Originally Posted: 2005-08-18 2:07pm
Warning: Bagpipes Kill
To the bored policemen protecting us all from the evil terrorists that hang out at Dupont Circle:
Why did you have to pick on the one legitimately cool guy on the circle—the piper, whose only desire is to play his pipes, enlighten and inspire mankind with uplifting Highland jigs, and perhaps turn a few bucks to help pay for his music lessons. Why?
Almost instinctively, you reverted to the kind of ignominious treatment that has become the norm in the District ever since the current Republican occupation. Fighting the urge to manhandle what was obviously a dangerous weapon, you forced the young piper to dismantle his pipes, and beamed your oh-so-nifty/REI-knockoff/check-me-out flashlight into each of his pipes, just to make sure that there were no secret bullet chambers, or poisonous darts, or maybe even little tiny shoes drilled with little holes and filled with apocalyptic-wreaking explosives. You then pushed him around like he was the kid with the knobby knees in the playground, and you the badass bully.
Of course, that suspicious bag under his arm was surely laden with plastic explosives, and plaid is the known emblem of Islamic fundamentalists, and he was faking that whole highly complex tune until you passed him by and he could lob the whole secret bomb right into the fountain and blow up all the hippies and bring down the FREAKING UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
I know, I know—you were just so curious. All day long you just hang out slumped in cop cars with slashed up seats pondering Arby’s sandwiches, or else squeezed inside a booth in the back of Boston Market and imagining you’re having school lunch, but yesterday, SHAZAM, right in front of you stood a real live bagpipe-playing person—maybe even a foreign person. Perhaps you were intellectually (?) curious; perhaps those childhood memories of Highlander and Braveheart (those great epics that inspired you to enter the police force in the first place) came into your troubled mind and you just had to go up to him and force him to give you a private show and tell.
But no, heck no, you’re the Poh-Leees, and your preferred method of connecting with humans includes intimidation, investigation, and/or arrest. Curiosity=Suspicion, and damn the terrorist who thinks he can fool you with some fancy bagpipe-looking contraption. You showed him, damn it. Although, try as you might to uncover the mad piper’s surreptitious ways, you couldn’t get him, not even on tax evasion.
Now, I’m sure that you were just being especially alert. I’m sure that in the morning, you read that Special Report about the noticeable rise of disgruntled, well-educated, middle-class Pakistani youth who attend Highland Games and Scottish Music Festivals, and that more and more South Asian/North African Muslims with German/British/French/American citizenship have been taking a severe interest in learning to play the bagpipes and so you’d been on the lookout for hours.
And that dear Bagpipe player DID have dark-ish brown hair, and maybe that 5 o’clock shadow could have been mistaken for the early beard growth of some Chechen guerrilla warrior, and was that a Dewey-Beach weekend tan, or was he REALLY BROWN!??? I should also factor in Mr. Piper’s proximity to Krispy Kreme, and that nabbing terrorists within close range is just strategic judgement on your part. (Let the terrorists who hang around CVS do what they will).
BUT COME ON! I know that August is a long hot month, that nothing fun is happening in Washington, and that its hard to saunter around in body armour and chaffing polyester pants all afternoon--but get a hobby already. Don't pick on the piper.
What’s happening to my country? Mr. Policeman, you once helped old ladies cross the street, drove by every half hour to dissuade pickpockets, and handcuffed bad men before taking them away to the Halls of Justice. Now you’re frisking pipers outside of Donut Shops. You want something to do, let me tip you off: The crack dealers have been getting uppity on O Street and are doing more to ruin our “culture of life” than Mr. McPiper could ever consciously consider. Be a Good Cop and go sort it out.
Yours ever so sincerely,
The wee man in Washington whose ever so hardcore Scottish ancestors worked, struggled, and bled in awful British factories for years to save up passage to come to America and live in a land that was free from ridiculous shows of fear and oppression.
P.S. You better watch out. That man that plays the plastic-trash can drums is hiding some wicked weapons of mass destruction. He's black and he's thin. He must be from Niger and be holding stashes of Yellow Cake. Did someone say Cake?