Stakeout Hypotheticals

Herc: What if Little Man ain’t working in the 221 today? What if this Day guy don’t come? What if he came already and we just missed the pickup?
Sydnor: Yo, Herc, what if your mother and father never met?
Herc: …
The Wire does a great job of showing the funny challenge detectives face when fighting the maddening boredom of a stakeout. During Season 1, these stakeouts usually involve a lot of time sitting on rooftops holding cameras or binoculars and watching handoffs and payphones. Sometimes they watch hats, too. They look at pictures, rub their eyes, and eat a lot. Then, in a flash, it is there: the person, the transaction, the phone call that they have been waiting for. But in between the occasional, sudden bursts of recognition, the sightings that promise to contribute (even minutely) to the slowly-building case, there are long hours where nothing happens.