Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is That A Truncheon In Your Pocket, Or . . . 7/20/10

You know you’re getting old when the policemen start getting hornier.

Maybe it’s the warmer weather, maybe it’s the fact that the LA cops just all seem to have walked out of the movies, but they really are a pretty hot bunch.

Until I came to LA, uniformed cops never really did it for me; I simply have too much of a terror of authority to be able to think of the police as anything other than people who will put me in chains for getting out of bed the wrong side (I once woke my parents up in the middle of the night, devastated that I had forgotten to pay my three-pence to Brown Owl in the weekly Brownies meeting, which gives you an idea of how law-abiding I have always felt the need to be).

Doctors, yes (love the white coats and any man in scrubs); firemen, yes (although mainly for their props – sliding pole, hoses, that sort of thing); but never coppers (despite their truncheons).

Well, unless you count actors who play coppers.

My first job as a TV critic coincided with the launch of the ITV show The Bill and, being in my twenties, it was hard not to be drawn to these rather fit young men who launched the series.

Now, the actors are 103, the show is being axed, and everyone wants to see real life coppers in reality shows, which to me isn’t the same thing at all.

But there is just something about the Beverly Hills cops, who will rush to your aid in about 30 seconds flat, no matter how small your problem.

Hilton Hotel too noisy? Call the cops. Nasty man in Vodafone shop, threatening to come back and shoot everyone because his SIM card doesn’t work? Call the cops.

They are pretty strict about road etiquette, which can be a bit scary (do not, and I mean do NOT cross unless the white man is showing on the lights), but their constant patrol, both on foot and in cars, makes you feel extra safe which, for a woman walking alone in a big city (yes, I am still the only person who walks in LA), is always a good thing.

I suspect, however, that the real reason I am fancying the cops is the ongoing absence of any decent men here. The arrogance and rudeness of most blokes I meet makes even the most misogynistic of Brits seem like groupies in the Germaine Greer Appreciation Society.

The guys with money treat you like dirt because they just want a piece of eye candy on their arms (which they know they can get); the high end business guys can’t bear it when you’re not impressed with their status; and the tough guys . . .

Well, I have to be careful what I say about them, for obvious reasons. I haven’t met many, but when I was told that “the real life Tony Soprano” had entered one establishment I frequent, naturally I was curious.

Tony Soprano? The guy looked as if he had eaten three Tony Sopranos for breakfast and still had enough room for three small cousins. Initially friendly, he and his mate then decided that sometimes guys just had to be guys and women got in the way.

As they high-fived each other in their mutual appreciation of each other’s wit (I use the world very loosely), I was yet again left wondering where the smart, creative men hang out.

Having now lived in five different countries (Wales, England, France, Spain and the US), it’s fairly safe to say that I’ve given the male species more than a good onceover.

I have really close male friends, so I don’t have an anti-man thing going on. But all those men were nabbed long ago, and even those who broke up with their partners were quickly snatched up the second or third time around.

Really, you have to start looking in August if you’re hoping to have a date on New Year’s Eve (take note: Windows 2011 is just around the corner), although I suspect that all the men I would really like to meet are so busy working, they have to schedule the pulling of a Christmas cracker three years in advance.

Meeting a man was never my aim here; I came to work and, having just about finished my book (writing, not reading), am pleased with the progress I have made. But some male company along the way would have been nice.

I have met some wonderful Europeans, all really into their work and loving the LA lifestyle. I have met great women, too, both American and European. But the American male is a species I just don’t understand.

People tell me that the East Coast is very different, so, who knows, maybe that’s where I’ll head next.

Or maybe I’ll just aim for a wild party in LA at the end of 2010, have the cops called in, and see in the New Year in handcuffs.

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