Aw, Shit

Aw, shit: If, like Buzz, you grow weary of all the canned holiday sentimentality—in other words, you're a misanthropic SOB who thinks your fellow humans are, generally speaking, bastards—then hang on. We have a story just right for your Christmas:

Once upon a time—a couple of weeks ago—Ginger Reid, an employee with the software company Roxio, was on vacation when a mean, Grinch-like creature stole her belongings from a car. So she returns to Dallas and sets about replacing her belongings. She heads to the Department of Public Safety offices on Northwest Highway with a utility bill and other paperwork to get a replacement drivers license, only to be told she needed different papers. Reid, who is feeling ill because the thief also stole some medication, walks out of the office. She says aloud to herself as she leaves, "I am so tired of this shit." She wasn't shouting.

Now, that's a line that is said probably 286,000 times a day at DPS license offices, but unfortunately for Reid, she was overheard by a DPS sergeant who isn't down with the potty mouth. The sergeant follows Reid to the parking lot and hauls her back into the building, threatening to arrest her.

The cop explains what Reid did wrong. "I said, 'Shit.' That's all I said," Reid replies.

"There you go again, saying that word," replies Sergeant Way Too Much Time on Her Hands, having a Knights Who Say Ni moment. She then told another cop to write the ticket for disorderly conduct.

Buzz called the sergeant, who explained that Texas law doesn't allow anyone to use dirty words in public places.

Sadly, the sarge hung up on us not long after we read the actual law to her, which states that a person commits disorderly conduct if she intentionally "uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace." Another woman waiting in line did say, "Goodness," upon hearing the word "shit," but as breaches of the peace go, that's not exactly Chicago '68. We tried to ask Sergeant Officious Petty Jerk of the Year what exactly Reid incited. We got a click and a dial tone.

And Reid? She gets a $279 ticket for her Christmas stocking. And the sick thing? Sergeant No-Shit offered to help Reid cut to the front of the line if she comes back to the same DPS office, and Reid says she plans to give the sergeant tickets to Maya Angelou's planned appearance at a local peace conference, because she believes in peace.

Look for our follow-up story: Peacenik arrested for attempted bribery of bully.

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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