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NO GOOD, PART-TIME, BURGER-FLIPPING SCUM

strange fiction and  practical jokes by Kelly Holtzclaw


Part One - French Fries and The WWF

It looked like our little practical joke was going to turn out just fine until the S.W.A.T. team showed up and started firing on innocent people. Jerry, Dave, and I all knew we would never be the same after that night, but our primary goal was trying to stay out of jail.

 

It was Halloween night. McDonald's had just screwed up our drive thru order for that particular evening, and frankly, we were all twisted out of shape about it. A certain amount of revenge needed to be extracted. I had been hanging with Jerry Blane and Dave Aaron for the past year, and we shared the love of a good crank call; so a screw-up of this nature could not go left unanswered. It was a macho, principled issue.

In a normal practical joke we would have simply called up, with the alias of Coach Johnson; informing them three full busses of basketball players, booster club members, and cheerleaders were 20 minutes away, heading to their McDonald’s. When this happens fast food restaurants go berserk. It’s the equivalent of being at NORAD during a nuclear war.   We're talking McDefcon 1.

Here's what happens… For twenty minutes the restaurant staff goes crazy, slamming burgers, and slinging burnt French fries at full tilt. Then, when no one shows up, the awful truth sets in, and the manager silently damns Coach Johnson as he picks up papers in the parking lot, calling him a "filthy lying yellow bastard". And they fell for this every single time -- no exceptions. We had pulled this countless times and were bored with it. It was time to raise the practical jokes bar.

I punched in the number while Jerry and Dave listened in on the extensions. A wholesome sounding, sixteen-year-old answered in her most authoritative McDonald’s tone. She tried her best to sound grown up, and I tried my best to sound like a fifty-three year old black man.

"This is Rufus T. Washington III speaking, and I need to speak with the manager immediately."

"I'm the manager, sir."

"You're the manager? You sure don't sound like no damn manager I ever heard of.

"Well sir, I assure you, I'm the manager."

"You sure you the manager? You sound like someone I oughta take over my knee and -"

"How may I help you, sir?" Time was running out, she was getting irritated with me.

"Well let me start at the beginning... My wife and I was in your restaurant tonight, and I got a Big Mac, large order of fries, and a vanilla shake. And my wife, she got a Quarter Pounder with cheese, small fries, a cherry pie and a Coke. Well anyway, we were watching wrestling, and eating our food from McDonald’s… and my wife..." I took a long pause for dramatic effect.  Realism was always the most important element in practical jokes.

"Sir, are you still there?"

"Yes, my wife choked on a French fry and... Well... she died --"

"Ohmygawd!" She bought it hook, line, and sinker.

" ...And the paramedics just took her away, and I was just wondering... who do I talk to, and what kind of insurance forms do I need to be filling out? Cuz I haven’t seen nothing so terrible since I left Saigon."

"Ohmygawd. Just hold on, sir, let me get the real manager," she freaked.

We could hear her yelling in indistinguishable gasps over the restaurant operation. Finally an older sounding man came to the phone.

"Hello sir? This is Tony speaking."

"Hello, is this the manager?"

"Yes sir, it is."

"Well, my name is Rufus T. Washington III, and my wife and I were in McDonald’s earlier tonight, and I had -- "

"Yes sir, Tiffany explained the situation to me, and I am... I mean we, we are all, very, very sorry."

"Well you should be whitie, that woman meant the world to me. So now, I need to find out what forms I need to fill out tonight, and what kind of insurance you all have for instances such as this nature."

"Yes sir, don't worry about a thing, I assure you we have insurance for something like this, McDonald’s is a first rate company. Unfortunately, it is Saturday night and everything will be locked up until Monday morning at 9 am. So, if you will please come by anytime on Monday, we will be more than happy to accommodate you any way we possibly can."

"Uh, no... no, I don't think so," I sounded like I was trying to keep my cool.

"Excuse me, sir?"

"You heard me mofo. If you think I'll be settling for this standard operational, keep the brother down, corporate runaround, cracker-ass-cracker bullshit then you got another thing comin’!" Now Rufus T. Washington III was starting to lose his temper. Jerry and Dave had to clamp down on the receivers to mask their laughter.

"Sir, please. There is nothing I can do until the owners get in on Monday morning. I can't even reach them this weekend or I would call them." Now poor Tony was pleading. If he had any doubts as to the validity of my story they had since vanished and he was ensnared in the facade.

"Lookie here you silly white mofo, here’s the drill. My wife ate one of your damn French fries; she choked on it and died while watching Savage Steve Austin cave in some other cracker's head, right in the middle of our living room floor, on the sofa our daughter-in-law bought us for Christmas last year. Now, I don't care who you gotta talk to, or what you gotta do, but I want this taken care of, and I want it taken care of tonight!

"Sir, please..."

"Now you listen to me you blue-eyed devil. There’s one big difference between us; you serve people lunch, and I eat people for lunch -- understand me?"

Jerry and Dave could control themselves no longer. I knew if I made eye contact with either of them I would lose it and the game would be up. I just stared straight ahead and concentrated.

By now poor manager Tony was begging me. "Sir, please. Nothing is going to happen until Monday anyway."

"Nothing? Nothing’s gonna happen? Nothing? Unacceptable!" I made it clear Rufus wasn't about to take anymore of his racist bullshit.

"Sir, I am doing everything I can. I will even meet you on my day off on Monday if it will help".

"WELL SOMEONE'S GONNA PAY FOR THIS!" I screamed into the receiver.

"Sir, please stop yelling."

"You stop yelling you racist, cracker mutha-fucker!

"Sir, please! I can’t do anything, please stop yelling at me."

I felt myself starting to lose it. I had to get off the phone quick, "When was the last time you slept alone, for me it was 1964." I hung up, and we all collapsed into laughter.

Looking back on it now perhaps that should have been the end of it, but it wasn't. Not for us, not by a long shot…

 

******************

 

Now it was Jerry's turn to call back. We had a short strategy session and hit radial on the phone. The same Sixteen-year girl old answered.

"McDonald’s --"

"Can-it baby," Jerry immediately cut in. "This is Detective Terrace Ferguson of the Restaurant Crimes division, of the Los Angeles Police Department. Do you speak English?"

"Oh, yes sir, yes I do."

"Good, then this process will go a lot smother." Jerry sounded so much like a cop he was starting to scare me. "I've got some questions for you and I want you to answer truthfully or all hell is gonna break loose. CAN YOU HEAR ME?" He screamed into the phone.

He waited for a comment, but the poor girl was frozen to the receiver, petrified with fear. We could only hear her panting at the other end. This was too far out; too much for her fast food soaked sixteen-year-old brain to absorb. Jerry was overplaying it. I was sure she was going to hang up.

But she didn't. She just stayed on, sucking up every line like it was coated in caramel. He slowly began again. "Okay, what's your name sweetheart?"

"Tiffany, Tiffany Johnson."

"Did a… hold on let me check my notes… a Rufus T. Washington contact you this evening?"

"Oh, yes he did. Something about his wife dying?"

Jerry went for the maximum effect, stealing from every cut-rate cop movie he had ever seen.

"Oh, that's bad, that's very bad." God, he sounded like a Jack Webb rerun.

"Why officer?"

"It's Detective, thank you."

"I mean Detective."

"We've received several reports from neighbors that Mr. Washington left his house screaming, McDonald’s, at the top of his lungs and shooting a shotgun off in the air. Last seen, he was headed directly toward your restaurant..." It took about a second to sink in, then...

"Tony! Comere!" she shrieked. "It's the police -- that guy’s after us with a gun."

"A shotgun," Jerry reminded.

"A shotgun, Tony!" She addressed Jerry again. "Wh-wa-whatta we do?"

This was the stuff habitual crank-callers like us lived for. It was just like first time smack to a junkie. In some cultures it's even considered better than sex. Tiffany was that once in a lifetime trip, the one you try to recreate over and over again, the one you spend countless hours speed-dialing for, trying for that same high. She was that onetime, half-cocked bimbo, willing to believe any and all mindless drivel that trickled out over the phone. This was a major opportunity. And Jerry knew it.

"I have a squad car on the way, it will be there in five minuets -- I'll be there in eight."

Now it's important to mention that the McDonald’s we were cranking was only two doors down from the police station -- in fact, it was the Northwest Division Headquarters for LAPD. In thirty seconds fifty or sixty cops could literally walk to this McDonald’s. Any lobotomized fool would have realized this was a joke, that is, except for this one particular lobotomized fool. No she just whipped herself into a bigger frenzy as Tony the Manager continued prodding her for details.

"Hold on Tony, I can't hear Detective Ferguson."

"How many people are in the restaurant right now?" Jerry wanted to know.

"About fifteen maybe."

"Okay, here’s what I want you to do, Tiffany. I want you to lock all the doors and stay inside. Don't let anyone into this restaurant, NOBODY! Do you understand me?" At this moment I think Jerry crossed the line and actually believed he was a cop.

"Lockup the restaurant -- NOW, " she screamed at Tony. We could hear a short argument ensue on the other end.

"Tony, this is the police, DO IT NOW!" Tiffany ordered.

"Is he locking up the restaurant?" Jerry queried.

"Oh yes, but it looks like some people want to leave --"

"Don't let them, overpower them if you have to, but whatever you do don't let them out of that restaurant until we show up! Do you understand?"

"Don't let them go Tony! It's important."

Tiffany was definitely in charge now. And Tony, who up until tonight had, had a very promising career with the McDonald’s Corporation, was now running around doing the bidding of an unhinged 16-year-old.

"Tiffany, is there a safe place in the restaurant? Someplace that might resist gunfire?"

"Omyfrekingawd…" Tiffany was beginning to comprehend the fantastic burden, which we at the LAPD had placed upon her. "Yes, the walk-in cooler, it's made of steal, or lead, or something."

I saw Jerry’s face light up, yes that's right, we were finally getting them back for screwing up our drive thru order.

"Well then, what are you waiting for? Escort those people into the cooler and I'll be there in a few moments."

Then fate reared its ugly head. Tiffany whispered into the phone, "Detective Ferguson, if I hit the silent alarm will you get here quicker?"

Jerry and I looked at each other in disbelief. He took a pause to assess just how many years we would spend behind bars. I shook my head NO, NO, NO. This was way over the line. Up until now this was a harmless crank call, but this, well this was a felony. I sure as hell wanted no part of it.

"Tiffany, I recommend you do that immediately."

"Okay, I'll see you when you get here, we'll be in the cooler," she said.

"Fine Tiffany, and good luck," I slammed down his phone.

"Are you outta your mind?!!!!" I was frightened and pissed off.

"You know, you’ve got no sense of humor. Relax. C'mon what's the worst thing that can happen?" Oh God, if we only knew…

 

Part 2 - Oh God, What Have We Done?

As we rounded the block everything seemed calm...almost too calm.

"I guess she didn't fall for it after all," Dave said, and we were all relived.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, police cars were everywhere with sirens screaming and lights exploding out of the darkness. All hell had broken loose. What followed was nothing short of mayhem. I was scared shitless. Not for the fact that we might end up paralyzed or killed; the punishment for pulling this dumb-ass stunt in the first place. No, I knew all too well the magnitude of this colossal fumble-fuck and I realized we would all go to jail if anyone ever found out we were behind this. This was drastic irreversible shit!

"This is drastic irreversible shit!" Dave said.

We cut down a side street and parked to catch our breath. By this time people were coming out of their houses in droves. We started to panic, having paranoid delusions that perhaps McDonald's had an automatic tracing system on the incoming telephone calls. Jerry didn’t do anything to put us at ease either.

"You wouldn’t believe the kind of technology that’s out there today," he said. "They could have tracers and maybe, if they’re smart, it’s interfaced with a voice analysis spectrum monitor just to prevent assholes like us from screwing up their business."

This scared the holy shit out of us because Jerry was the preeminent techno-nerd, and Dave and I had both seen him build actual stuff like this with a $25 gift certificate from Radio Shack.

"This is the end," Dave said. "We’re doomed, they’re gonna hunt us down like dogs."

Then reality set in and we remembered the caliber of Tiffany. We realized if there was such a device at McDonald's she would probably try to use it to do her nails with.

So, we got out of the car and started toward the McDonald’s. Now there were literally hundreds of other people swarming around, all gawking at the commotion. As we rounded the block we got an eyeful - the first assessment of the damage.

Within seconds the Police had sealed off the parking lot and crowd control was already in place. Then, the white-hot glare of the carbon arc searchlight, aboard the police helicopter, hit us and lit up the area like it was high noon.

This was really getting completely out of control. We felt bad. But it was kind of cool too... The kind of cool you can only get from senselessly wasting tons US tax dollars for your own personal amusement. It was like suddenly becoming a member of Congress.

The Police of course found the McDonald’s locked up tighter than a drum. They looked in and say nary a soul inside. They quickly deduced that they had a "hostage situation." Oh man, screw jail, we were going straight to the electric chair for this one.

The Sergeant Preston, the acting officer in charge, quickly ordered up a crack negotiator as well as the S.W.A.T. team, "just in case things get ugly." After that everybody just held their breath. The people watching held their breath in silent prayer for the safety of the "hostages" inside the restaurant, and we held our breath because we were too fucking scared to breathe.

"Let’s get the hell out of here now," Dave said.

"We’re stayin’ until this thing is all over." Jerry said under his breath..

"Are you out of your fucking mind?" He hissed.

"Nobody in their right mind would leave here now unless they had something to hide." Jerry reminded him through clenched jaw. We saw the point immediately and we dug in for the long haul.

Next the Sergeant Preston grabbed a bullhorn and proceeded to try and talk the alleged robber/kidnapper/gunman/lunatic out of the restaurant. "You in there, come out with your hands up, and you will not be harmed! Do you hear me?"

No response.

Of course there was no response. That's because everyone in the restaurant was wedged into a meat locker, asshole to elbow, waiting for Detective Ferguson to save them.

Cops were now arriving from everywhere, and pandemonium was starting to take its toll.

"HE'S ON THE ROOF!" A large woman screamed. She was wearing a pink bathrobe and fuzzy slippers.

Every cop drew his gun, and every civilian ran for his or her life! That is, except us. We just stood there like deer in the headlights. Then it dawned on us, and quick, we had better act like the rest of the terrified crowd, or start packing our toothbrushes for prison. So we fell on the ground too, and peered up to the rooftop; knowing damn good and well that if any poor son of a bitch really was up there he was going to be shot up like Bonnie and Clyde and that we'd be responsible for that too.

"HE'S RIGHT UP THERE - HE'S GOT A GUN!" The bathrobe woman yelled again.

This spooked a couple of younger cops and they started shooting at the rooftop. The second they heard gunfire all of the other cops joined in and started emptying their service revolvers into the darkness! This was too intense for Dave. He started gnawing at his cuticles, drawing some blood.

"HOLD YOUR DAMN FIRE!" The Sergeant blared over the bullhorn, "Nobody shoots until I give the order!" Everyone stooped firing…not because of the order, but because their guns were out of bullets.

Spotlights were trained on the rooftop and it was confirmed that, indeed, no sniper, or anyone else for that matter, was up there.

"You bastards are gonna pay for this," Dave said to us.

Just then, someone had succeeded in patching through to the McDonald’s phone.

"Put it on the monitor, I don't want to take my eyes off of this cooksucker," Sergeant Preston said, as if he could actually see the imaginary person inside, staring back out at him.

There was no answer. If the people inside the meat locker couldn't hear the sirens, the helicopters, or the 50,000 watt PA system, then they damn sure weren't going to hear the tiny telephone ringing. Even if they did hear it they probably would have thought it was, Rufus T. Washington III, calling to tell them, in explicating detail, just how he would torture each and every last one of them to a slow, merciless death. So the phone just rang and rang, and the Sergeant just got more and got more and more pissed off. And the only thing we could all do was just stand there and wait for the SWAT boys to show up.

I wondered what the scene was like inside the meat locker. I could visualize the fifteen or twenty patrons all mashed into the food bends with the McDonald's crew, all huddling together to stay warm. In the area closest to the door I could see Manager Tony trying to keep everyone calm as Tiffany told them over and over again just how homicidal Rufus T. really sounded. This was not a pretty picture. I knew we had warped these poor people forever.

"Nothing can be worse than this, nothing," Dave said, blaming me with his bitter look.

But you know something? Dave was wrong

 

Part 3 - They Shoot Burger Flippers Don't They?

Almost as if in answer to Dave’s remark a hardcore, mean looking cop, with a maniacal glint of homicidal terror bulldozed his way through the barricade. He was carrying a five-shot pump-action Remington shotgun and a bandoleer of shells hung around his neck. Only God knew what else he had stashed under his uniform. He was in his mid-fifties and looked more like a stuntman than a police officer. He was rough. The kind of rough that only comes from getting your face habitually kicked-in at three in the morning in some Pacoima back alley, and being left for dead. This was Officer John Bowdowie, and every cop on the street knew who he was.

I heard one of the younger uniforms turn to another and say, "Terrific, just what we need, Dirty Harry is here."

"What the hell is John Bowdowie doing here?" Another one whispered.

He shoved one policeman after another out of his way as he barged right up to the Sergeant.

"What's the status, Sergeant?" Bowdowie demanded. He caught the poor unsuspecting Serge completely off guard.

"What? Bowdowie? What in the hell are you doing here? You're not even in this division." The Sergeant couldn’t believe his eyes.

"I rolled from North Hollywood Division as soon as it came over the radio. Now what have we got here? Hostage situation? Sniper? Negroes?"

"Well you can just roll back to North Hollywood, Bowdowie, because we don't need fifty or sixty people killed here tonight!" The Sergeant glared at him.

This agitated Dave to no end and he resumed biting at his cuticles ferociously. "Oh dammit, goddammit," he muttered over and over.

"I could waste the lot of you and still retire with my pension intact," Bowdowie said mater of factly. "That's what you'd all really like, wouldn't you? For me to section-psycho out into retirement. Well if that happens I'm gonna take a whole lotta people with me."

"Jesus Bowdowie, the press might be here!" The Sergeant scanned the crowd for reporters.

"I don't care. Let me tell you, I've got a news flash for those liberal agenda assholes." He pulled out what appeared to be a hand grenade, and shoved it under the Serge's nose.

This sent Dave over the top. He actually started sobbing, "We’re all going to die, this is some very bad shit." I had never seen Dave this way before.

"Look, Bowdowie, I'm a little busy here, so if you don't mind -- Go back to your own division. That's an order!" Without argument Bowdowie spun on his heals and walked back through the crowd, out of sight, as quickly as he came.

Dave was starting to calm down. The Sergeant was beginning to regain his wits, and things were just getting back to normal when I saw it.

It was Bowdowie! He had doubled back from behind the barricade and cut through the McDonald’s playground. He marched straight ahead, toward the entrance of the restaurant, like a man possessed. In one swift move he bent down and ripped the Mayor McCheese statue out of the ground and tucked it in under his arm, proceeding straight ahead, not missing a beat.

"Oh my God," Dave whined. "We’re all gonna die."

The Sergeant snatched up the bullhorn as soon as he saw Bowdowie. In his haste he hit the siren button by mistake and it shrieked out. Everyone spun around to see the embarrassed Sergeant fumbling with the bullhorn. He finally got the microphone turned on and raised the bullhorn. "Bowdowie! Bowdowie, goddammit! Get out of there - NOW!"

Too late. This just fell on Bowdowie’s deaf ears as he proceeded straight ahead in his trance-like state. I heard the Serge say under his breath that he wished someone would shoot Bowdowie, "even if it's one of the bad guys."

Bowdowie took to a run and positioned Mayor McCheese just right, using his head as a sort of battering ram. It took a couple of tries, because the statue was made of fiberglass and bounced off the door. But then the window finally shattered! By this time the Serge had given up. He sat the bullhorn down and just watched with the rest of us as Bowdowie stormed in.

"Sergeant, shouldn't we back him up?" One of the younger officers asked.

"Hell no! Maybe we'll get lucky and one of those hoodlums will blow his brains out. The stupid son of a bitch. No, I think he's doing just fine on his own."

Now Dave began to access blame, a very dangerous thing to do if there are eighty or ninety cops running around, all looking to do exactly that -- access blame.

"You talked me into this, if anybody dies you’re responsible," Dave said.

Jerry elbowed Dave in the stomach, hard! Dave doubled over, fell to his knees, and started vomiting. I knew we were in for a year of two of whining about this, but it couldn't be helped. I looked around; things were so intense nobody even noticed Dave except us.

All eyes were fixed on Bowdowie as he pulled smoke grenade, yanked the pin, and flung it into the restaurant. The place instantly filled with smoke, turning the McDonald’s into a surrealistic war zone.

"We’ve gotta get some of those things," Jerry said under his breath. "They might come in handy someday."

Bowdowie marched right through the smoke and disappeared into the restaurant. Searchlights were fixed on the restaurant, but nobody could see a thing. It looked like the napalm scene from Apocalypse Now.

Suddenly, from inside, we heard Bowdowie yelling. "Where are you? I'll kill each and every one of you sniveling bastards! Oh, we tried to work this out, but you didn't want to hear about it, DID YOU? So now I have the guns and I'M IN CHARGE!"

No doubt the people inside the McDonald’s walk-in cooler could here Bowdowie’s rantings. And since he had not identified himself as a police officer they were probably convinced it was none other than, Rufus T. Washington III, coming to get them. Jerry bit his lower lip hoping for the best. I silently prayed this wasn't a story I told my cellmates at San Quentin to keep their minds off of anal rape. And Dave looked up from his vomiting long enough to give us his best ever, "I blame you both for everything" look.

Then we heard a gunshot! Then a scream! Then several commands issued by Bowdowie in rapid secession. "Put you hands in the air! Back up! Step forward! Get down on the ground! Not you! Hands on your head! Try that again and I'll blow you in half!"

We heard a woman from the inside, who must have been Tiffany, screeching, "Please, Mr. Washington, please don't kill me, I'm only part time..."

Bowdowie, content that he had his kidnappers subdued, marched the only two black patrons out onto the parking lot and threw them down before the crowd. The other bewildered patrons and workers emerged from the smoked out burger haunt.

"How's that for hostage negotiation?" The proud Bowdowie asked as he continued to hold the shotgun point-blank on the "suspects."

Police instantly swarmed Bowdowie and the other patrons. Because of the confusion the crowd was able to advance also. The Sergeant approached Bowdowie.

Dave seemed to be relived that we weren't going to jail even if it meant that two innocent men would be taking our place. But the Sergeant was still very skeptical. "How do you know these are the guys Bowdowie?"

In a hushed voice Bowdowie replied. "Well look at em’..." The Sergeant still wasn't getting it, so Bowdowie elaborated. "They were the only black guys in there."

Now the Sergeant was starting to get pissed off; really pissed off. He apparently was recognizing a pattern in Bowdowie’s investigative work. I was afraid he might shoot Bowdowie himself.

The two men, realizing that some actual sane policemen were on the scene, started to yell to high heaven. "What in the hell are you people doing? I was having a burger and the next thing I know this bozo is pushing a gun in my face."

Bowdowie got visibly shaken. Veins began to pop out of his forehead. He again he pointed the shotgun to the back of the man’s head.

"Give me that before you hurt someone you stupid fool!" The Sergeant snatched the gun out of Bowdowie’s hands and gave it to another officer.

"For that I should jam you nose up into you brain -- nobody takes my weapon away from me, NOBODY!"

"And speaking of weapons, Bowdowie, where are their weapons? Huh? What did they do, threaten these people with a cheeseburger and a plain vanilla shake? Where are the guns? Where are the knives? Where’s the bomb, Bowdowie...?"

"We'll find em’," then he whispered, "and if not, I've got a whole shitload of stuff I've taken off of gang members in my trunk."

"Oh shut up!" The Sergeant walked away from him in disgust.

By now police were questioning the McDonald's workers and other officers were coming up empty inside the restaurant. This was not boding well for Bowdowie's theory. We were all just glad it was over and that the two guys weren't going to be considered as suspects. A younger officer, who was questioning the McDonald’s employees, approached the Sergeant and flipped open a notebook.

"Serge, it appears that somebody called in and spooked them. They set off the alarm and went into the freezer to wait for us. That's why there was no answer. They couldn't hear us on the phone, they were all in the cooler."

"Which is exactly where the sick mother-fuckers who caused this fiasco will be if I ever find them!" Spittle was shooting out of Sergeant's mouth he was so upset. Dave yelped out in pain.

Bowdowie refused to believe it. "It was them! I’m telling you! Give me an hour with 'em, I'll have a full blown confession for you."

"Let these two men up for crying-out-loud!" The Sergeant screamed.

The normal police immediately took off the handcuffs and helped the men to their feet. Tony, the manager, ran up and handed them some gift certificates.

Over the radio it was announced that the Captain was five minutes away and would finally be showing up. Bowdowie took this as his cue to vanish. The Sargent walked over to Tiffany and started talking to her.

Dave was coming back to normal, and starting to complain about Jerry hitting him in the stomach. Jerry had settled down too, and I was beginning to realize that I really wasn't going to jail for the rest of my life after all. The crowd was starting to disperse and the police were pushing people back so we just went with the flow.

The last time I saw the Sergeant he was screaming at a whimpering Tiffany. "Goddammit, think! If the police knew there was a problem do you think we would call you up and tell you to set off a silent alarm to call ourselves?"

"I'm only part-time," was all she could manage between sobs.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Well, we all learned a lot that night. First, we learned that people who aren't qualified to get full-time work in fast food restaurants really will believe whatever you tell them on the telephone. And second, we learned that those silent alarms really do work, even better than on TV, and millions of cops will show up like a swarm of bees if you set them off.

And lastly, we learned that somewhere out there is Bowdowie; protecting, serving, keeping the peace and disturbing it all at the same time, by any means possible. And if that frightening bastard won't make you toe the line as a law-abiding citizen then nothing will.

-The End-

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