Friday, November 03, 2006

Don't Call Fat Policemen "Jelly Bellies"

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPaul Goward, until recently the Police Chief for Winter Haven, Florida, lost his job after complaints that a memo entitled, "Are You a Jelly Belly?," hurt the feelings of some of the fitness-challenged members of the police department.

One anonymous complaint stated that,
This letter shows the type of harassment and hostile work environment we have. The chief of police is constantly 'bad talking' us in every way possible and we have had enough of his arrogance.
The Associated Press report said that the
...the chief never singled anyone out, and apart from the title, didn't call anyone names.
It seems that the title of the memo caused lots of snickering and teasing about "too many jelly donuts" and the like.

Another anonymous source, not quoted by anyone reputable, suggested that some of the officers were so upset that they were seen blubbering and shaking with emotion over the incident.

Someone else, not to be confused with either the Winter Haven Mayor or the press representative from Cypress Gardens, was overheard by no one in particular to have said that it was quite possible that one or more of the officers were so distraught that they had been able to eat less than half of their usual mid-morning snack of Bundt Cake, vanilla ice cream and coffee (decaf with saccharin).

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFormer reputed officer Ian Chryzwski, now an apocryphal offensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (see photo) challenged the Chief's memo saying, "He implied that we were not physically fit. If that were true how could I have gotten a job as a player with an NFL team? The only thing the Buccaneers asked of me was to lose 150 pounds to qualify for the position I now enjoy."

Winter Haven residents are somewhat divided over Chief Goward's forced resignation.

Mandy Rohrbaugh, a 40-year-old nursing student and Winter Haven resident (a real person actually quoted by AP), said Goward had the right message, but perhaps could have delivered it differently.

"I think honestly our police force needs a lot of shaping up, and I think they should be fit not just when they're hired but through their time," she said.

This blogger adds that he thinks that Mandy also has the right message but perhaps could have delivered it differently. For example, what the heck does "through their time" mean?

In any case, the Jelly Belly corporation is no doubt hoping to take advantage of this story to generate an increase in sales by introducing a new, round jelly bean, colored blue and flavored to taste like . . . chocolate glazed.