Evening Soup with Basement Joe, April 21, AD 2021

Overheard, in a basement in Delaware,
April 21, AD 2021:

“Good evening, sir,”

“What’s that?”

“I said Good Evening, sir.”

“What?”

“Just, Good evening, sir. “

“Oh. Is it?”

“Oh. Umm… hmm… literally… Yes sir, I suppose it’s a good evening, sir. Cool spring day, and all that, sir. no snow or hail or anything like that, sir. Here, anyway, sir.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Rhett, sir? Remember, Rhett Snapper, sir? Folks call me Snap, sir… we’ve met and talked, um, both Monday and Tuesday, sir. Remember, sir?”

“Oh.”

“So, anyway, here’s your soup, sir. Fresh out of the oven, sir.”

“Oven?”

“Yessir.”

“Doesn’t soup come from a pot?”

“This is French onion soup, sir. When I arrived, the cook was taking it out of the oven, sir.”

“Why?”

“Well, because if she didn’t take it out, it would’ve burned.”

“No, I mean, why was it in the oven in the first place?”

“Oh, well, it’s French onion soup, sir.”

“So?”

“French onion soup is always topped with bread and cheese, then finished in the oven, sir.”

“Oh. How did you know that?”

“Honestly, sir, I thought everyone did. How didn’t you?”

“Umm, well, aahh…. are there crackers?”

“For French onion soup, sir?”

“I always have crackers.”

“Yes, she sent down the usual bowl of crackers, sir. Right here, sir”

“Oh, goody.”

“Umm, you know, sir, it has a great big piece of French bread in it already, sir.”

“Oh.”

“Okay, well, there you go, sir… soup, crackers, spoon, napkins. If that’s all, sir, I’ll, umm, well, I guess I’ll go upstairs and see if I can help the cook or something, sir.”

“This is good soup. Have her fix you a bowl while you’re up there.”

“Thank you, sir. I’m just, well, not much in the mood for eating, sir.”

“Why not??”

“I passed a policeman on my way here, sir. Giving some speeder a ticket. It just got me thinking, sir, you know?”

“Oh, yeah. All these police in the news. Right. I just gave a speech today about it.”

“I missed it, sir. What did you say?”

“Oh, I don’t remember. I can’t keep straight everything they write for me.”

“I see, sir.”

“Oh?”

“You know, sir…. every time a policeman does his job… even the most simple thing, like writing out a ticket… he could be walking into a firefight, sir.”

“Oh?”

“I mean this guy tonight, on my way here. He sees a speeder – guy going 20 or 30 miles over the limit – he HAS to pull the guy over, you know? Has to. There’s no choice. You don’t know why the guy was speeding; he could be fleeting the scene of a crime, he could be racing to get away because he escaped from jail, he could be high, or drunk, or even a little kid joyriding who shouldn’t even be behind the wheel, you know? The policeman doesn’t know. He just knows that a car passed him going 30 miles over the limit. He HAS to pull the guy over, right, sir?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Well, the thing is, he hopes he’s just pulling the guy over to give him a ticket, you know? Simple as that. But to the perp, it might not be. To the perp, it might be a bigger deal, you know?”

“Uh, no, A ticket’s a ticket. What do you mean?”

“Well, sir, maybe the guy is drunk or high, enough to be a mess, but not so much that he’s not self-aware, so he overreacts. Or maybe the guy is a crook with a couple of warrants out for him, and he knows when he gets found, he’ll be put away for a long time. You know what I mean, sir?”

“Oh.”

“Or maybe he committed a crime and he’s got evidence in his car; he never thought he’d be pulled over so he didn’t hide it, but now that he’s pulled over, the evidence – maybe drugs, maybe jewelry he stole, you know, anything – would be so obvious the game would be up if a policeman saw him, you know, sir?”

“Oh.”

“Or maybe he just kidnapped somebody – an ex-girlfriend, or a kid, or a couple of kids – and he doesn’t dare let them be seen by the police, sir.”

“Oh.”

“Well, sir, the policeman doesn’t know any of that; he just knows that he’s pulling over a speeder. So the policeman walks up to the car, thinking he’s just going to write a ticket, and all of a sudden, the driver attacks him – shoots him, beats him, whatever – and kills him just for doing his job, sir!”

“Well, now, that’s hypothetical…”

“No, sir, it’s not. It happens all the time, sir. You must see that statistics, sir…. The Bureau of Justice Statistics at the DoJ compiles all that stuff, sir.”

“Well, it’s a downer, anyway. I’m trying to eat my soup, here…”

“I know sir, I was just saying, that’s why I’m not in much of a mood to eat, sir. The news headlines over the past few days have been a nightmare, you know, sir?”

“How’s that?”

“Well, you know, sir, the big trial in Minneapolis where a policeman was blamed for a thug’s death by overdose…”

“Oh.”

“And that case with the 13 year old kid who was shooting at passing cars at 2:30am, and a policeman was accused of racism for firing in self-defense, sir…”

“And the poor policeman who saw a girl attacking a girl with a knife, so he shot her to thwart the stabbing, and they’re accusing the poor guy of racism, even for that, sir! It’s insane, sir!”

“Why?”

“Why what, sir? Why is it insane, sir?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, sir, because they’re just doing their job, sir! These police have to stop crimes in progress if they can. Catch a fleeing criminal if they can, intervene in a fight, if they can. Stop speeders and drunk drivers, and get them off the road, if they can, sir.”

“Well, yeah. So?”

“Well, sir, so.. they know see that they can be killed or railroaded into prison just for doing their job, sir. In state after state, they’re at terrible risk, sir. And still they go to work every day, sir. Still they try their best, sir. They’re such good people, and they sure get disrespected for it. Their lives and freedom endangered, just for trying to be good citizens and keep the place safe. So nowadays, sir, when I pass a policeman on the side of the road, i sure say a couple of prayers, sir. “

“Oh.”

“I mean, I’m sure they know going in that there were some dangerous aspects to it, but it’s been compounded, so unfairly, over just the past few years. It’s awful, sir.”

“Oh.”

“It’s like my dad says, sir. ‘The biggest crime today is being a decent guy who’s doing his job.’ It’s just awful, sir.”

“Lot of bad cops out there. Systemic racism. Gotta fix it.”

“Well, sir, to fair, sir, and with all due respect, sir… the vast majority of American workers, in all walks of life, including police, sir, are decent folks who don’t make decisions on the basis of race, sir. Maybe you’ve been up here cooped up in politics so long that you believe all the speeches by the activists, sir, but normal people just do their job, sir. And as a politician, sir, I’d think you’d want to support regular people, sir, right?”

“Oh, umm, well, yeah, sure.”

“They do their job, sir. They go to work, and try their best, but once they’re in a situation, they HAVE to side with the law-abiding citizenry, sir, right? I mean, they don’t have the luxury of Monday-morning quarterbacking on the Sunday network talking heads shows. They have a split second to make a decision: is this killer trying to shoot more people? Is this killer trying to shoot me? If I don’t act right now, will this killer stab that girl? It’s not like any other job in peacetime, sir.”

“Well, uh, I guess…”

“A fireman risks his life all the time too, sir, for example, but he knows there’s no risk of the building suing him for putting it out because it wanted to burn.”

“Oh.”

“An electric power lineman works on those transformers 50 feet up in the air every day. That’s dangerous too. But if he clips a wire or dislodges a birds’ nest while he’s up there, it’s not like birds will sue him if they get electrocuted. The police are the only ones who get attacked, arrested, shot at, and jailed, just for trying to make our dangerous neighborhoods a little safer.”

“Oh, well, umm…”

“It’s like my dad says, ‘I’ll take an honorable man who makes a snap decision with an innocent person’s interests at heart, over a Monday morning quarterback who reads a speech into a teleprompter or a Sunday morning TVpundit who had the whole week to consider each and every word, any day.'”

“Oh. umm, well…”

“So anyway, sir, I umm… I’m sorry to go off on that issue, sir. Since I saw that policeman earlier, well, I guess it’s been gnawing at me, sir.”

“Oh. Well.”

“I suppose I should be getting upstairs, sir. Can I take your bowl, sir?”

“What’s that?”

“Your soup, sir. Shall I take it, sir?”

“Oh, is there soup?”

….end of transmission…

Copyright 2021 John F Di Leo

Permission is hereby granted to forward on social media, provided it is uncut and this byline/copyright statement is included.

2 thoughts on “Evening Soup with Basement Joe, April 21, AD 2021

  1. Damn good installment of the way a sane person sees the the truth behind the hidden truth, John. Our political system, coupled with a vile and intentionally deceptive major news media, have polluted every aspect of our lives these days. So much could be improved if elected officials grew a pair and collectively decided to do what is right!! Thank you for saying the obvious.. it let’s us know tat we are not alone in what we see on a day to day basis as well.

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