Officer Education

One of my earliest memories of life in NYC was stopping two police officers to report that someone on the subway platform was … and then I couldn’t think of any word that wasn’t obscene or childish. For some reason I didn’t think I should be either of those things in this context, so I eventually came up with “defecating.” And one of the officers started to ask me a question, but the other one hit his partner’s arm, and said, “thanks for telling us, ma’am. We’ll take care of it.”

And as they submerged into the station, I realized neither of them had any idea what “defecating” meant. But I was pretty confident they’d find the problem anyway and maybe learn a new word!

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