Being a Cop

Source: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 1981

Many people, too many people, have the natural talent to act as cops, as villains, as persecutors, as torturers, as watchdogs of the Regime. They are defective Human beings, psychologically ill, who aspire above all else to be enlisted by the Regime, to give vent to their sadism with impunity and in a legalized way, on the defenseless people.

– Cops. Anyone else want a guess?
– Yeah, this way.
– We don’t want to shoot you, Beeblebrox.
– Suits me fine.
– Back to the lift?
– Back to the lift.
– Hey, they’re shooting at us. I thought they said they didn’t want to do that.
– Yeah, I thought they said that.
– Hey, I thought you said you didn’t want to shoot us.
– It isn’t easy being a cop.
– What did he say?
– He said it isn’t easy being a cop.
– That’s his problem, isn’t it?
– I thought so, yeah.
– Now, listen. I think we’ve got enough problems of our own having you out there shooting at us, so if you’d like to avoid laying your personal problems on us as well, I think we’d all find it a lot easier to cope.
– Now, look buddy. You’re not dealing with any dumb two-bit trigger-pumping morons with low hairlines, little piggy eyes and no conversation. We’re a couple of caring intelligent guys, you’d probably really like if you met us socially. I don’t go around gratuitously shooting people and then brag about it in seedy space-rangers bars. I go around gratuitously shooting people and then I agonize about it afterwards to my girlfriend.
– And I write novels.
– Yeah, he writes them in crayon.
– And I haven’t had any published yet, so I better warn you, I’m in a mean mood.
– Who are these guys?
– I think I preferred it when they were shooting.
– So are you going to come quietly, or are you going to let us blast you?
– Which would you prefer?
– You still there?
– Yeah.
– We didn’t enjoy that at all.
– We could tell.
– Now, listen to this, Beeblebrox, and you better listen good.
– Why?
– Because it’s going to be very intelligent and quite interesting and humane.
– Ok, shoot, I mean fire away.
– Sorry, misunderstanding there.
– Beeblebrox, either you all give yourselves up and let us beat you up a little, though not too much because we are firmly opposed to needless violence, or we blow up this entire planet and one or two others that we noticed on the way over.
– But that’s crazy, you wouldn’t do that.
– Yes, we would. I think we would, wouldn’t we?
– Oh yes, we’d have to, no question.
– But why?
– Tell her.
– No, you tell her.
– You tell her.
– Will one of you tell her?
– It isn’t easy being a cop.
– Listen, if we keep them talking maybe their brains will seize up.
– Shall we shoot them up again for a while?
– Yeah, why not?