Once again I gear up for another day of protecting and serving by making crucial, well planned tactical security sweeps of the business and residential sectors of my jurisdiction. As I finish my sweep I realize to my astonishment that I am famished and must gather some nourishment. The un-named restaurant with a giant yellow M on the sign happened to be the closest. The nice folks at the restaurant quickly get my food and send me off to protect.
When I eat my breakfast in the car I have a high point I can park my patrol car on, which allows all criminal types to see and realize my presence. I get my position and get my breakfast plate out of the bag, while I am preparing to salt and pepper my eggs, eggs are crappy without salt and pepper, my esteemed leader and Chief of Police calls me on my personal radio. When he calls you on your radio you are in one of three scenarios.
1. Neck deep in trouble.
2. Somebody is dead and we have a crimescene to rope off until the Crime Scene Unit is dispatched.
3. It's lunchtime.
I answer the radio, "Go ahead my illustrious leader and mentor". He replies to me, "Get over to the Farmers Market building, we got a body." I reply, "10 - 4, 10 - 84."
The Farmers market, you must understand is an old factory building that was saved when the rest of the plant where furniture or something of that nature was manufactured burned to the ground. It is a 3 sided metal "Butler" building that is perfect for a vegetable market setup. Providing shade and keeping dry should it ever rain again in Alabama. Beside this building is another building made of the same material but has four sides. This one is as big as a gymnasium, but there are no doors and anyone can wander in if they so choose. Nothing is inside but dank smelling air and the aformentioned four walls and a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood laying on the floor.
As Chief and I arrive on the scene at the same time, the grounds keeper says to us, "There's a dead guy laying on the floor in the big building." We tell him to stay here we will investigate, we may need you later for questioning if there is in fact a dead guy here. He agrees and we enter the building, huge 50 foot tall beams are placed in the middle of the building spaced every 100 feet supporting the aging rooftop. The nasty graffiti that has been spray painted on the wall could have been put there by Granny Cusser. Every small movement echoes through the vast emptiness of this giant hull of a building. A sense of forboding comes over me, I realize it is scary inside this smelly old building. Then I hear an intermittant growling. Sounds like a hungry bear. Over and over, the growling is getting louder the further in the building we travel. After we walk about 200 feet I spot what appears to be a body laying on the floor. We begin to move towards the body, but that growling is steadily getting louder and louder.
The body as we approach is laying bottom of the feet toward us, which means we can't see anything. That growl, what is that loathsome sound I can't put my finger on it, but I've heard it before. We are slowly approaching within 10 feet of the body now. The body is lying on its left side, appears to be a white male that enjoys fried foods, judging by his belly hanging out from underneath his old dirty work shirt. He has drool leaving his mouth dripping down to the plywood he's laying on because his mouth is wide open and he is snoring like a fat bear in a cave in the middle of December. That explains the growl we were hearing. At this time Chief says, "That's Ole Virgil sleeping in the floor, he must've been to tired to walk home".
Ole Virgil is simple guy, the truest bumkin if there ever was a bumkin. Virgil is harmless, hard working man that just has a tough row to hoe. He doesn't have a car and sometimes has to walk home from work if his sister can't come and get him. I help him when I can, It's what I do. Virgil also has a bit of a hair lip and when he speaks it sounds rather odd. Combine those factors with a southern drawl and you got Virgil and his odd speech impediment.
We decide we better wake him up and let him know he doesn't need to be here. After a little noise and a few loud Virgils he wakes up. Chief says, "Morning Virgil, what are you doing it's 7:30 in the morning son, your gonna burn up in here it's getting near 100 today." Virgil still overwhelmed with morning cobwebs says in his odd way of speaking, "Well I-uz walkin' home n I gut tarred so I slep here" Chief then said, "Ok, thats no problem they told us there was a dead body in here and we thought you were dead."
Ole Virgil, with his bumkin lack of humor and literal sense of everything, looked at Chief with the most serious of eyes and said these infamous words without so much as cracking a smile or even a thought of a joke in his simple hard working head "Naw, I ain't dead"
We will chuckle about that one for years.