by Guest blogger Jesse Hendrix
Bill: I’d like to report a crime! I was just carjacked at gunpoint!
Officer: Certainly sir. Do you have insurance?
Bill: Yes, I have car insurance.
Officer: No, not car insurance. Crime insurance.
Bill: Crime insurance?
Officer: Yes, crime insurance. To pay for the cost of the investigation. You should get it from your employer.
Bill: I work for Walmart.
Officer: So, no insurance then. Right. That will be one hundred dollars to start the investigation, sir.
Bill: One hundred dollars!
Officer: It would only be fifteen if you had insurance.
Bill: But there’s a dangerous maniac on the loose! In my car!
Officer: Dangerous maniacs are expensive to deal with, sir.
Bill: You’re the police! You’re supposed to help everyone!
Officer: We don’t go in for any of that socialist un-American clap-trap in here, sir.
Officer: (Stands, patriotic music swells) It’s is the duty of every American to take care of themselves and their families! People who don’t prepare for being victims of crime by buying insurance don’t deserve police protection.
Bill: Look, I just need a police report for my car insurance company.
Officer: (Ignoring him) If we gave free police protection to the poor, who knows what they would ask for next? Food? Healthcare? But we’re compassionate. The uninsured can always go to the emergency desk.
Bill: Emergency desk? Where’s that?
Officer: (Sits, music stops) Well with the budget cuts and all, the nearest one is in Hypothetical Big City.
Bill: That’s thirty miles away. How am I supposed to get there with no car?
Officer: Bus stop is right outside.
(A two hour bus ride, two hours in a waiting room, one hour waiting in a questioning room, fifteen minutes of statement giving, another two hour bus ride, and a week of investigation after that, we find ourselves back in the police station.)
Bill: You said you found my car.
Officer: That’s right, sir. Now there is just the little matter of your bill. (He picks up a phone book sized stack of papers from behind the desk and places it in front of the man.
Bill: (flipping through it) $15,000? That’s outrageous!
Officer: Quality costs, sir. We set up road blocks, questioned suspects, consulted with the FBI, brought in the spy satellites…
Bill: And is that how you found my car?
Officer: Yes, and by “Yes” I mean “No.” We found it abandoned on the highway. Two days after your report.
Bill: Then what was all that other stuff for?
Officer: Better safe than sorry, sir.
Bill: Did you at least catch the man that stole it?
Officer: That would have been extra, sir.
Bill: (flipping through the bill) What’s this? $500 for guns! Did you even use them?
Officer: Got to have guns, sir. You never know what could happen.
Bill: Another hundred for bullets … gas for police cars … mileage … uniforms! Don’t you already have those?
Officer: Got to pay for them somehow sir. Look, sir. Our financial office will be happy to work out an arrangement where you pay a large bill every month for the rest of your life, with complementary threatening phone calls every hour should you miss a payment.
Bill: This is outrageous!
Officer: Beats the alternative, sir. You wouldn’t want socialized law enforcement.
Jesse Hendrix is a writer whose blog is located here.