Yesterday I was out for a walk when I came upon a fire truck parked by the curb. There was clearly no emergency; the truck wasn’t running and there were no flashing lights. So naturally I watched for firemen as I got closer. After all, what red-blooded woman wouldn’t take advantage of a gratuitous gawk?

Just as I came abreast of the truck, the firemen returned from a nearby shop: Four tall handsome guys in crisp navy-blue uniforms. They smiled at me. One even said hi.

My heart should have gone ‘pit-a-pat’, right?


My heart went ‘thud’, my gaze skittered guiltily to the ground, and I couldn’t even choke out a ‘hi’ in return before I rushed away, hoping my brisk stride telegraphed ‘I’m in a hurry to take care of some very important business’ and not ‘I just committed a crime and I’m fleeing the scene’.

It was the damn uniforms that got me. If they’d been in their fire-fighting gear, my biggest worry would have been hiding the drool on my chin. But I have such severe issues with uniformed authority figures that even Customs border guards and rent-a-cops give me the willies.

The mere sight of a police car makes my palms sweat and my pulse pound. Uniformed officers by the side of the road? Massive adrenaline spike. And I absolutely hate it when a police car follows me in traffic. I’m ten times more likely to commit a traffic infraction just out of sheer nervousness. I was driving home one night when I spotted two guys in reflective vests beside the road, and I nearly stroked out before I realized they were just city workers dealing with a blocked storm drain.

It’s a silly reaction, and I know better. I have friends who are police officers. They’re nice guys. They don’t loom over me waiting for me to break the law.

I have no idea why police uniforms freak me out. I’m the most law-abiding person I know. I drive as close to the speed limit as humanly possible (which, in Calgary, makes me the slowest thing on the road). If I get incorrect change or find an extra deposit in my bank account, I return the money immediately. Hell, once I found a $20 bill blowing around a mall parking lot, and I dropped it off at the Lost and Found. What a chump!

But apparently I have a massive guilt complex.

Maybe the roots lie in the sponge toffee trauma I suffered in childhood, or maybe it’s because I spend quite a bit of my time planning crimes for my novels so I have a knee-jerk ‘uh-oh’ reaction to police. Heaven help me if anybody ever develops a machine that can sense a person’s feelings of guilt. I’ll end up in jail for crimes I didn’t even know existed.

Still, I feel badly about snubbing those nice firemen. Maybe I should bake some cookies and drop them off at the local firehall to apologize.

But they might have a uniformed guy at the front desk…

Do you think they’d find it odd if I left a bag of cookies outside the door and called it in from an untraceable phone?

* * *

P.S. My best friend from university days is visiting me this week, so I’ll be slower to respond to comments than usual. Your comments mean a lot to me, though, and I’ll look forward to ‘talking’ to you as soon as I get a chance. 🙂

P.P.S. Another new cover is ready! Here’s Book 7:

AK-7 cover final 2015

34 thoughts on “Guilty!

  1. Do you lower your eyes and look to the left? Sign of guilt! Force yourself to make eye contact and crinkle those eyes with a genuine smile. Pretend, pretend, pretend – go for that Oscar!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny enough, I had a brief encounter with a policeman just last night. I was coming home from choir practice and it was about 10:30 pm. I had stopped on the road waiting for a car to pass in order to turn into my own driveway. The car stopped beside me and it was a policeman. He had this very bright light trained on me and I couldn’t imagine what I’d done to attract a policeman’s attention. Turns out that he was wondering what I was up to as my front blinker was out and he couldn’t see what my intentions were. Perhaps it was a subtle hint that I should really replace the bulb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Subtle indeed. But it’s hard to tell if you’ve got a blinker out. I usually check the front ones by watching for their reflection on the car in front of me when I’m in traffic, but I don’t have a good solution for checking the rear ones on the fly… and I never remember to check them when I get home. So far I haven’t gotten stopped, but then again, nobody signals in Calgary anyway. (And I distrust anybody who does, since a blinking signal light usually means they’re about to do the exact opposite.) 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. My heart speeds up if I see flashing lights behind my car, but I attribute it to emergencies, rather than guilt. Of course I quickly check how fast I’m driving or try remembering if I signaled my last lane change.
    It is Thanksgiving Day in the US. In the years when I am at loose ends and have no invitations to accept and I am not hosting dinner, I join my neighbors who feed our local police a traditional turkey meal to all 3 shifts. The firehouse has cooking facilities but the cops on duty have very limited meal options on Thanksgiving. I’m always grateful for the police’s willingness to place themselves into dangerous situations to keep the people who reside within the precinct safe from those who are out to harm others.
    I’ve never had a bad encounter with the police.
    This year we can’t give back to our brave men and women in blue because of a confrontation between a man and the police that ended with the police killing the man. Our precinct house has been cut off by a protest that has turned into a siege and our local cops are unable to do their work, many squad cars damaged, rocks and bricks thrown, and graffiti sprayed. Protesters have been arrested for blocking traffic on the freeway as well as other disruptive behavior. Racial tensions are very strong and people are getting hurt. Protesters who claim the victim was shot in the head while handcuffed are being countered with police claims that the victim was trying to take the cop’s pistol. No evidence has yet proven either claim.
    As far as I can see, the protest has caused more harm than the original incident.
    Bottom line, I still am grateful for our police force, and believe that they routinely deal with the worst behavior from the most troubled people in our city while remaining calm and professional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a terrible situation! I have the utmost respect for police officers (despite my irrational fear of their uniforms). I can’t imagine doing what they do; dealing with angry, dangerous people while being expected to somehow never take it personally, never react in kind, and stay calm and professional even when their own lives are on the line. They truly are a special breed, and I’m immensely grateful for them.

      I hope the situation in your area is resolved safely and soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it’s a Canadian thing. I can’t stand being in front of a police car and I too get on my guilt complex when I’m at border security. So stupid. The icing on the cake would then be to apologize for being nervous.

    Thanks so much for the great books. I love the characters and can’t wait for more. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Angela – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the books! And you’re right, it must be a Canadian thing – but if I did actually apologize for being nervous, I’d probably make things even worse by promptly bursting into laughter at the thought of what I’d just done. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I think it would be excellent therapy to march yourself up to the fire station with cookies in hand. Likely every week until you are cured.
    Hope you are having a lovely visit with your friend. Another awesome book cover might I say?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loving the cover, hope you have a great time with your friend.

    Like you I kinda have a guilty complex, but then maybe I am guilty. Recently every time I go out I see police cars everywhere, this morning on the way home there was a very large police van just up the street from my house no sign of anyone at all though.
    Still at least the ex doesn’t live here any more, the police picked him up from here once, he wasn’t a big guy but there was 3 vans 2 cars and about 10 of the biggest officers they could find, as always I’d just finished a night shift, had just gone to bed, so I was very bear with a sore head when I had to answer the door, as he wouldn’t. One of the officers tried to enter the house as I opened the door saw me and thought better of it, I closed the door in his face muttering just a moment, turned to the stairs and roared I don’t know what the f@!k you have done but get your ass down here now, I turned back to the door opened it again, smiled sweetly and said he’ll just be a moment. Shut the door again, I head the comment “I don’t think we’ll have a problem coming here again”
    My ex sheepishly walked down the stairs, I open the door for him, told the officers who had gone from 5 on the stairs to just 1 I don’t care what he has done, keep him, if anyone disturbs my sleep again today they’ll regret it.

    Shut the door and went back to bed, I did get an apology from later. I have no idea what the ex had done, the only other time he was picked up from here they sent 1 car and 2 officers, who politely knocked and said sorry for disturbing me, I think I was scarier than my ex and I’m a pussycat.

    Maybe I notice cops coz I’m considering dating one??? I dunno.
    Once I see something I see millions of them.

    I have to stress I’m a good girl (OK mostly) have only been in trouble (police related once in my teens)

    I’d say bake the cookies and channel your inner Aydan, and deliver them with your sexy smile but maybe that would be too much.

    Hugs to all
    Karen xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Police uniforms bother some for no reason and don’t bother others when perhaps they should. Uniforms in Ukraine and Russia tend to scare me.
    Those pictures of yours make me tempted to get into the espionage business so you would have to come after me. Now excuse me while I go and put a new battery in my pacemaker.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s natural to have chill when you see a uniform. Portions of the press have worked overtime to create the illusion that all those folks are ghouls. And, as you’ve so properly pointed out, most are great folks doing a job most of us couldn’t. This might help — Think how good one of those uniforms will look if the other person in your space is a true ghoul, masked, dressed in black, has a suicide belt on his chest, a knife in one hand to behead you, and carries an AK-47 with the other.

    Liked by 1 person

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