When I first became a police officer, I worked inner-city Savannah. Not a very nice place, and I stuck out like a sore thumb. A little white country girl is definitely not the normal demographic of the area. I worked the busiest shift in the worst Precinct which meant I had to learn the ropes quickly, but I loved it.

About a month into working patrol, I was dispatched to an intoxicated person sleeping on a bench in one of the roughest of the rough neighborhoods. Not a shock and awe police call, but a nuance to the neighborhood. Imagine my surprise when I arrive, and the person sleeping on the bench looks like a kindly old Grandpa with coke bottle glasses. Sound asleep in the middle of the ghetto. Snoring like he was at home in his bed.

I didn’t smell any alcohol and feared the fellow was a victim of a robbery or assault. Called out to him to get him to leave this place. Imagine my surprise when he wakes up, smiles and says, “Awwwww fiscer! Goooood mornin’!” never mind that it is 9 pm and pitch black outside. 

I make small talk for a little while making sure he wasn’t been robbed downtown and dropped off in this park. He assures me that he lives a block over, and regularly holds conversations with police officers. Insisting that he works undercover in Forsyth Park for one of the Lieutenants.

At his feet, I see an empty bottle. It’s not what you’d think. It’s an empty bottle of Equate Antiseptic Mouthrinse.

I ask him if he has been drinking tonight. He says, “I chugged that bottle of mouthwash earlier. Awwwfiscer, I might be drunk! But my breath is faaaantastic!” Mr. Coke Bottle glasses was at a state in his drunken life that liquor was too expensive and so was name brand Listerine.

Mr. Coke Bottle glasses was my first encounter with a “regular.”

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