Since the white flags were mysteriously placed atop the Brooklyn Bridge, we’ve seen an upsurge in cops in golf carts here on the Williamsburg Bridge. The little white wheeled boxes menacing pedestrians on the Peptol pink bridge always make me think of Kevin James’ Paul Blart: Mall Cop (though I’ve never had the chance to see the film, the title’s strange string of monosyllables occasionally pops into my head— Paul. Blart. Mall. Cop. I assume he had a golf cart).
While jogging, I like to pretend that I’m part of some sort of police chase. Usually, I’ve done nothing wrong— it’s a case of mistaken identity, which I can prove if I make it back to my apartment on time, where I have the documentation to back me up. Though sometimes, fantasy collides with real life when I find myself between a massive unpassable group of tourists clogging the bridge, oblivious on their phones, who are unwittingly playing a game of chicken with a police officer who appears to be flooring it to an emergency game of golf. Then I actually am running from the law (“You’ll never catch me alive, coppers!!!”).
The police presence isn’t entirely unwelcome— recently, before the influx of cops, I think I might have set a world record, shaving several hours (minutes, seconds, eons…?) off my mile time while attempting to escape a man howling while brandishing an empty bottle of beer. I would have appreciated the police during that moment, though I’m not sure how they would have handled the situation.
I am picturing a Kevin James in a cop cart puttering slowly behind the scary bridge man, while a caddy hands him a golf club. He shouts into a megaphone, “Sir, you’re going to have to stop. I have a nine-iron here, and I’ve been itching to use it.” (This particular cop had a lousy day on the green—he completely flubbed an easy chip in on the 9th hole, and he means what he says. The Scary Bridge Man should be nervous).
The Scary Bridge Man turns around to see the golf cart, and his anger quickly turns into fear as he realizes that there is no escape. Kevin James halts his cart, and slowly sets up a tee and a tiny golf cart. He makes the Scary Bridge Man practice his swing, while ridiculing his form mercilessly.
After a while, Kevin James feels something on his cheek— a solitary tear. He realizes that he never made the time to have children, and as he sees the Scary Bridge Man’s swing improve, he wonders if the quiet glow of happiness growing in his stomach is what fatherhood feels like.
Suddenly, the Scary Bridge Guy swings like he has been doing for the past hour, but this time, a miracle occurs. Briefly, he appears to be Tiger Woods in peak form (pre sex scandal). The golf ball sails in a seemingly endless trajectory around the world. Kevin James whistles softly, “That would have surely been a hole-in-one.”
The Scary Bridge Man walks up to Kevin James, eyes wide with the realization that he was part of something perfect, and says, “Pops, did I make you proud?”
Kevin James clasps his on the Scary Bridge Man’s shoulder and says, “Son, I’ve never been more proud of you.” They both hop into the golf cart, and slowly roll into the sunset, while I lurchingly run past them, gasping and wildly rolling my eyes, while clutching my left arm, presumably dying from a heart attack.