LawDog, Stalkers, Thorn Bushes, And Drunken Armadillos
In late 1994, we had a Lady who developed a stalker problem. We busted the stalker, and got a Protective Order for the Lady. It worked for a couple of days, then she reported that the critter was sneaking into her garage and moving stuff around.
The Sheriff went ballistic and decided that we'd ambush the critter and send him off for a long time. Guess who got volunteered for the ambusher duty? Yep.
Now, this Lady lived at the top of hill just outside the Southwest city limit, in a big old two-story house with an apricot orchard out back, and shrubbery everywhere.
I show up that evening, check in with the Lady and set up an ambush. The driveway led from the road up to the garage and was bordered on both sides by a pyracantha hedge.
I settled down under a tree, and lined up on a gap in the hedge near the house. My plan was to wait until the critter was well up to the house, before dashing through the hedge and arresting him.
I'm bellied down under the tree and I wait. And wait. And wait.
Along about 1AM, an armadillo wanders up from the orchard behind the house where he's been feeding on fermenting apricots all night, and bounces off my foot. I hear the question now: How did I know it was a 'he' armadillo? Simple kids. The drunken little sod promptly, and aggressively, fell in love with my left boot.
He'd sidle up to my boot, murmuring, "What's your sign, baby?" in armadillo-ese, and I'd shove him away, whereupon he'd sleeze back in, crooning armadillo love songs.
And so the evening went. I'd kick him across the lawn, and he'd hiccup and oil his way back.
About two hours later, I have had it. I'm just about to stand up and drop kick the Armoured Menace into the next State, when I hear the crunch of tippy-toed feet coming up the gravel driveway.
I freeze, locking in on that gap in the hedge (the armadillo took the opportunity to sneak in a grope. Chauvenistic bastard), and I see a shadow move in front of the gap. I take off like a shot--to find out that some commie pinko liberal moved the gap in the hedge.
I also found out that Pyracantha is a Latin word that means, "Deadly Demon Vampire Bush from Hell." I don't know who screamed louder: the armadillo, when his lady love disappeared; the critter, when I snagged a good handful of his shirt; or me, when I crashed into a brisket-high wall of thorns.
The Lady of the house hears the triplicate scream, decides that the unthinkable has happened, dials 911 and screams, "That Deputy is getting killed!"
Meanwhile, I'm half bent over the thornbush, trying to hold on to a panicked critter with my right hand, and a walkie-talkie with my left hand. We struggle, and I end up halfway over the hedge, upside down, and I look down the road and all I see are lights. Red lights, blue lights, yellow lights, white lights, flashing lights, strobe lights, wig-wags--you name it. All coming up this road.
About that time, the critter twists loose and hot-foots it down the road leaving me with a shirt.
I get on the walkie-talkie, wait for a pause in the traffic from the SO, DPS, EMS, and game warden all demanding to know what has happened to me, and say, "I'm all right. Subject is a white male, no shirt, Northbound on foot."
I suppose, in retrospect, I may have sounded a little ...emotional... on the radio. Apparently the Deputies, firemen, EMT's, park rangers, security guards, DPS troopers and LEO's from all eight surronding counties and towns heard my voice and thought: the Dog sounds panicked. The Dog don't ever panic. Therfore the Dog has obviously been shot/stabbed/gutted/burned/run over/abused/whathaveyou and is, no doubt, in immediate danger of expiring.
Anyone who wasn't coming before, is now. The critter is spotted halfway down the road and becomes the subject of a multi-jurisdictional pigpile.
There I am, upside down and helpless in the grip of this fiendish hedge. And what do my friends, my brothers, my comrades-in-arms do, my drinking buddies do to help me in my time of need?
"Hey! Who's got a video camera?! We have GOT to get video of this!"
Took them thirty minutes to get me loose from that plant. I never did see that armadillo again. Good thing, too.
LawDog is a deputy sheriff in a small Texas town. For reasons that should be obvious, he wishes to remain anonymous. Reprinting or redistribution of any of The LawDog Files stories without LawDog's permission is expressly prohibited. LawDog is a moderator and regular poster on TheHighRoad.org and TheFiringLine.com, where this story originally appeared.