One of the funniest things to do at work is to say random things while on calls just for the heck of it. Most of the time it’s just something that pops into my head and I go with it.
A few years ago, I responded to a hit and run collision where a parked vehicle was struck by a car that rolled over. The call information indicated the suspect ran away, but was caught one street north of the collision scene. When I got there, I saw the driver siting on the curb with other officers, who were standing by.
The driver was about 30 years old and was barefoot. I was impressed he was able to run that far with no shoes after climbing out of an overturned car. He was obviously really motivated to get away. His feet were black and filthy from his sprint to freedom. It was going to take a month to get those little piggies clean.
I walked up to him and said, “Hi. You look like the guy who sits on the wall from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.”
He looked down at his feet and started laughing because he knew which guy I was talking about. At least he had been to Disneyland land to understand my joke. That’s when I knew I could do the name game with him.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Bill,” he replied.
With a straight face I asked, “Do you mind if I call you Frank?”
The man, who was DUI, paused for a moment and then smiled as he raised his arms in the air and said, “You can call me anything you want.”
“OK Frank. Tell me what happened.”
Frank went on to tell me how the crash happened and was eventually arrested for DUI. He took everything in stride and was as nice as could be about the entire thing.
You just never know what kind of reaction you’re going to get when you ask to call someone by their wrong name. The answer is sometimes priceless.