I was down at the store the other day having coffee at the counter with a contingent of local scholars, commentators, and parolees, when Charlie Farron, our local sheriff’s deputy, walked in to join us. Now, I don’t know what kind of work you do, but I know there are few jobs tougher these days than the job of enforcing the law throughout this land.
When he took on his policing job 26 years ago, Charlie thought he was just getting into law enforcement – meaning he thought he’d just be doing police work (and of course, waiting for that nice pension). But these days, Charlie says the police also have to act as marriage counselors, babysitters, substance abuse experts and public relations officials.
One reason the coffee-swigging regulars liked Charlie is because he’s always got at least one good story. The other day Charlie told about a fella he stopped recently for having a headlight out. As Charlie approached the car he noticed the fella wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
When Charlie reminded the fella that Maine law requires the wearing of seatbelts’ the man got all in a huff and said, “Officer I know all about the seatbelt law, thank-you-very-much, and had my belt on but just now unbuckled it to get my driver’s license and proof of insurance from the glove compartment.
Well, Charlie didn’t know what to do but ask the fella’s wife who according to Charlie looked like an honest Maine woman.
“Ma’am,”said Charlie, I’ll let you settle this for us. As far as you know, was your husband wearing his seatbelt, or not?”
“Officer, I’ve been married to Charlie for a very long time. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in all those years it’s never, ever argue with him when he’s been drinking.”