JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

F$%^ the police?

By “F$%^,” I mean “feed.” I’m sitting in a Cosi, writing away, as the local cops stop by for their free food.

That’s right—free.

For some reason, police officers across America seem to consider it their right to receive free food from restaurants within their turf. I see it all the time—they come in, order food, then never pay.

Quite frankly, it’s bullshit. Why are cops more entitled to free grub than, say, teachers or accountants or balding, anxiety-stuffed, lazy-ass book authors who spend their days sipping from the same cup of hot chocolate while fantasizing over one day running hand-in-hand on a beach with Conrad Bain while rubbing coconut oil on hi—uh, never mind. That’s another topic. More to the point, the whole cop-food thing is an enormous conflict of interest. Is the free food just free food? Or is it an unspoken payoff for protection? Will there be eateries that are punished for not providing nourishment to our public servants?

I’ve got no real beef with cops in general. Sure, as a product of the tough streets of Mahopac, N.Y.—where a Jewish brotha without his Glock was a dead Jewish brotha—I certainly popped a few caps back in the day. And sure, I ran with the toughest gang the ‘Pac ever saw—Cub Scouts Troop 371. But, uh, what was I even saying?