Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My first Black and White

Here at our department we switched from white cars with a blue stripe to the traditional black and white patrol car.  We still have a lot of the white ones in the system getting used up before they are replaced.  The way it works is the senior people get the better cars.  I know what you’re thinking.  I am nearly a senior citizen so he should have an awesome car.  Wrong.  It goes by seniority not age, too bad for me.  After the last shift change I was assigned my first black and white.  She is a Crown Victoria with 34K on the odometer, which as far as cop cars go is brand new.  1531D is what she was known by to everyone else, but I call her Deloris.  It’s so much cooler to be driving one of the black and white cars than the white ones.  Everyone knows you’re a rookie when you pull up in an old white car. Plus the white cars are CNG fueled and are very slow.  I mean very, very slow.  It feels like your driving a centrifugal clutch go kart or autopia car at Disneyland.  So when you get a black and white assigned to you, it’s a status change and you have made it.

Now, Crown Vic’s are a big giant car and under normal circumstances is about as un cool as a car can get.  However a little black paint and a light bar makes it much cooler.  With all of the crap that is crammed into them, it’s still pretty small inside for such a giant car.  Compared to the other women in my life Deloris is quite a big car.  My normal everyday car that I drive to work is a Red 2002 Volkswagen GTi, I call her Gina.  She is a great little car, dainty but with lots of junk in the trunk and a turbo to spice things up.  She gets great mileage, which makes her very practical, but compared to Deloris, Gina is tiny.  But With Gina’s heated leather sport seats and turbocharged engine she keeps things lively.  Gina is very stable and smooth with pleasant curves and lines.  My other car that I drive to work on special occasions is my 1966 Porsche 911, I call her Claudia.  Now Claudia has a body like a supermodel with tight gentle curves in the back and heaving headlight cleavage.  She wears her silver paint like a Versace cocktail dress.  However, she is very high maintenance and like a supermodel with a few drinks in her, you never know what will happen.  If you’re not careful with her 40/60 weight bias she will throw you off the road if not handled correctly; but with proper attention she provides the most pleasure filled driving experience.

Now you might think that Deloris gets jealous of the other woman in my life.  She sees me stroll into the parking lot everyday with one of the other women, drive her for 10 hours then leave with one of the other women. But she’s not jealous.  She knows that I am going to come back to her every time.  Deloris knows that she’s the one that provides more fun any skinny supermodel.  With Deloris, I can flip a switch and make every one move out of my way. She is given right of way at every stop sign.  She knows the real fun I have is with her.   It’s Deloris that I am going to drive fast in with lights and sirens.  I know her every characteristic.  On a regular basis I push her to her limits.  When I push her through a turn in a drift, I know exactly how she will react.  She is supremely stable and she is the quickest patrol car I have ever driven.  She knows she may not have the sound and looks of Claudia or the creature comforts of Gina.  She may not ware her black paint like a cocktail dress, but she will always be my first black and white.

Sadly, I lost Deloris last week.  I am still dealing with the loss.  One of my friends took her to a call and Deloris got shot by a suspect, she took a bullet to protect officers.  I knew she was faithful to the job and she proved it.  I was not there so I don’t know the details of the incident. I don’t know if the bullet was fatal.  I do know that because of the circumstances, she will not be released for some time, probably not until after the next shift bid.  So I am sad and have to scrounge up a patrol car every night.  However, I will always have fond memories of my first black and white. 

I wrote this a few years ago.  I drove Deloris the other day and it was fantastic.  She now has 152,000 miles but she was eager to show her quick throttle response.  In part because all of the newer patrol cars have level III ballistic doors so it adds a significant amount of weight.  It was nice to have a nice little fling with Deloris again.

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