To be fair, our Ottawa Police (and before that, the Kingston Police) are all perfectly lovely people, with only one exception that I can recall.

In university, I developed a real hate-on for people who would get drunk and knock over mailboxes and newspaper boxes. It’s no small effort to be a mail carrier or a newspaper carrier. You’re carrying a lot of weight, you’re on your feet a lot, and the last thing you need is some entitled brat making your job harder. And I use the term “entitled brat” entirely unironically and unsarcastically. You need to be a serious violator of Wheaton’s Law to think knocking Canada Post boxes over is in any way something you should be doing.

Anyway, this one night out, I’m on the way to the hub with friends. It’s relatively early for a night out in the brisk Kingston breeze, and some fool, already ploughed, kicks over a pair of newspaper boxes in full view of a cop. I stop the guy and shame-scold him for being a dick in front of his friends. There weren’t any laughs, there weren’t any eyerolls. The guy did something dumb and destructive for no reason and was rightfully ashamed by it. The group moved off, while the cop watched, and I stepped over to the paper boxes to lift them back into place.

The officer sauntered over and sternly asked me what exactly the hell I thought I was doing. This was the only time I’ve ever lost my temper or been anything less than respectful to a law enforcement official. I reminded him of the scene he’d just watched and pointed out that I was putting the box back in place so that they weren’t blocking the sidewalk, and if he had a problem with me trying to make my fellow students respect the city more, he could take a hike. My language was a little stronger and a little more terse, but the point got across. Nothing really came of it, and I didn’t feel especially good about the situation coming away from it. The cop didn’t deserve my snark, I didn’t deserve his, the dude didn’t necessarily deserve quite the lashing I gave him in spite of being a selfish and destructive late-teen-ager.

It’s kind of indicative of the relationship that Kingston has with its students, though. There’s a hostility there that’s unnecessary and self-perpetuating, and undoubtedly contributed to how the situation shook out.

Anyway, the point of all this is: be patient. Be good to law enforcement officials–they’re good people, even when there’s circumstances that makes them seem like they’re violating Wheaton’s Law. Ultimately, just be good to one another, folks. I feel like I shouldn’t need to end a post this way, but there it is. At time of writing, Libya is a bit of a mess again and Apple is ready to annouce something and I’m feeling like there’s going to be a lot of negativity over the next few days.

People would be happier if people were happier. Wish it were that easy.

Paddle your own canoe, folks.


One comment to “Waiting.”
  1. “People would be happier if people were happier.”

    It is that easy. Kind of. Reminds me of the Mike Dooley quote: “To begin living like you’ve never lived before, begin living like you’ve never lived before.”

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