Was His Name Ricky Bobby?


If you’ve seen the movie Talladega Nights then you know who Ricky Bobby is. If you haven’t seen it, then you need to because it’s a pretty damn funny movie. I crack up just thinking of the name Ricky Bobby.

I had my son on a ride along tonight when we went to a “check the welfare” call at one of our local motels. A man called the police asking that officers check on his wife, who was at the motel because she was crying and not answering his questions.

Just thinking about that made me wonder what kind of people we were dealing with. Who calls the cops to check on their wife at a rundown motel when they’re in another city? Of course, that’s what makes this job interesting.

Two other patrol cops walked into the motel room first. There was a woman in the room, who was drunk and alone. She was crying and very emotional. We stood there while she told the officers what the problem was between sobs. Empty liquor bottles were on the desk and dresser like trophies.

From the start it looked like she was a sloppy drunk with tear soaked hair that was stuck to her face. She was a hot mess for sure.

At one point one of the officers named Pete, asked the woman what her husband’s name was. She said he wasn’t her husband. It was just her boyfriend and his name was, “Robert Bobby.”

I couldn’t resist and said, “Did you say Ricky Bobby?”

“No, Robert Bobby,” she replied.

Without hesitation, Pete said, “I thought she said Ricky Bobby.”

I almost lost it when Heather, the other officer said, “I thought it was Ricky too.” I had to turn away because I saw my son start to laugh.

For the next twenty minutes she attempted to tell us about Robert. Every so often I would ask if she meant Ricky. She gave me an exasperated look every time she heard Ricky and corrected me by saying, “No, it’s Robert.”

It finally came to a climax when she attempted to call Robert on the phone, but he hung up on her. I asked if she was calling Ricky Bobby. She got frustrated and said, “Why do you guys keep calling him Ricky? Does he have another name I don’t know about?”

I turned around again because I almost busted up. I was just hopping my son wouldn’t look at me and make me laugh.

When we finally left the motel room my son said, “She obviously never saw the movie.”

Thanks Ricky Bobby for making that call so memorable. We now have a new inside joke for the rest of our careers.

“If ain’t first, you’re last.” – Famous quote from the real Ricky Bobby. Not Robert Bobby.

2 thoughts on “Was His Name Ricky Bobby?

  1. I worked security in Ontario at the old 76 Auto/Truck Plaza as the Post Commander for Burns Security, sometime before the war between it and the TA ended in a victory for the other side. That truck stop, between 1993 and 1996 was a little universe unto itself, and we had just about every kind of crime you could imagine, from petty theft and prostitution, drugs and white collar fraud, truck and car collisions…just a little bit of everything. Ontario PD was always a nice bunch of fellas, but more often than not, we were left to our own designs because it was “private property” and “paperwork blah blah blah.”

    Anyway, often when we’d get trespassers; lot lizards or lumpers, or dealers…we couldn’t do anything initially except detain them for a photograph, a write up of an initial violation, and a warning that we’d press charges if we caught them a second (or more) times. We didn’t always have repeat offenders…but in addition a little band of usual suspects (who rented rooms at a very nearby rundown motel), we had a near constant stream of weird characters always coming through our little portal. We were told it was because our Inland Empire location (Guasti Road) was the last big truck depot before hitting Los Angeles, so we’d get musicians in their tour vans, classic car collectors and racing teams, in addition to the usual goods transport rigmarole.

    Our trespassers, oddly enough, we often dumps from the West Valley Detention Center…people with little resources but to just wander around, looking for a meal and a ride out of town… We saw a lot of homeless people. As, as can be expected, a good portion of the homeless were clinically, mentally deficient in some important way.

    I always tried to maintain a professional demeanor, but sometimes you can’t help but have a little fun at someone’s expense, especially if it seems like their not firing on anything but one cylinder anyway. One guy, in particular, an older black male around fifty, usual story…worn clothes, weather-beaten face, no front teeth. He wasn’t just wandering around the property…he was WANDERING around the property. When I detained him in order to fill out our initial form, he gave me like eight names. But it was only when he said his name was “Adam West,” that I had to stop and look at him for a half minute.

    “Did you say ‘Adam West’?”

    He just threw his head back, squinted his eyes real tight…and grinned from ear to ear, in the way only a homeless guy with nearly no teeth can do. “Yep.”

    “Well, why didn’t you tell me you were Batman, before?” I told him, before snapping his Polaroid (for the file), and then letting him go.

    I always wondered where they wound up once they passed through my territory. I was only there just shy of about three years, but those three years were, on average I’d say, more eventful than any three years since.


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