Whenever I don’t know what to watch, or if I am feeling a bit down, I like to tune into COPS. COPS reruns are on TruTV every night at 7 and 7:30 pm, and if all else fails and disappoints, I know I can count on this solid hour of TV to remind me that my life is indeed worth living.
One of my all-time favorite aspects of COPS is the lingo the officers use. They never say “joint,” when they can say “marijuana cigarette” or “biker” when they can say “adult male riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle.” In a recent episode, an officer said “We’re going to transport you to the justice center” instead of “We’re going to drive you to jail.”
If you’re like me, COPS is an exercise in self-esteem – sometimes I can really make an ass of myself, but I have never been arrested for throwing record albums in the air that land on and dent my neighbor’s car whilst wearing cut-off sweat pants and a Tweety Bird T-shirt.
Then there are the suspects, the glorious, wonderful people who encounter these officers of the law. A typical exchange: an officer pulls up to a stopped vehicle (also known as a car), only to discover that the dude inside, an obese, bald man with missing teeth and a sporadic mustache, has two outstanding warrants. So the officer asks him to get out of the vehicle, proceeds to search it and finds crystal meth inside. When asked about the drugs, the suspect gives this perfectly logical gem of an explanation, “That’s not dope. It’s something for your joints – your actual joints.” Right.
But, as any discerning COPS fan will tell you, it is the off-the-wall encounters that make the show great. Fortunately, the United States has no shortage of shameless weirdos and nut jobs, and just about every episode delivers a fascinating and awe-inspiring encounter. For example, take the Las Vegas officer who pulls over a speeding car. Inside are two good-looking, thin girls wearing bikinis. The officer, looking somewhat befuddled, asks the driver (who I shall refer to as Bikini Girl 1) for proof of insurance, which she does not have. He asks her to step out of the vehicle, and the dialogue that ensues is absolutely classic:
“I don’t see any reason to pat you down or anything,” the officer says as he writes the ticket and calls for the car to be towed. Bikini Girl 1 starts bawling.
“I’m having my boobs done in four days, and this is just really inconvenient,” she sobs. Bikini Girl 2 steps out of the vehicle and both sit on the curb. The officer asks if he can search the vehicle.
“Some handcuffs on the rearview mirror there, very interesting,” the officer comments. He writes the ticket, and the two bikini girls walk away down the Strip holding hands.
I could talk about this show all day. It is literally the most consistently entertaining show on TV, and that’s pretty impressive considering thousands of episodes have aired in the 20 years it has been on. Do you have a favorite COPS moment? If so, please share it here.