Mastering an Interrogation: A Cop’s Kid Skill

Mature audiences only please.  Have you ever started sweating profusely when caught by a teacher during school for something while questioned?  Have you ever had to deal with an overly ambitious TSA worker?  Have you ever had to talk your way out of a ticket?  These are all basic skills children of cops master at an early age.  Why?  

Cops inherently believe the worst about everyone including their family, even if it’s not true.  I used to get the 3rd degree for not even doing anything but just thinking about doing something.  After installing a ceiling fan with a very cool, burlesque-looking tassel, I looked up at it wondering what the smooth, velvety tassel would feel like.  

My dad eyeballed me from the corner of the room, flew over to me in a half a second, threw up his giant pointer finger at me (he boxed so his hands and fingers resembled the Hulk’s) and yelled, “Don’t you ever hang from this fan, do you hear me!  Huh?!”

Startled, I said, “I didn’t do anything.”

“I don’t care.  Don’t you ever touch this!” He added.

“Okay, I won’t.” I said confused and bewildered for not having done anything wrong.  Strangely, I felt like I had.

I suspect he must have seen some poor, unsupervised child get tangled up in a fan at some point which strangled and killed the child.  However, I wasn’t even going to touch the tassel.  

Most people do not consider surviving a professional interrogation an asset but, when the sh*t hits the fan, you want to be with someone who can can “handle the truth”.  I talk about this not that I was running around being mischievous.  No, I never did anything wrong.  Nada.  I had to talk my dad down just to believe the truth.  

1. The trick to surviving an interrogation is to to provide enough believable facts but not to go into too much depth.  


Dad: Did you brush your teeth?

Me: Yes

Dad: When?  I didn’t hear the water run.

Me: Dad, I brushed my teeth about 10 minutes ago at 8 just like I do every night.

2. The 2nd part of this, and this is critical, is that you must be able to match your story from every possible angle thrown at you.  Too few facts show that your story is just that, a story.  You must provide a believable story with enough information.  

This is my sister with a snoopy toothbrush she received one Christmas. We have excellent dental hygiene.


Dad: Looks at me with squinted eyes telling me that he doesn’t believe me.

Me: I brushed my teeth just after Lindsay (my sister).  And, I wiped my mouth with the towel.  I’m sure toothpaste is still on the towel.

3. The real investigation comes during the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. round of questioning when asked the same questions in only a slightly different way, from a different angle, time, situation, see if your story lines up.  You must maintain your composure at all times as any emotional deviation will be seen as a confession of guilt.  


(Sitting on the couch watching tv)

Dad: Why don’t you go brush your teeth?  (Notice the trick here!)

Me: Dad, I brushed my teeth earlier.

Dad: When?

Me: After dinner and right after Lindsay brushed hers.

Dad: Looks like we have the same amount of toothpaste as yesterday.

Me: I don’t use that much.  I have a kid sized toothbrush.

4. Another trick is that you must be prepared for an interrogation at anytime.  And, it’s also possible that someone else from the inside, like your dad’s partner, might also interrogate you just to see how your information holds up.  This requires being able to squelch all emotion because if you’re telling the truth, you wouldn’t feel upset or anxious.  But, being questioned for the millionth time about nothing will make you want to scream and as a result, you will look guilty of something you didn’t do.


(My dad’s partner is over for BBQ)

Partner: Hey Deanna, how’s school?

Me: Good.

Partner: You brushing your teeth every day?



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