The Pool/Seattle Center/Mon April 3/5:30 pm: Officer Guzley reports: "Witness flagged me down in the intersection of Warren Ave/Republican St. He advised me that two men were fighting in a pool inside of the Seattle Center. I observed suspect one holding suspect two in a headlock. Suspect two's head was underwater. He was struggling for air. I ordered suspect one to release suspect two. He refused. I entered the knee-deep water, separated the two men, secured suspect one with handcuffs, and moved him out of the water. He had a bloody nose from his fight with suspect two. I returned to the pool and pulled out suspect two from the water. He was dazed from his fight but quickly recovered alertness. Both suspects declined medical attention. Suspect one stated that they argued and fought over a card game. He claimed suspect two owed him $40. Suspect two stated that suspect one struck him first." This report begins with a terrific image: two men fighting in a public pool. Indeed, there is something even majestic about the way the officer strides through the "knee-deep water," bringing with each pant-soaked step forward the guarantee that law and order will be restored in this area of disturbance. But the minute we learn the reason for the tussle, for the collapse of the law into a chaos of splashes and gasps for air; the minute we learn that one man is trying to drown another man over $40 instead of, say, having ruined, by shady investments on the stock market, an immense family fortune that was amassed by a great ancestor who, after years of suffering the coldest of cold mountains, struck it rich during the maddening whirl of the Klondike Gold Rush—the minute we learn the truth behind this splashy struggle, we feel so cheated. The reason for the terrific image deserved to be much, much more than 40 fucking dollars.
The Strife of a Housewife/South Graham St/Mon March 20/1 pm: Officer Mullens reports: "The witness stated that she walked out on her deck to find the motion-sensor light bulb had been taken out of its lamp. The witness called her husband at work and asked if he wanted her to screw the light bulb back in. The husband stated that [she should screw the light back in and] that he did not take the light bulb out. The witness became frightened because a neighbor boy has had a history of harassing her small daughters. She stated she does not know who screwed the bulb out of the lamp. She stated she did not see anyone. She stated she just wanted to have a report done. A fingerprint search was made. No fingerprints were found!" The only reason why I selected this inane report out of the thousands that inundate the department is the exclamation mark at its end. That punctuation mark—which functions in this particular piece of writing as the grammatical equivalent of slamming a door—tells us the extent, the depth, the size of the officer's exasperation.