I was curious. What utterance could be so obnoxious, so repellent, that a woman well past the age of consent would not repeat it to an officer of the law?

Perhaps Boes' slavish adherence to Jean-Paul Sartre's division of the "I" and the "Me," as explained in his landmark 1937 existentialist study of consciousness, The Transcendence of the Ego, had offended Christine's more humanistic philosophical grounding?

Or could the problem have been caused by Murray's stubborn belief that deconstructionist analysis of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake misses the point of the great but difficult work? Did his common-sense take on the novel collide with Melinda's arch, postmodern sensibilities?

Alas, we will never know. Neither the officers nor the young ladies returned my phone calls.

It is clear, though, that the untoward remark drew the bartender and another patron of the bar into a set-to with Boes and Murray, which brouhaha spilled out onto the sidewalk in front of In Ka Hoots, where a passing Clovis patrolman, Officer Ron Lichti, saw the ruckus.

According to the SFPD's charges against the officers, "[Boes and Murray] were described by the arresting officer as intoxicated, with red and glassy eyes, unsteady on their feet, and speaking with slurred speech with obvious chips on their shoulders."

When the cops show up, you face the same limited choices as when the fairer sex explicitly declines an advance: dignified retreat, or heroically stupid perseverance.

It's with a heavy heart that I report Officers Boes and Murray once again chose the less dignified path, refusing Officer Lichti's thoroughly professional request that they assume a prone position. Moreover, and despite Officer Lichti's request, off-duty Officer Boes had a sudden brainstorm: It would be a real good idea to remain standing and try to sneak around behind Officer Lichti -- repeatedly.

So Lichti whipped out his pepper spray and doused the meatheads. And they got on the ground.

When one's dignity has been thoroughly assaulted -- by the cold shoulders of three Clovis damsels, a bartender's rebuff, and the firmly applied force of a legally ordained peace officer -- a moment or six of quiet reflection might be called for.

But Officers Boes and Murray did not feel reflective.
No, Officers Boes and Murray thought their in-custody status was a trigger, of sorts, for a formal notification to Clovis authorities. And Boes thought it'd be best if this notification was delivered with a liberal dose of the word "fuck."

Boes was outraged that the Clovis police would fucking take the word of a fucking bartender over the word of fucking fellow police officers. He kept hammering on this fucking point over and over, says Golden, the Clovis police spokeswoman.

Duly informed that they had SFPD officers in custody, Clovis Police called San Francisco and told police superiors what Boes and Murray had done. Five hours later, our chastened boys were released. Charged with disturbing the peace, both officers later pleaded guilty and paid $250 fines.

Drinking a wee bit and then screwing up a vast amount doesn't necessarily make you all bad. In the interest of balance, then, I feel compelled to report that shortly after they were released from Clovis Jail, Boes and Murray helped lead the San Francisco Police soccer team to a first-place statewide victory.

I talked to Murray's police "rabbi," Capt. Frank O'Malley, who has known the officer since he was 19 years old, and he said Murray is a fine lad and one of the best Irish football players in the country, the son of the late Dan Murray, one of the most famous Irish footballers of all time. (The sport is a cross between soccer and rugby, O'Malley told me.)

He is also brave. Last year, without any backup, he chased a perp down a dark alley and took a loaded automatic pistol out of the creep's hand as he was trying to shoot. Murray has been rightly recommended for a medal of valor.

Boes is also a good officer, according to his captain, Michael Yalon. "He's one of the hardest-working cops under my watch. His arrests almost always lead to convictions."

Bearing in mind that Boes and Murray are young and, apparently, dedicated, I will now suggest some safe-drinking strategies for these two officers -- and all their colleagues at the SFPD -- just in case they wish to have careers that outlast this millennium. Or this weekend.

How a Cop Should Get Sloppy Drunk
Location is important. Always pick a familiar setting if you're going to get a heat on, a bar where the people know you're a decent human being when sober. With this knowledge, they can place your slathering, open-mawed idiocy in broader context.

If you're forced to drink in a strange town, follow the "When in Rome" standard. Stop, look around, and take your social cues from the locals. If they aren't chasing drunkenly after reluctant females, don't do it yourself, unless you happen to be in a Serbian-controlled war zone.

Judicious companionship choices can be the difference between a great drunk (i.e., one you will tell your grandkids about) and an exceedingly bad drunk (e.g., one where you leave a Clovis jail in the morning with a tremendous hangover and your career in shreds).

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