, Sir,
    When you wander away from your writing desk I usually check back every other week or so to see if you've found something that need be said.
    Tonight, I was following Bayou Renaissance Man's continuing saga and he mentioned your name Linked to your site. I clicked the link out of curiosity and…
    WOo HOOOooooo Lawdog's writ sumpin'!!!!!!!

    Thank You Mr Dog Sir
    Rich in NC
    PS in your case, when there are long stretches between posts, I know it's just that you've wandered away from your desk for a while.

  17. Either this is a story from your distant past, or the elderly gentleman was a lot older then in his 70s. I am 72 years old and in 1951 that would make me eight years old. That's certainly not Old enough to have been in Korea trying not to get my boys killed. Must be the new math. Welcome back!

  18. By God your stories always brighten my day! Please don't leave us again.

  19. Mr Frank
    …Keeping his boys alive

    Yup hope his audience was paying attention

    Glad Lawdog is back Yes.Sir more please?


  20. Hot damn,THAT'S the Dawg we've missed! Glad to hear Peter say the book's in progress. Almost didn't survive the drought, your story-telling is that addictive. Welcome home 'Dog.

  21. Tank Slap…

    I am imagining a sound, much like when one was a kid and put a card into the spokes of one's bicycle, overlaid with a throaty bass rumble of a vehicle that may not be a Harley, but is at least trying…

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