Chapter 4.1 } “Flipping the Cop the F-Word”

{ Part 2 – “Bikes, Shotguns and White Rabbits” – Being held up by a shotgun on the Manotick bridge when I was 15 years old. }

“My mother plucked the perpetual chain cigarette attached at her mouth and aggressively plunged it into the stuffed van ashtray.  She narrowly missed the silver putter-outer-thing.”

I don’t know what Jackie and I did the for the next hour or so. I think I just wanted to get back to my home and into my room…where I was safe. I don’t remember if we talked about the man with the gun, or didn’t. I do remember what happened next though. My mom did keep her word and decided to drive us back into Manotick for the fireworks. I didn’t keep my mouth shut for very long.

Mom drove us into town – less then a 10 minute drive. I remember being pretty hyper in the car with Jackie. I’m sure my mother was glad we were having a good time, but trying to calm us down at the same time. The hyperness could have been normal 15 teenage year old hyperness – or, and more likely it was amplified with shock we were still no doubt in. Adrenaline pumping…

We were in the family minivan – the burgundy Chrysler Voyager I believe. As we got into town, we took the same path that Jackie and I took only an hour earlier to get into town, and to return home and, where the man with the gun held us up. I wonder why it’s called “A hold-up” ? We were almost there. One more turn and we would be at the arena. Just as mom turned the corner that lead us into the street the Manotick Arena was on, I blurted out, ” Jackie and I were held up by a man and gun today!”

“Katie! What?! Katie!”

{ My family called me Katie. Always have. I go by Kate. I always thought Katie sounded like a wimpier version. Kate sounded firm, strong – don’t cut my any bullshit kind a think with the hard, definite ending.  I’ve corrected people my whole life. I don’t really hear it when my family calls me Katie. One love used to call me Katie-Kate. I loved it when he first called me that. It was new. Now I realize, it covered all the basis. }

My mother plucked the perpetual cigarette attached at her mouth and plunged it into the stuffed van ashtray, missing the putter-outer -thing.

“Whaattt…….? Mom, we’re fine.”

“Katie! Katie! You could have been killed!”

I paused. Thinking again, outside of being “in” what happened to think about what she said.

“Uhuh. I know that! But look, we’re here!”

The next thing I knew, my mother turned the car a hard right and the tires screeched.

“Mom! What are you doing?”

There facing us head on was the Manotick OPP Headquarters.

“Muuummm!” I droned out in that typical teenager fashion like I was dying.

“Katie, you and Jackie could have been killed. You need to report this incase that guy is still out there. He could do this to someone else.”

“Jackie sat politely silent the whole time. I would have done the same. Every friend knows a debate at an even lower caliber level such as sleep over permission warrants silence from the friend. We were way past that!

“But mom, the fireworks. We’re going to miss them.”

My mother looked at me like I was crazy. “Katie, we are doing this now.”

Jackie and I looked at each other in the back and I gave her a kind of I’m sorry this is happening, but I guess it’s kind of warranted look. My mother took another puff of her cigarette that was already out and got out of the car. Jackie and I followed suit in our cut-offs. I was a but nervous. It felt a but like I had done something wrong. I mean, I knew I hadn’t, but when you’re doing something big, official and legal you kind of feel like it you know?

We walked into the Police Office. We could hear the summer noises coming from the arena. The sound of the bat hitting the ball, children laughing and running around, cheers coming from the crowd. The fireworks would be soon, and we had to go into some stink’n cop’s office. Blah!

We waited in the waiting room while Mom went up to the hole in the window to tell the officer whatever she was going to tell her. The officer came around and asked Jackie and I our names. She said she’d be bringing us in separately, one at a time. Jackie and I looked at each other. Why would they do that we thought giving each other a look of confusion that turned into “aha – we get it looks.”

I had nothing to hide. Jackie had nothing to hide.

My mother was in with the officer first for what seemed a while. ‘Must have been telling what she knew of the story. Then I was called in. I remember it looked just like it did in the movies. There was a long and I mean long black boardroom table. My mom was at the furthest end of it. The Police officer was on the side and I was asked to sit at the other end. Passing the salt was not an option here. My mother was smoking a cigarette at the end of the table. It was the 80’s folks. Hilarious. The officer asked me to tell her what happened and so did. There is a funny piece to this story. So I am sitting there telling the story and it started out like this.

“Well, my friend and I were on the bridge and this man came out of nowhere and pointed a shotgun at me.”

“I’m going to need more detail Katie” said the Police officer.



“It’s Kate.”

My mother gave me a look like I’m going to kill you kid, what are you doing, just tell the nice police officer you’re story.” Yes, I could get that much detail from one of my mother’s looks.

She asked me so many questions. Wanting to know so many details.

“How did you get there?”

“We were on our bikes.”

“Who’s we?”

“My friend Jackie.”

“The girl outside?”


“Where were you going?”

‘We were on our way home.”


“The Baseball game.”

“Why did you leave?”

“My mother wanted us home before dark.”

My mother put a proud, I’m a good sensible small smile on her face. The police officer looked at her.

“Why were you stopped?”

“Sidewalk ended. We were waiting for traffic to stop to jump back on our bikes.”

“And you don’t remember the man before he was  in front of you?”


“And then what happened?”

{ This is where things got a bit funny }

“Well.Um.Then, um. Um. He said, “Jump of the bridge.”

“Exactly like that?”

“Um, well, no. Um.” I looked reluctantly. “Not exactly. Well pretty much.”

“What did he say Katie? …Kate”

“He said, “Jump off the – Mmhmm – bridge.” I muffled the swear word.


I repeated the same thing.

“I’m sorry, I can’t understand what you are saying Katherine. Tell me again.”

Now remember folks. I was 15 years old. Sure I knew what the F-word was, sure I’d probably said it a few times. Although “shit” was always by profanity of choice. But, I had never said it in front of my mother. My Catholic “I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap mother.” Which she never did and I’m sure only threatened because that’s where her mother said to her.

“He said, “Jump off of the – and then he swore – bridge.”

“Kate. Please tell me exactly what he said. I need to know exactly what he said to you.”

“He said, Jump off of the fff-fff-fugrin bridge…now.”

“Did he swear?”


“I need to hear you say it Kate. I am recording this conversation. Tell me exactly what he said.”

“He said, “Jump off of the friggen bridge…now”

“Is that exactly what he said?”

He said, “Jump off of the.” And then I motioned the more politer Italian hand gesture for the F-word.” You know, the one from Grease – closed fist, arms crossed at 90 degrees. “Bridge.”

The police officer looked over her glasses at me.

“Alright, alright, alright. He said, “Jump off the.” And then I gave the finger to the table so as to not give it to the cop.”

The police officer’s eyes widened in anticipation and disappointment.

I was sinking and shrugging in my seat. I looked shyly over at my mother.

“I think what Katie is trying to say your officer, is that the man said “…”

The officer interrupted my mother. “Mrs.Flood. Please do not interrupt. I told you that you could stay in the room on account of your daughter being a minor, but I need to hear this from her. Thank you.”

“Katherine, your mother is not going to get mad at you if you need to swear here. Are you Mrs.Flood?”

My mother smiled at me with acknowledgment and a “it’s ok daughter” look.

Then I said in the quickest – I don’t want my mother to hear me say the F-word  sentence – voice, ” He told me to jump off the Fucking bridge. Now!”

“There. Was that so hard?”

God, you have no idea! Gezuz, the pressure of teenaged.

All right then. Then what happened?

I told the officer the rest of the story of what happened. I’m not sure how long we were in there. Probably under an hour, but I was itch’n to get to those fireworks! The officer told me thank you and that was all she needed. I left and she followed me to the door to the waiting room where Jackie was.

“Jackie, you can come ahead in now.”

Jackie’s I shoulders grazed one another on the way between the door. I rolled my eyes at her – an “Oh my God that was so lame, but good luck look.”

I waited in the waiting room alone. I think my mother stayed in there with Jackie so there was a parent support for her there. I wonder if she’s being asked the same questions.  A while later she came out and the officer announced that she wanted us both in there at the same time. Oh my God, every “Cagney & Lacey” , “Bionic Woman” and “WonderWoman” interrogation scene flashed through my head. Jackie and I had a mile second of exchange on the way back into the room. We were both telling truth, but you know, we were teenagers, we wanted to both REALLY telling the truth in this circumstance! Did our stories match?

“Whad’yah say?”

“Whatd you say?”

That wasn’t going to get us very far in thus millisecond.

“What colour did you say his hair was?”


“Blond? What? He was brunette.” Oh my God, we’re screwed we thought. We exchanged wide-eyed looks of “Oh Fuck. We’re screwed.” and smirked our way into the interrogation room.

We told our stories. So the hair was different. The police officer told us the end the reason she called us in separately and together was to compare the stories. She said they were identical. That the difference in hair colour was negligible and a common occurrence in these life-threatening situations and shock. We were free to go.

My mother dropped us off at the fireworks. She only let us stay an hour. I guess I would have done the same thing after what happened. Here’s a bit of freedom honey, but I’d like you home safe and sound in my arms kind thing. I was glad to be home.

It wasn’t until years and years and years later that I would figure out, exactly why the man with the gun pointed it at me and told me “to Jump of off the fucking bridge now.”

Can You Believe it?  • I would love to hear what you think. Write what you want { kind words } by clicking on the “comment” balloon above left or in the text~box below. To start at the beginning: this is the official link to my novel blog:

Happy 2012 Everyone!
I have a ton more writing to do!

• By Kate Flood
• Home, by the fire and mini disco ball sipping red.
State of Being: Dreadfully heart broken still. Listening to Ipod on my TEAC on shuffle adds some enlightenment though. Wynton Marsalis is playing. { I met him last year at the Jazz Lincoln Center last year around this time. }