The Cop Says Turp Turp Turp

Damon Runyon


September 7.

DEAR SIR the other night I got out the old bucket and me and my wife Ethel drove over to New York to see a friend of hers by the name of Kitty Carey on West 93rd Street who married a butcher.

Coming back down Broadway Ethel was driving and she ran through a red light at a corner and a young cop there blew his whistle at us and motioned her to pull over. I ses there now Ethel you see what you have done and she ses Joe you keep still and let me take care of this.

The cop come over and put his foot up on the running board on her side of the car and pulled out his pencil and pad and ses well where do you think you are going hay? Running through red lights hay? Let me see your drivers license.

So Ethel showed him her license but she did not say a word and when I started to say something she gave me a kick on the ankle and almost broke it. Then the cop ses well I guess I will just make you a little present of a ticket and Ethel ses very quiet listen cop if I was you I would not do that. The cop ses do what? Ethel ses give me a ticket.

The cop ses why not? Ethel ses well cop I am just telling you. I would not give me a ticket or you will be very sorry. The cop ses sorry for what? Ethel ses for giving me a ticket. The cop ses O I will hay? Ethel ses yes you will but remember I warned you. The cop ses wait a minute now. Let me see that license of yours again.

He read Ethels license very careful and then he ses out loud like he was talking to himself Turp Turp Turp Turp and thinking hard. Finally he ses I never heard of no Turps. Where did you say you lived lady? Ethel ses why you can tell where we live by the address on that license. We live in Brooklyn. The cop ses Turp Turp Turp Turp to himself again and then he looked at me and ses what about him?

Ethel ses well what about him? The cop ses who is he? Ethel ses he is my husband thats who he is. The cop ses O. Ethel ses O what? The cop ses just O lady. Well I guess I will give you this little note with my best regards. Ethel ses cop are you married? The cop ses yes I am. Ethel ses have you got any children? The cop ses not yet but soon and I hope its a boy. Ethel ses do you have a nice little home?

The cop ses my home is nice enough but what am I doing standing here answering questions like you was a judge? Who are you anyway and what right have you got to be asking me questions? Ethel ses cop everybody has got a right to ask a cop questions. How long have you been in the department? The cop ses well not very long but what has that got to do with me giving you this ticket?

Ethel leaned out of the window and almost whispered to him and ses well cop if you are smart you will just stick that pencil back in your pocket and go on about your business. If you want to give me a ticket go ahead and give it to me but remember I tried to warn you. The cop ses well you ran through that red light didn’t you? Ethel ses I am not going to say another thing to you. Just go ahead and give me that ticket but remember I warned you.

The cop stood there with his pencil in his mouth and his foot on the running-board and looking at her and thinking. He kept saying Turp Turp Turp Turp to himself. Then he ses who do you know in Brooklyn?

Ethel ses never you mind who we know. He ses are you related to somebody? Ethel ses cop we are related to lots of somebodys and the cop ses tell me some names. Ethel ses cop I told you I am not going to say anything more to you. If you want to give me that ticket just go ahead and let us go on home but I want you to tell your little wife that if you had only listened it would not have happened.

The cop ses she is not little and what would not have happened? Ethel ses never mind. The cop ses now see here lady you know you ran through that red light and you know thats against the law. I am just a cop and I am put here to see that people do not violate the law by running through red lights and things like that. You know yourself what would happen if we let everybody run through red lights. I am only doing my duty in giving you a ticket.

Ethel says all right give it to me but remember I told you. The cop ses Turp Turp Turp Turp to himself and then he ses well now lady I will tell you what I will do. If you promise not to do it again I will let you go this time and not give you a ticket and Ethel ses now cop you are talking sense and I promise. Then she started the engine going and ses cop I hope its a boy too and that he turns out as nice as you and away we went leaving the cop standing there saying Turp Turp Turp Turp to himself.

I ses well Ethel sweets that was great and she ses yes and it was fun too wasnt it Joe? Let’s run through another red light and do it again, I ses pull up Ethel and change seats with me. I ses I will drive the rest of the way home and I did.