Excuse me Copper, Mr. Crime-stopper

Some things will be forever burned into my wee brain, this being one of them. It's about 1:10 into the video....

It is impossible for me to see a police car and not think of this one tiny little phrase of that song. I do not remember the rest of the song unless I hear it, I haven't seen that movie an inordinate number of times, I definitely do not have the uncanny ability that some people have to remember quotes from movies. As a matter of fact, my memory pretty much sucks for the most part. Why this particular one continues to haunt me decades later is beyond me.

It just so happens that we are friends with a couple of coppers, and on a recent camping trip with one of these friends we were trading Ticket Stories. I recalled a particularly disheartening ticket experience a few years back and without getting into the gory details of how I was unfairly entrapped I began describing how the "cop" was hiding out of view.....

An edgy silence swept the campsite.

What? I was mortified. Is "cop" derogatory? The equivalent of the...the...."p" word and I didn't even know it? After all these years of singing my little Dragnet goat skin pants song, how could I stop using "cop"?? I professed apologies profusely and was reassured that it was not necessarily a bad word but that I might want to use "police officer" if I were to be conversing with one who did not happen to be a friend. AND I learned the HOW of WHY police officers are sometimes called "cops" by people who don't know any better. Did you know that way, way back our law enforcement officers' badges were made of.....

You got it. Copper.

Who'da guessed? Now you know. You're welcome.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Wow! This is NEWS to me.

I'll take the liberty of saying I know a certain cop pretty well and I have NEVER, EVER, EVER! heard him or any other say they don't like the word cop. In fact, I've had him and other cops refer to themselves as the "po-po." Pronounced like you were saying the last part of Edgar Allan Poe's name twice.

For me, I REALLY do not like THAT word because
a. It sounds derogatory.
b. I babysat for a family for years that all referred to the little girl's genitalia as her "po-po."
c. It just gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I appreciate the education, and am anxious to talk to others about this, but I have NEVER heard that cop is an offensive word. I mean, I know that they don't like being called pig or bacon. But, NO ONE wants to be called a pig because being thin is deeply engrained into our society's imagine of beauty. That's a topic that I won't get into any further here though.

Don't worry about it too much because I know I put my foot in the mouth