Officer Buttons

buttons

I was driving to Home Depot the other day because I’m a guy, and that’s what guys do: We drive to Home Depot. We look around, find manly shit like auger bits and spackle, buy it, bring it home, then put it in the garage and have a beer. At least that’s what I do. My attitude towards home improvement products is that they should improve my home merely by coming in contact with it. If that doesn’t do the trick, clearly it’s because the home improvement products are defective. Fucking defective home improvement products. Piss me off so bad that I need another beer…

Where was I? Oh yeah, I was driving to Home Depot and stationed at the bottom of the highway offramp was a female police officer. I know that she was a police officer because she wore the uniform, had a badge and a gun, and wore the bright yellow vest with the word “POLICE” emblazoned across it so that people wouldn’t run her over intentionally. But that was the only way I knew she was a cop. She was the same height as my twelve year old daughter, had a face like she’d just walked out of Claire’s, and had her hair pulled back into an adorable little pony tail. She was cute as a button, and about half the size.

I couldn’t help but feel bad for her because she was undoubtedly a bright young woman, career-minded, goal-oriented, and as far as I knew the nicest person to walk God’s green Earth. But holy shit, was she in the wrong profession. A police officer is supposed to project an aura of authority, but as far as aura-projecting went she was on the bottom end of the scale below Convicted Felon, but right above Butterflies. Absolutely not an authority figure. If she pulled someone over for speeding, that person would likely laugh at her, reach over and give her tiny little boobies a honk, and then drive away at top speed throwing trash out the window.

It’s got to be hard enough being a woman on the force without having to worry about things such as a slight breeze blowing you over. I felt bad for her. But so underwhelming was her presence as an officer of the law that I rolled the stop light right in front of her. When I realized what I’d done, I promised myself that I’d apologize to her later. In gym class.

Psst! Suzy forgot to read that guy his Miranda rights! And she thinks Bobby Simmons is cute!

Psst! Suzy forgot to read that guy his Miranda rights! And she thinks Bobby Simmons is cute!

I’m a firm believer that women belong in any segment of the workforce in which they choose to participate. Adorable Officer Buttons has every right to become a police officer, even if her slight stature makes her ill-suited to some of the more rigorous assignments (i.e. punching psychotic felons in the face). But seeing her called to mind an asinine argument I had in college (Warning: “When I was in college” anecdote ahead!)

I was living at the House that Made Baby Jesus Cry and we were, as usual, having some drinks when a roommate grabbed me by the arm. “Hey, come here and check out the argument going on out on the porch,” he said. I went outside, and there was a Force Ten Argument going on between a slight girl with short hair and a young couple with an “Are you for real?” look on their faces.

“You shut up!” shouted the slight girl. “You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about because you’re a sexist pig! But you!” she spat out as she turned her attention from the young man to his female companion, “You should know better!”

Whatever faults my roommates and I may have had as hosts, we did try to keep things civil. After all, it’s really hard to maintain a buzz when the house is being raided by the police, especially when you’ve got more than one closet decorated with grow lights. So with the idea of restoring peace, I waded into the fray.

Once, though, a fight broke out in which one guy bit another guy's finger off. No one called the cops, but the next night the nine-fingered guy came by our house to tell us he was "looking for that guy". He was holding a very large dildo in his hand. I shudder to think why. (Oh, and if you don't get the Frodo Baggins picture, ask your nearest LOTR geek.)

Once, though, a fight broke out in which one guy bit another guy’s finger off. No one called the cops, but the next night the nine-fingered guy came by our house to tell us he was “looking for that guy”. He was holding a very large dildo in his hand. I shudder to think why. (Oh, and if you don’t get the Frodo Baggins picture, ask your nearest LOTR geek.)

“Hey, hey, hey…” I said in a placating tone. “C’mon, cool down… Now. This is my house, and everyone is welcome to party here, as long as we all get along, ok?”

The young couple made some conciliatory noises and went inside with smiles on their faces. The young girl, whom I will call Helga, turned to me and said, “Oh sure, take their side!” with considerable venom in her voice.

I’m not taking anyone’s side. I just won’t have shouting matches in my house, you understand? Besides, I don’t even know what the argument was about. How could I take sides?”

The argument was about whether or not a man can be a gynecologist,” she spat out at me.

I instantly knew that this is why my roommate had fetched me. He knew damn well that the only absolute in life is that I fucking hate absolutist arguments (and I hate them 100% of the time). They drive me fucking crazy. And so even though I could see my roommate smiling at me from behind the scenes, I puffed up my chest and Got Involved:

It seems a much better idea when presented in button format.

It seems a much better idea when presented in button format.

Greg: Of course men can be gynecologists. There are many men who are specifically licensed to have that job.

Helga: But they all suck! A man can’t be a good gynecologist!

Greg: Never? All men are incapable of being a good gynecologist?

Helga: MEN CANNOT BE GOOD GYNECOLOGISTS! THEY JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT’S LIKE!

At this point, a crowd had started to form, and it was clear that things were about to get Ugly. I quickly switched gears:

Greg: Ok, let me ask you this: Can a woman be as good a firefighter as a man?

Helga: Better! A woman can be a better firefighter than a man!

Greg: Can any given man be a better firefighter than any given woman?

Helga: NO!

Greg: So let’s say you’re in a burning building on the 10th floor. Who would you rather see climbing up that ladder to come get you: Karen Carpenter or Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Helga: I’ll take the woman every time!

I didn’t have to finish the argument because the crowd erupted into jeers, highlighted by a young woman saying, “I’ll carry you out of a burning building, and I’ll drop you on your fucking head you stupid bitch!” It seemed that even with a head full of beer and sundry illicit substances, everyone there recognized that the logic that states that a man can’t be a gynecologist, is the same logic that states that a woman can’t be a firefighter (or a cop). And by bailing on that bad logic, Helga proved herself to be nothing more than an inconsistent idiot. And if there’s anything that my friends and I stood for in college, it was consistent idiocy. (And now that I think about it, if I write a book about my college years, it would have to be titled “Consistent Idiocy”.)

The point I’m trying to make is that beer is fucking awesome. No, wait… The point I’m trying to make is that it’s totally fucking stupid to assess whether any group of people is well-suited or ill-suited for a particular job (unless you’re discussing the suitability of having a retarded brain surgeon, which seems like it wouldn’t be a good fit). You’ve got to accept that some people will fit the bill and some people won’t, whether they’re a man, or a woman, or black, or white, or brown, or whatever. And that means accepting women firefighters and male gynecologists, and it also means welcoming Officer Buttons to the force with open arms. But that kind of common sense can’t be selectively applied. If it’s common sense that a woman can be a cop, you also have to accept that the occasional Officer Buttons is not likely to be called upon to quell any drunken outlaw biker riots and Karen Carpenter isn’t going to be carrying anyone out of a burning building any time soon, because seriously, that bitch couldn’t even carry a ham sandwich.

I'm Karen Carpenter, and I don't approve of this message.

I’m Karen Carpenter, and I don’t approve of this message.

22 Responses to “Officer Buttons”

  1. LA Juice says:

    Oh Boo. I am loathe to tell you this, but as a 5’4″ blonde woman, who up until she got real sick a year or 2 ago, never weighed enough to give blood, and I am a (as you well know) a lawyer. not any old lawyer, General Counsel of a construction company.

    Like Officer Buttons, I live in a world where everyone underestimates me. And I prey on those who do.

    Also, up until I got sick I could bench press 150, and squat 4 plates (45lb). I could easily have worked up to 6 plates, while jogging backward in the sand for a mile, but I didn’t want to get “Bigger”. I liked my size 2 wardrobe, and quads bigger than 22 inches are butchy.

    All I am saying is that never judge a book by the cover. You would rather have had me saving you from fire than A’hnold. (1) the insurers never would have let him climb the ladder, and (2) Like most anorexic’s, Karen Carpenter was Type A, and would have better saved you because she had something to prove.

    • LA Juice says:

      to clarify- I am not an anorexic, just gluten free, Karen carpenter, as you know didn’t eat much. But I bet she liked beer.

    • Greg says:

      I knew I’d be hearing from you on this!

      To be clear, I never said that petite women weren’t capable of kicking major ass. Quite a lot of what goes into being an ass kicker is attitude, determination, and guts. And I don’t doubt that you’d be a handful for any felon.

      But, really, Juice, if you’d seen this girl you’d know exactly what I was talking about. At 5’4″, you would’ve TOWERED over her, and unless she was going to lead with her pistol, she was not going to be doing anything even remotely violent. It was like looking at early Brady Bunch Cindy Brady with a badge.

  2. It’s always nice to meet someone who is so committed.
    See, I prefer to smile and lie and talk around these people.
    That was hard learned, and there’s a post in it. Thanks.

    I know someone like Helga right now, young and friendly but she can’t see that politics are all contextual and arguable.
    It’s pitiable to see how long it will take her, if ever, to be able to relate outside her circle.

    Tomorrow I go to lunch with an old friend I see about once a year, who turns purple and spits if I don’t smile and nod at his political outrage. We differ quite a bit that way, but it can be contagious.

    But everything that used to be daunting is now worth doing in order to write about, even if it takes a while to find a use for it.

  3. Vesta Vayne says:

    I personally would never go to a male gyno, but it has nothing to do with whether or not they can do the job as well as a woman. My way or the highway people annoy the hell out of me. The world can be a lonely place if you think your opinion is the only one that’s correct.

    Like Juice, I find it to be an advantage when people underestimate me. For all we know, Officer Buttons is a Krav Maga champion.

    • I would hope they would teach her to take a guy down with alacrity. Perhaps that’s why she joined, or perhaps she was headhunted for her mad skillz.

    • Greg says:

      I prefer a female masseuse, but that’s my own hangup. I believe a male masseuse could give me just as good a massage. Not quite the same in terms of having things inserted into private areas of my body, but you get the idea.

      And I love the term “My Way or the Highway”. When someone uses it on me, I think (and sometimes say) “I’ll be right back with my motherfucking dump truck. You’d best be off the road.”

  4. Vonny says:

    Officer Buttons may be short, but she must have passed the police training. And I bet she has a big ole gun on her hip, too, in which case I would be showing her respect and yes ma’aming all over the place.

    Do not underestimate us short-asses.

    • Greg says:

      Sigh.

      I am not underestimating short women, short people, women in general, or dead anorexic singers. They can all tase me in the nuts quite well, I’m sure. (Well, except for the dead ones.)

      Reread my last paragraph if you’re still not clear on what I was saying.

  5. It drives me nuts when I pour my heart into a post and people miss the entire point of what I was trying to say. I empathize.

    I used to work for the local sheriff’s department and we had a few women on the force. While they were ALL capable of handling themselves, they WERE used in a different way. Ninety percent of the time, their jobs did not differ from the men, but occasionally, a situation would arise where presence had to be established as soon as the officers went in. A petite woman does NOT give off that vibe, regardless of how efficiently she could kick your ass.

    That makes the other person judgmental and does not reflect on her. A smart commander understands his public and does not endanger people in order to not appear sexist.

  6. Heather says:

    Oh I am so behind on life. I have a lot of catching up to do. This was a great post.
    I always wanted to be the short chick. Towering over approximately zero guys in my 8th grade class. NOT being stalked by basketball coaches….
    I did measure myself the other day and I was just under 5′ 9. So I’ve shrunk since high school. Lucky me.

    • Greg says:

      5’9″ isn’t that tall. Did you gain all of that by 5th grade or something?

      • Heather says:

        I outgrew my dad when I was ten. Maybe that’s what created my complex. And when I went into school in junior high there was only one guy in my class taller than me.
        Now I really don’t mind it. Better weight distribution!

  7. CassieCros13 says:

    Poor Buttons 🙁

    Being short myself and young, I get underestimated in just about everything. Like last week when my brother and I went to this concert, and we went into the mosh pit and all these guys who were there were like, “The fuck are you kids doing here?” Hell, who said there was an age limit on some good, rocking music? And that mosh pit was insane! A man picked up my brother on his shoulders and he just rocked out! The band was alright, but it was the experience that made it awesome! We also went to Taco Bell afterwards and my dad yelled random words in Spanish when we went through the drive thru 😀

  8. brennan says:

    My missus was 5′ tall, maybe 45kg and once dropped a bouncer whom had just moments before helped me down a flight of stairs, head first. He would have been 120kg and he clearly underestimated her until she punched him in the throat after suckering him to come in close.

    Though she would have fought like a tiger, if she’d missed that punch or he’d had a companion or two, she would have been toast.

    Karen Carpenter wouldn’t have made a good cop either – I mean how would you have found her when she was needed? She wouldn’t have been getting donuts with the other coppers…..

    • Greg says:

      Karen Carpenter would’ve made a good spy. If she got caught trying to steal secrets, she could have just turned sideways so no one could see her.

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