I was following a police vehicle all the way home today, and it brought to mind a drive long ago, when I was around twelve years old and my dad was driving some little boxy Honda thing he had then.
Dad: "Oh, there's a cop. They shouldn't allow them on the road, you know? They hold up traffic... Look at this! Everyone slows down as soon as they see a cop. They're holding up traffic! Shouldn't be allowed on the road."
Little Me: "You're not supposed to call them, 'cops,' Dad. It's, like, derogatory or something. We're not supposed to call them cops at school."
Dad: "Derogatory? No! What?! No! But they're cops! How could calling them 'cops' be derogatory? It's what they are! What are you supposed to call them, then?"
Little Me: "Police officers."
Dad: "Police officers?! POLICE OFFICERS?! You should call them, 'pigs'. The next time they tell you to call them 'police officers' at school, you just say, 'I call them pigs.' Really. That's what we used to call them. They should be happy you don't call them 'pigs'."
I was very pleased that I had gotten my dad all riled up like that.
He probably doesn't remember this conversation.