An Officer And A Gentleman

By RDK • February 27, 2015

I guess I’ll never learn, or maybe I’ll just have to learn certain lessons the hard way.

It is very difficult trying to write stories with grandchildren hanging all over you. You would think with two televisions, numerous video games, Barney and Dora the Explorer videos, CDs and coloring books; the kids would have more to do than jump on top of me when I am at the computer when the inspiration sneaks upon me to write.

Once again, I had yelled at one of the grandchildren.

“That’s gonna cost you Papa,” said Madison.

“I know,” I replied, shaking my head in disgust.

Papa has a very bad habit of yelling at someone, without thinking, when he is working at the computer. An agreement was made that if Papa yells at someone he must buy them a gift costing at least five dollars.

There I am entering K-Mart, hoping to find a child’s toy under five dollars that was not “Made in China.”

As I am looking down the row of toys, a gentleman came around the corner pushing a shopping cart. A woman in her fifties backed up and he accidentally ran over her foot.

“YOU STUPID IDIOT,” she screamed out.

“I am very sorry, Ma’am.”

“Damn Idiot,” she replied again, as she began to rub her foot.

“I am truly sorry,” said the man as he began moving away from her.

All at once she reached up and slapped the man across the face as hard as she could. I could hardly believe what I was seeing.

With a look of total shock, the gentleman grabbed his face and began shaking his head.

“I said I was very sorry Ma’am.”

The woman reached up, grabbed a Barbie Doll box off the shelf and hit the man on the side of his face, causing the doll inside to fly across the aisle and hit me in the leg. As she reached for another box, the gentleman grabbed her by the arm so that she could not strike him again. The woman began to scream at the top of her lungs. Within several seconds the aisle was crawling with people, as well as a female department manager.

“That man grabbed me on the buttocks and I hit him to protect myself,” she told the manager.

The manager turned and walked away. Several minutes later several men dressed in white shirts and ties came to the area. Pulling the woman to the side they began to question her. I stood there waiting for my chance to tell them what I had seen. Before that happened, the police showed up, handcuffed the man and began walking him toward the front entrance. I followed the two officers, hoping to tell them what had actually happened.

One of the policemen placed the gentleman in the back seat of the police car and closed the door.

“Would you like to know what really happened?” I told the uniformed officer.

“We already have the facts from the woman who was assaulted.”

“Do you want the true facts?”

“I think you had best move on down the road.”

Looking at the man I yelled out “When this is over you sue their ass. I’m sure the entire incident is on video somewhere. My name is Roger Kiser. Spelled K- I- S- E- R. I am in the phone book.”

The police car moved forward about twenty feet and stopped. The officer, on the passenger side, opened his door and got out of the vehicle.

“What’s your version?” he asked me.

In less than three minutes, I told the officer what I had seen and that the man did not, in any way, sexually assault the woman; that the woman had actually physically assaulted him.

After writing down my name, address and phone number, the police officer returned to his patrol car and began talking with the other officer. The two of them opened their doors, took the man out of the car and took off the handcuffs. One officer shook his head but neither said a word. They returned to their car and drove away.

“Well, this has been quite a day,” said the man.

“You just don’t know about people anymore,” I told him, as I extended my palms outward.

“I would like to repay you for what you just did.”

“No payment necessary.”

“I would like to do something.”

“Well, there is something I would like to have. I’ll try and keep it under a hundred dollars."

The man’s face froze in a stare position.

I walked back into K-Mart with the man in tow. I made my way to the small eating area and stopped.

“How do you like your coffee?” I asked.

“Black.”

“Two black coffees and two of those there sugar covered donuts,” I told the cashier. After getting my order, I pointed at the gentleman letting him know to pay for the items.

After finishing, I took the tray and placed it on the counter.

“What is it you need,” asked the man.

I reached out and took the man’s hand and shook it.

“That was what I wanted.”

“That’s all?”

“That’s it; I am a writer and I want to go home now and write about what happened here. The ending is going to say that I had lunch with, and shook the hand of, a man who was a complete gentleman throughout a very trying situation.

“Actually, I am a Captain in the Army; stationed at Fort Hood Texas.”

"Then that with be the name of the story, “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

I will never forget that large smile on his face.

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