32: Hookers

32: Hookers

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering & Giving Back


A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs — jolted by every pebble in the road.

~Henry Ward Beecher

My wife is the volunteer coordinator for our local police department. One of her tasks is to arrange for citizens to tour the police department. These tours are extremely popular, especially with seniors, Scouts and special needs groups. My wife and her volunteers do a tremendous job making these tours interesting, utilizing canine officers and even letting people examine the jail cells, unless they happen to be occupied. But every now and then my wife receives a comment that makes her shake her head. She recently took a call from an irate mom. The conversation went like this:


“How may I help you?”

“Are YOU the volunteer coordinator for the police department, the one responsible for tours?”


“Good. I want to register a complaint. I’m very upset about what happened when my six-year-old son toured your building with his Cub Scout troop last Thursday.”

“I participated in that tour and remember it well. What seems to be the problem?”

“Nothing, unless you think it appropriate to expose small children to the harsh realities of life.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s your son’s name and what does he look like?”

“He has blond hair, blue eyes, and his name is Donny.”

“Did something on the tour upset Donny?”

“No. Something on the tour upset ME! How dare you bring impressionable children into contact with — hookers! What were you people thinking?”

My wife was nonplussed for a moment, but eventually managed to spit out, “Let me assure you that your child was not exposed to hookers. We don’t bring visitors into the cells if they’re occupied.”

“So you’re saying my Donny is a liar when he says an officer let him play with hookers?”

A pause. “Does Donny wear Spiderman shoes?”

“As a matter of fact he does.”

My wife started laughing.

“I hardly think this is something to laugh at.”

My wife did her best to compose herself. “I remember Donny. And yes, he did have fun playing with hookers. But not in the way you’re thinking. Donny was fascinated with the hookers hanging from an officer’s work belt. Most people call them ‘handcuffs’ but little Donny referred to them as hookers because they hook hands together.”

Silence on the phone.

Finally, “Well, keep up the good work.”

~Stephen Hayes

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