EUGENE, Ore. — Tearful members of the Whiteaker Neighborhood Association determined through contentions debate yesterday that the common protest refrain “ACAB,” standing for “All Cops Are Bastards,” regrettably included elderly crossing guard Gus Winkle.
“This was a very difficult and unpleasant decision that has torn our community apart, but one that had to be made. Despite his title and demeanor, ol’ Gus is part of the state-sanctioned murder patrol,” said community board director Bob Coogan. “Granted, as an 80-year-old retiree, he’s about as far from a cop as you can get, even lower than a bouncer… but he puts the uniform on every morning nonetheless. One person argued that it shouldn’t count since he doesn’t carry a gun or issue citations, or even enforce any laws and just gently suggests cars take speed bumps slower. But I shut down that foolishness, full stop.”
Winkle, who took the crossing guard job six months ago following the passing of his longtime wife, seemed unconcerned.
“Well, I always felt it was poor form to talk politics at work, so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. I just make sure the kids get to school safely,” the genial octogenarian said in the midst of a torrent of verbal abuse from passing cars. “I took some heavy fire when I was in Vietnam, so people yelling at me from cars doesn’t phase me too much… plus, I can barely tell what they’re saying. After Doris died, it’s just been nice to get out of the house and have something to do. Seeing these kids smiling faces is the highlight of my day.”
Sociologists and urban studies experts noted that “grey area” positions, such as crossing guards and mall cops, are the latest entangled in the full scope of “ACAB.”
“I don’t know… I think this one might be a bit too far,” remarked University of Oregon sociologist Michelle Lloyd. “I want to commend this community for being committed to the ‘ACAB’ cause, but I mean, this guy is just some old guy with a cap, whistle, and stop sign. Is he actually telling anyone what to do in an enforceable way?”
Winkle is reportedly now facing criticism for keeping the “Stop” sign up longer for black cars.