Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another Badge Story

Some years ago, my collaborator wrote a novel, Darkworld Detective, kind of a magic-noir thing. So as a gift, for Christmas or his birthday, I decided to get him a spiffy badge, from the same company that had made my private eye badge when I'd been an op in L.A..

Entenmann-Rovin, in Pico Rivera, was -- still is -- the top of the line badge company.

So I sent in my request, along with a check, and decided, what-the-heck, I'd get myself a new one, too. Since I was a freelance writer, I get that one.

They wouldn't sell them to me. I needed my request to be on official police stationary from my department.

Uh, well, I wrote back, there being no Darkworld Detective Agency on Earth, nor one for Free Lances, that would be a problem. Who was I suppose to fool flashing those at anybody?
C'mon. It's a gag gift.

Nope. Sorry. Unless you can get your local police chief to vouch for you.

So, living in Port Townsend, WA at the time, and damned if I was gonna just roll over and take that, I hied myself down to the local police department, which, back then, wasn't open 24-7 -- it was closed on weekends in the off-season, the local sheriff took calls.

I met Chief Hinton. Explained, got a big grin, and by giving him an autographed novel to prove I really was a writer, got him to write me a letter.

ER made the badges, and all was well.

By his account, my collaborator was tickled with the badge, which he had under a little glass dome for some years. And for a time at science fiction conventions, I would flash my own shield:

Perry's the name. I'm a Free Lance ...

Can I get the musical sting from Dragnet here ... ?

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