Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Suspension: Day Five

Chief Kingston suffered another minor mishap today while suspended from his job and hanging face down from the traffic light in the middle of town. Around five this afternoon, while most good citizens were rooting on the Chicago Bears in the NFL playoffs, Chief Kingston was casually trying to strike it rich with smuggled scratch off tickets from inside a secret canister disguised as a water bottle tossed up to him by a young woman who works in Weed Way gas station. Somewhere between thirty and forty blown dollars, Kingston scratched off three sevens in a row, with a cash amount that read $5,000. But so used to losing, he dropped the ticket before he realized what it was, and it landed far below in the street beneath him.

Panicking, Kingston feared the worst. He was worried that someone else would find the winning ticket. With his luck it’d probably be a sidewalk supervising anti-sewer peanut who preaches against the sin of gambling. Five thousand dollars is a lot of money, especially to a Police Chief serving an unpaid suspension immediately after getting the elbow for 52 ½ hours of unused vacation time. Five thousand dollars would more than cover these two unpaid weeks, and give him a little pocket change with which to play the numbers at the Blue Ship Casino, or at least to blow a few thousand playing Keno in Roger’s tavern. With any luck, he would have enough left over to buy some roses for his wife so she’d forget about all those women at the press conference yesterday claiming that he gives them regular back rubs.

The ticket lay quietly on the pavement, fluttering like a wounded bird with each passing vehicle. A couple cars ran directly over it. A semi stopped for the light with its large dual tires squishing its right hand corner. For hours, Jim Kingston’s eyes never left that ticket.

He thought of calling Cherry, but he’d told her that he gave up playing tickets. He thought of calling Curly Headed Sandy with the emergency phone she gave him. But he couldn’t guarantee that she wouldn’t want a cut. He thought of simply yelling down to the next person walking by, but he knew better than to point out a winning ticket to a stranger while its rightful owner was tied to a traffic light, being punished for illegally cashing $1700 worth of Taser donations, which shouldn’t even have been collected because the Police Commission never voted to purchase Tasers in the first place. But the truth was, even if Kingston had the courage to ask a complete stranger to retrieve his ticket, it simply wasn’t feasible. After yesterday’s terrorist scare, Broken Springs was a virtual ghost town. Almost all vehicles that went through the intersection headed directly out of town. And those brave souls who dared remain, did so only armed with shotguns, behind locked doors, while watching the Bears finish their fluke season with a loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Jim Kingston didn’t pay particular attention to professional football, and not since he was a star player on the Broken Springs Clovers did he manage to perform in the clutch. But this Sunday, while hanging face down from a traffic light in town, Police Chief Jim Kingston had a genius idea. All he needed for his genius idea to work was a small gust of wind, but not so much of a gust to blow away his winning ticket. He closed his eyes, and for the first time since he almost got in trouble with the Prosecutor’s office, Jim prayed. He didn’t pray for recognition, because Lord knows he had too much of that these days. He didn’t pray for good health or for his family, who often could’ve used his prayers. He didn’t pray for his detractors - that was Lonna’s job. He didn’t pray for riches or even a Chicago Bears victory, although prayers for the latter probably weren’t in short supply across southwestern lower Michigan. Instead, Chief Kingston prayed for just one thing: a small gust of wind. Just big enough to get him swinging, but small enough not to blow away his winning ticket. And miraculously, Jimmy asketh and Jimmy receiveth . After the regret of not praying for fame and riches passed, Kingston swung his swaying body forward and backward, until he could almost … almost reach the street sign.

That’s what he wanted to do, of course. If he could reach the street sign, he could use the strength of his upper body to break the twenty pound fish line, scamper down, retrieve his rightful property, collect his winnings, then run for the border. He had friends in Indiana and a full tank of gas in his Chevy pickup. All he needed was a five minute headstart and he knew the Broken Springs cops would never be able to catch up.

But with miracles come devastations and once the wind got going, it rapidly began flinging him this way and that. Pretty soon, despite his best efforts, Kingston was quickly swinging backwards towards the street sign. And when he did, he didn’t quite reach the street post exactly as he’d envisioned.

When discovered, Chief Kingston was stuck in a very vulnerable and intimate position with the street sign that was supposed to aid him in his escape. But it didn’t help him at all. In fact, it nearly rectum.

“Rectum? Damn near killed him,” joked the townsfolk, much in need of a laugh after that Bears loss.

Paramedics arrived, and a nice young fellow named Joe broke the news to Mrs. Kingston that her husband had been impaled anally but luckily the accident caused no permanent damage. With time, his sphincter is expected to tighten back up so that he’ll be the same old tight arse that everybody knows and loves.

After receiving medical treatment, Kingston was returned to his post. Witnesses confirm that he still had tears in his eyes but not from his backdoor violation. He was crying because when he was at the hospital, someone else had claimed his winning scratch off ticket.

Day Six

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