Friday, November 25, 2005

God Rebukes Kingston

Lonna Jackson claims to be praying for the Kingston critics in Broken Springs, but is she praying to the appropriate deity?

This Thursday, over black coffee and donuts at Haybreak Café in downtown Broken Springs, God Almighty met up with Kingston to rebuke him for all of his moral failings. One of our informants overheard the entire conversation, and scribbled the following on a breakfast napkin.

“Listen,” said the Lord as he sipped Folgers from a cup plastered with local advertising, “I wouldn’t mind your followers occasionally bringing up My name if you were half the man you claimed to be.”

“I give to the needy,” said the Chief as he chomped on a piece of burnt bacon from the plate of the table‘s last occupants.

“So did Al Capone,” said the Creator of the Universe. “But this Holier Than Thou mumbo jumbo has to go. That’s the first thing I learned as God. Those who claim to pray for other people really should be praying for themselves.”

“But I genuinely care for those broke sorry SOBs who can’t afford to go to the casino,” claimed Kingston as he watched the waitress bend over to pick up a napkin.

“Listen, Jim,” explained God, in his best kindergarten teacher voice. “You’re not the worst Chief Broken Springs could have. I think even your detractors realize that. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement. For instance, those people over there…” God pointed to a black family sitting in the booth by the window. “Those people are African Americans, not nig… ahem, what an ugly word. I can’t even bring myself to say it. Nobody uses it anymore, Jim, except for bigots and Klansmen.”

“African Americans,” the Chief said slowly, as if learning a new word.

“Better. And giving kids toys at Christmas isn’t enough. Genuine care and concern should happen year round, which is why I think your charity, once legal, ought to be renamed Kingston’s Kare and operated twelve months a year. That way you aren’t leaving out the Jews, Muslims, and Atheists, who sometimes need just as much care as Christians.”

“I see,” said Jim as he wiped jelly from his upper lip. “But do you really think it’s such a good idea for Christianity to be so inclusive?”

“I used to agree until my Son showed me the err of my ways. We have to be inclusive, otherwise public sentiment will turn against us, just like it’s turning against you. Always remember Jim,” advised the Deity, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” He poured maple syrup over his pancakes and continued, “My old friend Lucifer preferred being a big ant on a little hill, just like so many here in Broken Springs, but you see where it got him.”

“Point taken,” said Kingston, as he tugged on the waitress and asked for a refill of coffee.

“So no more eavesdropping with illegal listening devices, okay? No more racism or sexism, or illegal searches. No more deception. No more hypocrisy. No more profanity or…“ God paused as He saw Kingston wink at the waitress. “No more of that there, either. Just remember what John and Paul said.”

“The Apostles?”

“No, the Beatles. All you need is love, but don‘t go all Clinton on me, okay?“ The Lord smeared jelly on his toast. “So will you take my advice?”

“I’m always open to suggestions,” responded the Chief

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Allgay Wouldn't Turn Down Chief's Job

Secret inside sources interviewed outside today reveal that Patrolman Mort Allgay wouldn’t turn down the Chief of Police position, if it was offered to him. Current Chief Jim Kingston’s recent bad press has created a whirlwind of gossip, rumor, innuendo, and hearsay amongst the back alleys of Broken Springs regarding his future as Broken Springs Police Chief. Potentially vying for his position, according to the word on the street, is long time policeman Mort Allgay, whose father was a Benton Harlem policeman. Allgay has the support of the community as a whole on most matters, but it’s too early to tell whether that support would hold up against Kingston’s fan base, which is small but very vocal.

“I don’t wish to cause alarm,” said the veteran cop, “But Jim’s like Jiffy Pop over an open flame right now. It’s only a matter of time before things pop and he‘s covered in butter.”

Meanwhile, Police Commission members would neither confirm nor deny the rumors that Allgay is next in line for chief law enforcer of Broken Springs. Chairperson Ernie Hildecrust would only comment that Kingston is an at will employee of the commission, but he added that the commission is grateful to have an experienced man at the helm, particularly one who‘s helped him personally out of many cylindrical problems.

Village Council President Jan Chaddwick also adds her support. “Chief Kingston is a lot of wonderful things, too many to name them all. But what stands out above all in my head is his dedication to his job of keeping the streets of Broken Springs safe. I doubt if anyone could command his job as well as he does. He keeps us all in lock step with him on nearly everything. It’s much easier than thinking.”

Repeated calls to his house have been unreturned, but Kingston’s answering machine message comments, “Hello, you have reached the home of Jim Kingston. I’m unavailable to come to the phone right now for any number of completely justified innocent reasons that do not involve my gambling away Christmas Care Bear donations at the Blue Ship Casino or cashing taser checks illegally, or any mumbo jumbo like that. If you leave your name and number, and perhaps a steamy reading of your latest letter to the editor supporting me (yes, I mean you, Lonna) I’ll be sure to get back with you just as soon as I find the key to these here handcuffs. Wait for the--”


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Rest in Peace, Rybo

There is no humor ahead.

This week, Ryan Anderson, known affectionately as "Rybo" to his friends, died tragically after running from who he thought were the police. He was only 23.

He was no more than an acquaintance of mine, but I still thought very highly of him from afar. He was so cool, a great pool player, and he had the most beautiful set of eyes in the universe.

Rybo, you will be missed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Potent and Impotent

A particular reader, who used to live in and work for Broken Springs, is concerned for my safety because I write this blog. So if yours truly isn’t seen or heard from for several days, I hereby request that the Sheriff’s Department drag the river. Or just give me a call. That’d probably be a bit more practical.

Broken Springers have been in a tizzy raking leaves lately. I’ve never understood this phenomena. If God had not wanted leaves on the ground, He wouldn’t have made them fall from the trees. Don’t screw with Mother Nature. Unless, of course, there is a blight ordinance against fallen leaves, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least, since there is a blight ordinance against everything in Broken Springs except for green grass cut to a precise length.

As Thanksgiving approaches, here are some of the things for which I’m thankful:
The never ending inspiration for humor in Broken Springs
The McDonalds Dollar menu
Desperate Housewives

That’s about it.

Here is a Turkey Day joke sent in by one of our regular readers:

One autumn for her birthday, Jan received a parrot with a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. The parrot’s name was Jim. Every word out of the Jim's mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity. Jan tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and anything else she could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary, but to no avail.

Finally, Jan was fed up and she yelled profanities at the parrot. Jim yelled profanities back. In desperation, Jan threw up her hands, grabbed the bird, and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes Jim squawked, kicked, and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Fearing that she'd hurt her pet, Jan quickly opened the door to the freezer. Jim calmly stepped out onto Jan's outstretched arm and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriateness and transgressions, and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior." Jan was stunned at the change in Jim's attitude. As she was about to ask him what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Monday, November 14, 2005

Police Commission Meeting

The crowd shuffles in, the rabble rousers making themselves comfortable in the second to last row. Arriving last this month is Mayor Jan Chaddwick, wearing a retro orange striped sundress that fits snug as the clouds on an overcast day. Her late arrival may or may not have something to do with the caffeinated beverage that accompanies her to the meeting. But the presence of what we can only assume is Baileys Irish Cream and coffee foreshadows the night’s tedious discussions.

Once the meeting is called to order, the aforementioned drug induced woman asks if someone has a radio or a cell phone on in the room because she’s hearing voices.

No, that’s just the fabric of your girdle screaming, Ms. Chaddwick.

Our police department, in their infinite dedication to tighten their spending, managed to only have $54,000 worth of bills this month.

The Chief’s Report reports that last month was ‘business as usual’ which is a bit unnerving if you think about it. It’s a good thing our commission doesn’t get paid to think.

Like Commission Chairperson Hildecrust’s belt line, complaints to the police are up 2% this month. Complaints about the police are up significantly more than that.

Commissioner Frugal requests computer generated reports in the future and Chief Kingston responds with the expense of such a request. It may end up costing several thousand dollars for the software alone, which is roughly equivalent to two hours of blackjack, an hour of slots, and a half hour of roulette, not including 8 games of Keno at five bucks a pop.

At this point, I hear the faint buzzing of an unidentified object in the back row. Either one of the cops behind me had a cell phone going off or Daniel Shame’s wife forgot to take Shame Junior out of her purse and the unit was accidentally triggered on when she reached for her mascara.

Car #1, the Tahoe, was auctioned off for $2,200, significantly lower than everyone expected to get for it. Times are tough all over. Next time they’ll have to vacuum the donut crumbs out of the backseat. Either that or get another dog.

The police department is taking applications for a part time clerk to ease the burden put on a very dedicated Diane MacDonald, who’s been working Sundays for 25 years. Your very own Shallow Throat is thinking of applying, just so long as I'm allowed to work on my blog during breaks.

I’ll work for peanuts, just as long as they aren’t nig… um, I mean hazelnuts, right Chief Jim? Whattayasay? Am I hired? I can type (one handed if necessary) and suck up with the best of them. With former experience as a phone sex operator, I can even answer telephones and forge signatures on taser donation checks while bending over the Chief's desk backwards in a short mini skirt.

There was a drug bust on the 400th block of South Cass. A small amount of drugs was turned in… um, I mean confiscated. There was another drug bust on Sunset Drive. Yet another on Mary Jane Avenue and a huge drug bust occurred on Tie Dye Bouledvard. The folks at Stoner Estates are beginning to get nervous.

We’re pleased to report that after 14 years, the Pizza Hut Robber has been put behind bars. Not for robbing our Pizza Hut, but for breaking some other law in some other place that could actually catch him. This is a great relief to the community who feared for awhile that the Pizza Hut Robber was Broken Springs’s own Zodiac Killer, who would eventually die of old age before being caught. Turns out the culprit was dating one of the employees of Pizza Hut, and getting free pepperoni on the side. Officers Allgay and Robbings worked together on the case, and no word yet on how many pizzas came up missing during the investigation.

There was an incident near Short Lake Road that involved a man shooting a 9 mm gun out the window of a moving vehicle. Apparently he’d heard about our law enforcement officials. He was drinking at the time, which may answer the question how he managed to fire 16 bullets without hitting anything at all. Unfortunately we could not verify the rumor that he’s applied to be on our police force.

Commissioner Frugal brings up the fact that “someone” has requested the purchase of Global Positioning Systems for our police vehicles. Despite the well argued plan of that “someone” at the township meetings and on the township website, Chief Jim can’t help but to wonder what good having GPS would do. Also, he pulls some uncited numbers out of a hat and says such a plan would be very expensive. Mayor Chaddwick pipes in that they would also have to hire someone to monitor the system. Chairperson Ernie adds that citizens are tracking our cops anyway, with a small chuckle. So the GPS initiative falls flat without support.

Then the meeting turns interesting with a lengthy debate on how police seminars and conferences should be paid for. Chairperson Hildecrust makes a motion to amend last month’s motion, changing it to say that cops will have to pay for their meals and gas with credit cards to be reimbursed later. Seminar costs and lodging would be paid for up front, but because officers had been reimbursed without receipts in the past, now they should be required to put these costs on their credit cards and be reimbursed before they are charged at the end of the month. Mayor Chaddwick objects, as does presumably a wife of an officer in the audience when they both say that the officers should not have to use their own credit cards, which they may not even have. Comment from audience member Gordon David implies that the officers are fat and resident Bonii Didjaseedat agrees and says that they should have a limit to how much they can spend per meal. Chief Jim explains in a lengthy sermon that what you can buy in Broken Springs for five dollars can cost upwards of $15 in bigger cities.

All this talk of food started to make my own tummy grumble so loud that I missed the final vote on this issue.

My solution is as follows: Plain donuts should be paid for by the department. Glazed and jelly donuts should come out of the cops’ own pockets. No exceptions.

Meeting adjorned.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Praising Jim Kingston

We at NFBS congratulate Police Chief Jim Kingston on his recent acquittal from criminal charges regarding his Christmas Care Bear Organization. Last Friday the Herald Republican fronted their paper with the headline “No Crime in Kingston’s Charity,” defusing the unproven allegations that Kingston has been using Christmas Care Bear donations as his own private Blue Ship Casino slush fund for the past several years.

There is only one man to thank for Kingston’s acquittal and that man is Jim Kingston himself. Let us explain why.

HR writer Jim Bangladesh wrote that Prosecutor James Strawberry's conclusions that Kingstons’s accounting is “shoddy at best,“ leave him “unable to document/account for how several thousand dollars of Christmas Care Bear funds were spent.” He also wrote that Kingston admits to keeping thousands of dollars in cash in his briefcase that sometimes accompany him to the Blue Ship Casino on personal gambling trips. Such action, according to Strawberry, underscores his poor judgment in handling this money.

After a lengthy investigation, Strawberry could find no evidence showing Kingston’s intent was to convert the funds to one’s own use and therefore could not be charged with larceny or embezzlement in either the Christmas Care Bear or Taser money case.

Could Broken Springs have a more clever man as Police Chief than Jim Kingston? We think not. Had it not been for his shoddy accounting and the lacking of proper bookkeeping procedures some of these allegations would’ve been proven true and our department (and everyone’s safety) would’ve been jeopardized. But because Kingston had the good sense to administer poor judgment, Operation Christmas Care Bear will continue to flourish as it always has in our quaint little town. Had Chief Jim registered Operation Christmas Care Bear with the state of Michigan, as is required by law, he would’ve had to improve his shoddy bookwork, actually account for money donated, and put both himself and his beloved charity in danger of criminal prosecution. Then 200-400 families would’ve been out their Christmas Care Bear packages later next month, including those families whose income is approximately a mere $60,000, well below the national poverty average.

We salute you, Jim Kingston. May your bookkeeping always be shoddy. May your knowledge of the law always be shaky, at best. We expect nothing more.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ignorant Motorist Ticketed

Last Thursday night at approximately 10 PM, Andrew Spitzke was traveling northbound on US 31 when he was pulled over by Broken Springs Police officer Daniel Shame for going 65 mph in a 45 zone. The motorist insisted that he didn’t know about the lower speed limit, despite there being three speed limit signs posted in the area. Spitzke insisted that, had he known the speed limit was only 45, he would not have been driving 65 and hence broken the law. But ignorance of the law is not a justifiable defense and therefore Spitzke was ticketed.

Upon requesting the motorist’s license and registration, Officer Shame quickly became aware of another potential abuse of justice. “As soon as I approached the vehicle, I smelled marijuana cigarettes. Mr. Spitzke’s eyes were glassy and he kept giggling while muttering something under his breath about elevator shoes. It was then I realized that he was high.”

A nonconsensual search of the car resulted in the discovery of three ounces of marijuana, packed tightly in a bag and rolled in a wad of twenties, which turned out to be counterfeit.

“I was unaware that cannabis was illegal in Broken Springs,” said Spitzke as he was being frisked. “Nor was I aware that the possession of counterfeit money against the law. In fact, I was unaware that the money was counterfeit to begin with.”

“Oh, it was counterfeit, all right,” confirmed Daniel Shame as he stuffed the money deep into the pockets of his pants.

As Spitzke was being frisked, Shame also came across a hard device stuffed in the crotch of the motorist’s pants. It was a miniaturized bionic ear, which the motorist said he used to spy on his black neighbors in residential St. Joe. After being notified that the use of a bionic ear was also illegal, Spitzke claimed he knew of no laws regulating the use of his instrument, and had he known about them, he certainly would not have used it

Once down at the police station, Spitzke insisted that he was wrongfully arrested, due to his ignorance of the law and because he was a frequent contributor to Operation Christmas Care Bear, which is run by Broken Springs Police Chief Jim Kingston. “I give year in and year out to that charity, and I even have the tax records to prove it,“ he said angrily.

“You filed them on your taxes?” the clerk asked him as she turned another page in her file and began scribbling another note.

Spitzke was unaware that Operation Christmas Care Bear is not registered with the state of Michigan and is therefore not a legal charity to claim on one’s tax deductions.

“But I did not know,” he said, when informed that the IRS would be contacting him. “I didn’t have a clue.”

“You weren’t the only one,” said the clerk.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Dog's Death Ruled a Suicide

The death of Durango, Daniel Shame’s beloved canine and partner both on and off duty, has been ruled a suicide by a medical examiner. Dr. Carl Daver exhumed the canine at the request of the insurance company, who suspected foul play once the Broken Springs Police Department filed for a large insurance claim on the dog several months ago. According to the agent working the insurance claim, he received a tip that maltreatment may have contributed to its untimely and early demise.

The exhumation of the former K9 unit occurred Thursday morning at 10:30, in the presence of three local officers and a dog coroner, hoping to dig up the truth.

“Mr. Daver’s tests have shown that the dog did not die of natural causes, as was claimed by the BSPD in their insurance claim," said the insurance agent. "In fact, considering the lacerations and the cadaver’s broken neck, we can safely assume that the dog hung himself.”

We at NFBS were cynical. “Whoever heard of a suicidal dog?” But then we remembered who the dog’s handler was.

Daniel Shame, who has recently been under media scrutiny for playing with bows and arrows while on the taxpayer’s dime, insists that Durango died in his loving arms at the vet‘s office and that any broken bones were probably acquired while on duty, ridding Broken Springs of dirty crooks and stray cats.

“He was a tough dog. Once he ran all the way to the police station after I accidentally left him tied to the back bumper of my squad car. He was so tired that morning I gave him an extra milk bone.”

Based on the medical examiner’s findings, the insurance claim was rejected, and Durango was re-interred down by the river. During the second ceremony for Broken Springs four footed fallen hero, evidence of Durango’s suicide floated by us in an empty beer bottle tossed in the river.

Inside the bottle was the following suicide note, shedding some light on how ruff Durango’s life truly was.

After the authenticity of the note was verified (by comparing its handwriting to samples taken from written citations), Daniel Shame broke down in tears and said, “I loved him so much.”

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Looking Backwards

Dear Editor,

With all the conflicts and negativity going on in our miniscule town of Broken Springs regarding the police department and our superfine leader of that department, Police Chief Jim Kingston, we have cause for celebration and a good excuse to get drunk. Our Broken Springs Clovers are going to play for the district championship this Friday night at Constantinople!

This is the first Broken Springs football team that has competed for the district championship since Kingston himself quarterbacked his 1968 squad all the way into the playoffs. My wife and I remember it like it was yesterday. Well, it couldn’t have been yesterday because Jim’s hair wasn’t gray and he was skinnier. But the memories are fresh in our minds.

Broken Springs trailed 44-0 at halftime to a very skilled Benton Harlem Tiger team. They were so fast, you could only see the whites of their eyes as they barreled through the Clover defense every time they touched the football, which they must’ve likened to a watermelon. But in the second half, Jim Kingston, then only 18 years old and probably still a virgin by the looks of those taped up coke bottle glasses, unleashed 30 passes, nearly half of them completed for receptions, and six for touchdowns. Combined with the glowing field goal foot of Mort Allgay (and the holder, Daniel Shame), the ‘68 Clovers went on to win dramatically 45-44 in triple overtime. What many Broken Springers don’t know is that on the last play of the game, a 65 yard pass play from Kingston to tight end turned wide receiver Jan Chadwick (who has real good hands, Kingston later said), the team quarterback and future law enforcer of our town suffered a blow to the head so hard he thought he woke up in Kansas when he regained consciousness, wondering why all the munchkins around him were black. When the referee told him the game was over, Jim humbly answered, “What game?” He refuses to boast about this achievement to this very day. This story just goes to show you how committed Kingston is to Broken Springs.

Dick and Sue Ann Grieves