Guy is driving down the road. Cop car appears behind him. Guy pulls over, other guy gets out of cop car. “Yes, Officer, What is it?” The guy from the cop car shoots the driver in the forehead with a pneumatic riveter.
Yuck, yuck, the murder victim called the murderer, “Officer.”
No Country for Old Men, novel, movie
You can bet plenty of Jews called the Nazis “Officer” (or some German or Yiddish equivalent) as they were being dragged off to the ovens.
An Italian horror movie with the amazing Barbara Steele has had me recalling Nikolai Gogol recently. My first sniff of Gogol came through Danny Kaye being mistaken by corrupt townsmen for an inspector from the Tsar. Mind now: the Inspector General wasn’t driving a cop car, wailed no siren, offered no badge, had no uniform … But what if he had?
Black Sunday, based loosely on Gogol
& The Inspector General, ditto
“You could have had those printed up!” the damned soul says to the Devil when he shows him a calling card: Lucifer.
But that’s nothing: you go to a church. Some guy in a black wizard’s gown says that God is the author and owner of everything, that this church represents that God, so cough up 10% of your income as a tithe and hand it to the guy in the wizard costume. He doesn’t need a cop car, or a siren, or a printed Lucifer, or a pneumatic riveter.
Actually, that last has a peer: you go to the market: long ago something called “money” emerged around markets. In time a variety of precious “things” passed as money: gold, for example. Now you go to the market and the money is paper! “That’s not gold!” you may exclaim.
No: it’s a badge, a siren, a pneumatic riveter, published by the Nazis, who’ll put you in the oven if you complain. “Now, sit down, shut up, and love Big Brother, Winston.”
Oh, I wish I could identify for you a film I remember from 1950s TV: a comic group, Prohibition time, say the Marx Brothers, were celebrating something. They go to the speak-easy. They tell the surly waiter that they’re celebrating, they want champagne. The waiter pulls the cork on some still fluid. The lead comedian, Graucho, complains there was no “pop.” He wants a pop, says the surly waiter: and some clown comes over and shoots Graucho in the eye with the cork from a popgun. Oh, thank you. And Graucho sits back down.
Comedy can be so wonderful.