When it comes to Police*United States*Fiction, Los Angeles leads the nation. At my small, crime-fiction-friendly library, the score is LA 86 to NYC 56. Not even a contest! LA shoots and scores.
I'm vacationing in the lovely library catalog theme park as I often do at this time of year. It does me almost as much good as a real week on the beach with palm trees swaying. My wonderful former librarian employer actually pays me to go on this trip AND I get to do complex yet repetitive catalog maintenance tasks that require considerable concentration and attention to detail. It's like shiatsu massage for my brain.
Visualize a raked Japanese sand garden like the one at the Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War down in Fredericksburg. How do those Zen monks keep the sand so perfectly ordered? Mindfulness. Or maybe working the bugs out of the subject headings!
There were so many books in the catalog listed as Police*United States*Fiction that it was time to add further specifications. Imagine being informed that your kitchen junk drawer needs to be sorted! Kitchen*Drawer*Collections isn't going to be sufficiently informative to those guys trying to find the marshmallow roasting skewers or the unidentified padlock key.
The results surprised me as each book was reclassified for a particular state or city. This is a totally unscientific analysis:
86 Police*California*Los Angeles*Fiction
56 Police*New York (State)*New York*Fiction
26 Police*California*Fiction (all the non-LAPD officers)
20 Police*Washington (D.C.)*Fiction
No big surprises there, although I expected lightweight mysteries with American alligators to be more popular than the snow and history mysteries about Boston.
19 Police*New Mexico*Fiction (I call it the Hillerman factor.)
16 Ed McBain's imaginary 87th Precinct has to remain vaguely Police*United States*Fiction. Then I'm mystified by a tie between Illinois and Minnesota. Chicago needs all the fictional police, but Minneapolis doesn't catch my imagination as a fictional hotbed of crime.
15 Police*Illinois*Fiction15 Police*Minnesota*Fiction
12 The rest of New York (State)
12 Police*Georgia (U.S.)*Fiction Not to be confused with the former S.S.R.
10 Police*Washington (State)*Fiction I imagine all those Birkenstocked writers keying away on their laptops at tables in Starbucks without buying enough lattes need quite a bit of law enforcement.
6 each for Texas and Alaska
Living in Texas, I would think we need lots more fictional police. It would take more than six just for the cheerleading squad scandal up the road in McKinney! Maybe we will make up for the shortage with Private investigators*Texas*Fiction.
5 for Virginia
4 each for Arkansas
3 for Oklahoma and Kansas
only 2 for Oregon, Ohio, and Iowa
As you stroll through the stacks remember the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: Hey, let's be careful out there. You never know when you might need to rake some West Side Story lyrics out of your inner sand garden. I'm smiling at the memory of asking my mom, "What's a social disease?" I got the impression it was like sixth grade square-dancing in Phys. Ed. class with Brent, the boy with warts on his hand. That was better than breaking the pinata with Karen who needed twenty stitches after biting through her lower lip. Maybe the real mystery is how we all survive sixth grade!
ACTION Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies,
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, natcherly
ACTION AND JETS Gee, Officer Krupke,
we're very upset;
We never had the love that
ev'ry child oughta get.
We ain't no delinquents,
Deep down inside us there is good!
ACTION There is good!
ALL There is good, there is good,
There is untapped good!
Like inside, the worst of us is good!
SNOWBOY: (Spoken) That's a touchin' good story.
ACTION: (Spoken) Lemme tell it to the world!
SNOWBOY: Just tell it to the judge.
ACTION Dear kindly Judge, your Honor,
My parents treat me rough.
With all their marijuana,
They won't give me a puff.
They didn't wanna have me,
But somehow I was had.
Leapin' lizards! That's why I'm so bad!
DIESEL: (As Judge) Right! Officer Krupke, you're really a square;
This boy don't need a judge, he needs an analyst's care!
It's just his neurosis that oughta be curbed.
He's psychologic'ly disturbed!
ACTION I'm disturbed!
JETS We're disturbed, we're disturbed,
We're the most disturbed,
Like we're psychologic'ly disturbed.
DIESEL: (Spoken, as Judge) In the opinion on this
court, this child is depraved on account he ain't had
a normal home.
ACTION: (Spoken) Hey, I'm depraved on account I'm deprived.
DIESEL: So take him to a headshrinker.
ACTION (Sings) My father is a bastard,
My ma's an S.O.B.
My grandpa's always plastered,
My grandma pushes tea.
My sister wears a mustache,
My brother wears a dress.
Goodness gracious, that's why I'm a mess!
A-RAB: (As Psychiatrist) Yes! Officer Krupke, you're really a slob.
This boy don't need a doctor, just a good honest job.
Society's played him a terrible trick,
And sociologic'ly he's sick!
ACTION I am sick!
ALL We are sick, we are sick,
We are sick, sick, sick,
Like we're sociologically sick!
A-RAB: In my opinion, this child don't need to have his head shrunk at all.
Juvenile delinquency is purely a social disease!
ACTION: Hey, I got a social disease!
A-RAB: So take him to a social worker!
ACTION Dear kindly social worker,
They say go earn a buck.
Like be a soda jerker,
Which means like be a schumck.
It's not I'm anti-social,
I'm only anti-work.
Gloryosky! That's why I'm a jerk!
BABY JOHN: (As Female Social Worker) Eek! Officer Krupke, you've done it again.
This boy don't need a job, he needs a year in the pen.
It ain't just a question of misunderstood;
Deep down inside him, he's no good!
ACTION I'm no good!
ALL We're no good, we're no good!
We're no earthly good,
Like the best of us is no damn good!
DIESEL (As Judge) The trouble is he's crazy.
A-RAB (As Psychiatrist) The trouble is he drinks.
BABY JOHN (As Female Social Worker) The trouble is he's lazy.
DIESEL The trouble is he stinks.
A-RAB The trouble is he's growing.
BABY JOHN The trouble is he's grown.
ALL Krupke, we got troubles of our own!
Gee, Officer Krupke,
We're down on our knees,
'Cause no one wants a fellow with a social disease.
Gee, Officer Krupke,
What are we to do?
Gee, Officer Krupke, Krup you!