There is probably nothing wafting through the television airwaves more ubiquitous than “Law & Order.”
An amazing franchise (though you can’t get fries with that), they have amassed nearly 1,200 episodes over the course of 20 plus years, with the help of their five major spawns (Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury, Los Angeles, and True Crime — some more popular than others).
Alas, as dust begins to settle on a small part of their sizeable film vault, and show reruns can be seen on nearly every cable channel ever invented, NBC is done with new product — at least for now.
I volunteer to help re-energize the genre. Dum dum.
So, with apologies to Dick Wolf, enter — the next seven “Law & Order” spin-offs.
LAW & ORDER: DOG CATCHER — Starring Dennis Purina as an old, washed-up detective with a checkered past and a gut the size of a 50 pound bag of puppy chow. With dogged tenacity, Purina pursues canine scofflaws that paw their noses at ordinances designed to protect the health and well-being of the human public. Perpetrators alleged to have failed in cleaning up after their pets will be scooped up—along with the evidence of their failures. Once in court, they will face the likes of Jack Decoy, prosecutor of offensiveness, who will ultimately offer a plea deal, that many will see as merely a “walk in the park”.
LAW & ORDER: ETIQUETTE SQUAD — Music by Emily Post. Detective Ima Vanderbilt scours the restaurants of New York City, seeking out the eateries that brazenly place salad forks where their dinner counterparts should be, and comes down on those that switch out the dinner knife where the soup spoon should be, inflicting lingual damage on those too stupid to realize the difference. In this case, the restaurant owner is raked over the coals by Jimmie Shoe. She is merciless in her pursuit, and insists she will see the entrepreneur’s head on a platter.
LAW & ORDER: SCHOOL POLICE — Not to be confused with school resource officers (real heroes), the squad seeks out all manner of low crimes and misdemeanors. Observed offenses include witnessing the disproportionate distribution of jelly versus peanut butter over the total area of a two bread-slice sandwich, noting individuals responsible for singing in the school talent show that cause the judges’ ears to bleed and singling out those that bend over backwards and sideways to become the teacher’s pet, making it nearly impossible for the rest of us to even eke out a ‘C’. After arraignment, violators come before the infamous Ben Stoner, who suggests an after-school detention not to exceed two years.
LAW & ORDER: GOSSIP POLICE — A unique division, they work hand in hand with the school police and formerly worked with the now disbanded worship police. They drive limousines because of the length of their motto emblazoned on the vehicles: G.O.S.S.I.P. — God Only Says Stop It People. This department, spearheaded by Detective Rue Moore-Mills, has as its main goal, to prevent people from having to face judgment. One useful tactic includes educating potential violators that if caught in the act, the victim of the rumor will be placed on speaker phone, and will learn what the perp has been saying about him or her behind their back. A secondary strategy involves construction of a billboard, set in a conspicuous place, identifying what falsehood(s) was/were said about whom, replete with the rumormonger’s heartfelt apology—paid for at offender’s expense. The show is not likely to last, however, because after seeing a few episodes, the general public will fear its implementation, and gossiping as we know it will cease.
LAW & ORDER: UNMASKED — Under the guise of Operation Mask Air-Raid, detectives work undercover observing those that put on a mere facade of health compliance, and are turned over to prosecutors for possible punishment. Violators include those that allow the mask to hang limp upon an arm of their eyeglasses, rendering it as useful as an impotent wiper blade, people who audaciously pull their mask down momentarily in order to sneeze, and those that keep it securely fastened around the neck as a goiter fashion statement. Assistant District Attorney James Carrey will consider mask-less sneezing into the elbow as an unfortunate necessary evil, and will prosecute for a misdemeanor, while those sneezing into unrestricted airspace will find themselves having to defend against a felony.
LAW & ORDER: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS — Of all the fictional departments, the one that most easily meets its daily quota. Anyone can be arrested for violation, as long as a member of the larger group, no matter the size, fails to capitulate to the person that espouses a minority view. The prosecutor of these cases is the district attorney himself, Adam Useless, so named because he hardly does any work, relying instead on his assistants. He was born circa 20 A.D., and speaks in a staccato rhythm, as he has been constipated since 1932.
LAW & ORDER: FUN POLICE — Overseen by Jock Q. Larity, this department has recently had the most difficult job of all. They are supposed to detain those that laugh or smile or sing (with or without wearing a mask), but since the advent of Covid-19, and miscellaneous unrest, the show is cancelled due to defunding.
Les Linz is a resident of southern Indiana who writes the “Humor: More or Les” column. For information about Linz visit amazon.com/Les-Linz/e/B00PM03S5M%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share. Send comments to [email protected].