Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

Ramblings, A Practical Joke

By Hal Collier, LAPD Retired We are happy that 35-year veteran Hal Collier is sharing his ‘stories behind the badge’ with us.

A Practical Joke


This joke has been going around the police stations for decades. The first time I saw it done was early 1971. You need a relatively new probationer, a kid who obeys his senior officers and still has that desire to serve the public that pays his salary. He also doesn’t want to get into trouble for kissing off a citizen. I personally participated in about three variations of this joke.


LAPD Pacific Community Station lobby

LAPD Pacific Community Station lobby

Ok, the scene is the front desk of any police station. A senior desk officer is working alone. A probationer happens to walk by. The senior officer asks the probationer to watch the desk while he goes to the bathroom. Ok, the phone rings and the probationer answers,


Probationer:  “Good morning, Hollywood Police Station, may I help you?”


Caller:  “Yea, I want to report a theft.”


Probationer:  “What was stolen?”


Caller:  “Water.”


Probationer:  “Water?”


Caller: “Yea, from my swimming pool!”


Probationer:  “How much water?”


Caller: “30,000 gallons.”


Probationer:  “How did someone steal 30,000 gallons of water?”


Caller:  “I was in Europe for a month on business and when I got home my swimming pool was empty.”



Ok, the probationer begins to think the caller might be a Hollywood nut, waiting for a job at city hall. 


Probationer:  “How could anyone steal 30,000 gallons of water?”


Caller:  “Look I pay a lot of taxes, including your salary. Are you going to do something or do I have to call my friends down at City Hall? Do you know how much 30,000 gallons of water costs?” 


The probationer begins looking around the station for a senior officer to bail him out of this call. Of course no one is around. The plan is working. 


Caller:  “I think I know who took my water!”


Probationer:  “Oh who?”


Ok, the hook has been set. Now all you have to do is reel the probationer in.


Caller:  “I’ve been having a dispute with my neighbor down the street and I think he took my pool water while I was in Europe.”


Probationer:  “What makes you think he took your water?”  


Caller:  “I was walking my dog by his house yesterday and I saw water coming out from under his garage door.”


This is where the probationer catches on, but not always. The first time I was aware of this joke, they made a sketch of an officer standing outside a garage door. He was scratching his head, with water coming from under the garage door behind him. They presented it to him at the division Christmas party.


I miss the good old days.


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This entry was posted on November 15, 2015 by in Law Enforcement, Ramblings by Hal and tagged , , , .

Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

You get my drift.



Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Fridays. Sundays scheduled writers Hal Collier, Ed Meckle, Mikey, and John Schick take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve.
Friday postings feature authors sharing their thoughts about this journey we call authorship.
Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop.
--Thonie Hevron

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