Friends on Patrol
I was living in a small community and was patrolling for the very small police department. Most of the time our back up officer was anywhere from fifteen to twenty –five minutes away, so I would often have someone riding along with me as another set of eyes, and mostly to keep me awake in this thriving metropolis of just over one thousand people. Most nights were pretty much the same old stuff, stop a car for speeding, ending up talking to them and giving a verbal warning or talking to the local teenagers about hanging out in the park after dark. Not really much exciting, but the little community was a farming area and anyone who knows about farming area in the Midwest knows that there is a little thing called Anhydrous Ammonia.
This is used in fields for planting crops, but the criminals have figured out that they can use it for much more than that. So one night my buddy and I were patrolling along and I pulled my squad car through a Co-Op (a place where farmers take crops and pick up items for farming like Anhydrous Ammonia). I got out of the car to check between the tanks, where the people who steal anhydrous like to try to hide, and found myself in a very large cloud of very toxic vapors from this chemical.
First of all, if you have never smelled Anhydrous Ammonia, it is like sticking your head inside a cats litter box and trying to breathe with the cat peeing on your head. Not the prettiest of analogies but you get my meaning, and not only does it smell completely horrible but it also makes the lungs burn. When I say it makes the lungs burn I mean that! It feels like you have just taken a breath of straight fire, completely filling your lungs and telling the air to “never mind, this guy doesn’t need you anymore!”
So I have walked into this cloud of toxic vapor and about this point I am starting to panic, I remember my buddy in the squad car is a paramedic! Sweet, I am saved! So I wave my flashlight at the car to get his attention and then I tried to run out of the vapor cloud, moving away from my buddy. Did I tell you when this stuff hits your lungs it also tells your brain, “yeah don’t worry about thinking right now because you just walked into a vapor cloud and you’re going to die”. So now I am calling for my buddy and running away from him at the same time. I ran for what seemed like twenty miles (only about twenty yards, but it was a long twenty yards…) I finally got out of the vapor cloud and ran around a large building only to return to my car and find my buddy nowhere to be found. About five minutes later, he came around the same corner where I had just come from, huffing and puffing. He looks directly at me and tells me he “hates my guts”.
Now you have to understand this man has been my best friend for many years and I had just called him to come help me and he came to my rescue without question and for that I am eternally grateful, but the look on his face was priceless. “I came to help you and you tried to kill me!” And I just started laughing, knowing that we both just survived the ordeal. He kept saying over and over, “I can’t believe you tried to kill me”, and I would just giggle. He would ride every once in a while after that but refused to get out of the car, telling me, “Nope, go on out there and get killed. I’ll tell your wife you were stupid!” To this day he still thinks I was working for his wife trying to kill him.
Thanks for the memory brother!!
By Rick S.
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