HOW MY MOTHER IMAGINED THE POLICE WHEN I WAS A CHILD
FIRST OFFICER: I just got a call from a local mother. Apparently her child was supposed to be home by six-and he still hasn’t arrived.
SECOND OFFICER: Jesus Christ. It’s almost seven. Are you sure she told him to be home by six?
FIRST OFFICER: Yes, that’s his weekday curfew; six p.m. If he stays out past that hour, he’s supposed to call and tell her where he is.
SECOND OFFICER: And you’re telling me he still hasn’t called ?
FIRST OFFICER: I know…it’s a pretty scary situation.
SECOND OFFICER: We better get the chief.
CHIEF: Let me get this straight…the mother still hasn’t received a call from her son?
FIRST OFFICER: No Chief.
CHIEF: Then we can only assume the worst has happened.
SECOND OFFICER: You mean…a hit and run?
CHIEF: Either that or a kidnapping. They’re both very real possibilities. Get Washington on the horn. This is a job for the FBI.
FBI AGENT: All right everybody, listen up. We’ve got a CODE RED. A fifteen-year-old child has been missing for nearly an hour and he has had no contact whatsoever with his mother. Grab your guns and your helicopters and let’s get moving!
FIRST OFFICER: (shaking his head) What’s the point, sir? It’s been so long…he’s almost certainly dead!
FBI AGENT: (slaps him) We got to keep looking, for the mother’s sake. Even if it’s just to find the body.
SECOND OFFICER: (in tears) Chief, we found him! He was at a friends house playing video games!
CHIEF: Oh, thank God-I thought for sure we’d lost him!
FBI AGENT: (lighting a cigarette) We got lucky this time. Let’s hope to Christ there ain’t a next time.
CHIEF: (mopping the sweat off of his face) I’m getting too old for this.
FBI AGENT: All I can say is: Thank God the boy’s mother called. If we hadn’t located him when we did, he almost certainly would have been killed somehow.
— Simon Rich