After listening to an airline pilot friend of mine tell me a funny story about somebody screwing up at his work, I mentioned that the average person might not find anything humorous about mistakes at the airport.
He rolled his eyes. People screw up, he said. Deal with it.
Then he looked at me and asked if I had had any malfunctions at the police department. Me? No way, I said, as the temperature in the coffee shop rose a few degrees (or was it just me?).
So instead I told him a brief story about a…friend of mine. It took place many years ago in a city far away from the one that currently signs my paycheck and involved a young and eager kid, fresh out of the academy. As was fairly common for rookies, he had developed an unholy crush on his police gear. This kid liked everything on his belt–the flashlight and handcuffs, the nightstick and radio, the speed-loaders and revolver.
Remember I said this was a long time ago, right?