Comforting themselves with a false sense of hope that the Richmond police chief is just up to another one of his well-planned jokes, area residents today said Rodney D. Monroe “must be kidding” about actually considering taking the same job in Charlotte, NC.
“That Rodney D., that’s probably what his stage name would be. Always has been good for a chuckle,” said Nate Bigelow, who half-jokingly believes the crime rate would rise to pre-Monroe levels should the 50-year-old accept the Charlotte position.
“Leaving for Charlotte. Ha. What a thigh-slapper,” Bigelow added, tapping his hands on his desk to mimic a comedic drum beat.
Monroe – who said he has never actually done stand-up comedy – has clearly stated in a strangely non-jovial tone that he would leave Richmond should the largest city in North Carolina offer him the $150,000-plus job. He arrived on the Richmond job in 2005.
“Yes, if they choose me, I plan to accept to expand my professional and personal life,” Monroe said, absolutely straight-faced, without a hint of irony in his voice nor the traditional comedy club brick wall backdrop visible anywhere nearby.
Virginia Commonwealth University sociology professor Lisa Weldon-Gaines explained that, considering Monroe’s body language and phrasing of his statement, the only people that local residents are kidding are, in fact, themselves.
“Would you take the job?” Weldon-Gaines hypothetically asked a reporter. “More pay, a new experience, and a chance to shine in a city that, quite frankly, has its act more together than Richmond in terms of economic development and essential infrastructure. This is a no-brainer for him.”
Local advertising executive Bekah Knapp called the Weldon-Gaines analysis of the chief “totally lame and retarded.”
“Monroe leaving is probably one of the funniest things I’ve heard all day,” said Knapp, 42. “It’s almost as good as the one where he told us he’d drop violent crime in the city to its lowest point in a decade – then he turns around and cuts crime to the lowest point in 25 years.”
“I’m not going to let him pull my leg like that again,” she added. “But see, that’s Richmond for you – everywhere you turn, it’s free comedy.”