"You think funny," a newspaper columnist once told Don Parker.
The Escambia (Fla.) County deputy took that observation to heart and has turned his funny thoughts into a secondary career as a cop humorist.While some officers moonlight as security guards or bar bouncers, Parker, now a captain, has found an off-duty niche as a talk-show personality on local radio and cable television, a traveling convention and banquet speaker and an author.
Parker himself is the butt of the joke in most of his yarns, like the one about getting his foot stuck in a door that splintered when he tried to kick it in for a search. Other officers had to go through another door to help extricate him.
"It's not supposed to happen that way, but it always has, at least to me," Parker said. "I think all of us make mistakes in the profession. The difference is I write about mine."
He started by giving a humorous tone to official police reports and now has written a book, "You're Under Arrest - I'm Not Kidding."
The cover illustration depicts the bald, gawky and bespectacled deputy confronting a hulking bad guy.
Parker admits to bearing an uncanny physical resemblance to comedian Don Knotts, perhaps best known for portraying bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on television's "Andy Griffith Show."
After getting nothing but rejection notices from big-time publishers, Parker and his wife, Carol, formed their own company, named it Caroldon Books after themselves and published the autobiography on their own.