How a Simple Social Misfit Became the Most Fun Cop You’ll Ever Meet (And the Best!)
- Guest Post by Julie Smith
Skip Langdon here, N.O.P.D. That’s N.O. as in New Awlins, dawlin’. (If you fly Southwest, they’ll pronounce it N’awlins, which is just not right! That’s like saying “y’all” in the singular. Good rule of thumb: there are about half a dozen ways to properly pronounce the name of my city, but three syllables is the minimum correct number, and four is even acceptable, as in New Or-lee-uns. Yep. That’s a preppy way to say it, but it isn’t upper crust, which is New Oyuns. Swear to God. And I don’t mean “oh-yuns”. This is “oy-vey”-oy.)
Sorry–got carried away there. What I was going to say was, God, I used to hate this burg! Although my parents were interlopers, I went to the proper school, so I grew up with the New Oyuns crowd. And it was pretty embarrassing being the child of social climbers. I mean the kind of people who needed me to get invited to the right birthday parties. Which I didn’t, of course.
This was probably because I’m just not genetically Southern, and possibly not even genetically human.
Most humans are born with the ability to figure out what’s expected of them, as I understand it. Well, I just…wasn’t. Never did anything right, never fit in, never knew why. Unless you count the fact that the average Uptown girl has the build of a bird. (And the brain too, I’ve sometimes thought.) But I’m just not a bird-girl. I am exactly five-feet-twelve and do not discuss my weight. So that could have had something to do with the fitting-in part.
All through grade school and high school—well, hell, even college–I was pretty sure I’d fallen out of a passing spaceship and landed in the Garden District. But I tried. I even bit the bullet and made my debut. Nothing worked, so I moved to San Francisco to see if anyone of my species lived there. And I got a great job, as a bike messenger. Then one day I saw a mugging in progress and I stopped it. Me! The incompetent kid who flunked out of Newcomb. (Didn’t mention that, did I? I transferred to Ole Miss and made it to graduation.) Anyhow, I stopped this mugging with my own oversized body and suddenly I thought, Hey, size matters! In a good way. I LOVED the feeling of kicking that perp’s sorry ass.
So I got the idea to become a cop. And when I ended up back in my hometown, suddenly everything looked different. I do fit in now. Sort of. I mean, I’m still not a bird, but I have a job to do and I get some actual respect from people I’m not related to. Cool! But those I amrelated to are another story. One of my favorite things about the job is how mad it made my family—Langdons just do not become cops.
But my top number one favorite thing is my landlord and gay best friend, Jimmy Dee Scoggin, who kept me supplied with pot until he adopted two kids and we both had to just say no. Although then this cute guy named Steve Steinman came to town…that’s up there too.
But anyway–how did I accomplish this miraculous turnaround? Well, one day, I witnessed a murder…and actually got assigned to the case because I come from the fancy “New Oyuns” crowd. See, the victim was the king of Mardi Gras–very high profile case–and the brass thought I might…get this: fit in.
So how’s that for a martial arts move? I mean, the very thing I was running from turned out to be…well, you get it. Stuff like that probably happens to you all the time. But then you’re probably human.