Once upon a time (BTW, this is a true story) I was in Chicago for a conference, and we had some federal police officers with us… to learn some new stuff… and we decided to drive out Cermac Avenue to the old Czek neighborood to visit a restaurant somebody knew about. Try out some Eastern European foods we were not familiar with like potatoes, kraut, kholsla, roast beef, roast pig ~ egg noodles, etc. finished off with pickling spices.
You can get there by driving on the Avenue ~ which goes through some really dangerous crime ridden neighborhoods, or on the Internet where maybe you might see a drive by…. so I asked these guys WHICH WAY GUYS and they elected to go “through the neighborhoods” ~ and “we need to know how bad” so we did, and growing up in Indianapolis, in the MidWest’s toughest neighborhood, it didn’t look to bad to me….. and going to restaurant wasn’t all that bad.
The restaurant was great. Just like Mom’s home cooking….
But on the way back downtown to our hotel…… well, that was different. These trained federal detectives began seeing armed men on rooftops….(which I recognized as what happens in Indy ~ where people go up on the roof to check and make sure nobody’s trying to come in there), ….. and finally we saw a Chicago police cruiser, and the cop ~ about 7 feet tall, had this perp laid out spread eagled on the hood of a car and he’s whaling on him with a nightstick.
I recognized that too ~ a cop alone in a car has to soften them up to get them cuffed…. and I’m in a Chevy Van with two fully armed federal police officers, and another guy, and next thing I know the cops are laying on the ground, in the back, hiding their heads, pistols out in their hands.
They look up at me and say “can’t you drive faster” ~ so I did…… we made it in record time to the hotel.
What I learned is that federal officers who actually have to deal with their customer base day after day get NERVOUS….. and SKITTISH……and those of us who just did our duty in the USARMYINFANTRY…. maybe don’t sympathize with them as much as we ought to.
But remember, those guys pulled their pistols…. and no one had even tried to attack us!
They were shaken and were wet… with sweat and urine, and spilled beer.